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Eyewitness to Jesus

Carsten Peter ThiedeMatthew D'Ancona

Eyewitness to Jesus

Carsten Peter ThiedeMatthew D'Ancona

$33.99

Hardback
Christmas Eve 1994 would have come and gone like any other, had it not been for three tiny papyrus fragments discussed in "The Times" of London's sensational front-page story. The avalanche of letters to the editor jarred the world into realizing that Matthew d'Ancona's story was as big as the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The flood of calls received by Dr. Carsten Peter Thiede, the scholar behind the story, and the international controversy that spread like wildfire, give us an inkling as to why the Magdalen Papyrus has embroiled Christianity in a high-stakes tug-of-war over the Bible. ^Thiede and d'Ancona boldly tell the story of two scholars a century apart who stumbled on the oldest known remains of the New Testament--hard evidence confirming that St. Matthew's Gospel is the account of an eyewitness to Jesus. It starts in 1901 when the Reverend Charles B. Huleatt acquires three pieces of a manuscript on the murky antiquities market of Luxor, Egypt. He donates the papyrus f

- Publisher THE MAGDALEN COLLEGE PAPYRUS:AN INTRODUCTION Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the Leper, when a woman came to him with a small bottle of fragrant oil, very costly; and as she sat at the table she began to pour it over his head. -- ST.MATTHEW 26:6-7 We may start with the fact, which I confess I did not appreciate before the investigation, of how little evidence there is for dating any of the new testament writings. --JOHN A. T.ROBINSON, Redating the New Testament (1976) On Christmas Eve, 1994, The Times of London reported on its front page an astonishing claim made by the German biblical scholar Carsten Peter Thiede."A papyrus believed to be the oldest extant fragment of the New Testament has been found in an Oxford library," the newspaper said."It provides the first material evidence that the Gospel according to St.Matthew is an eyewitness account written by contemporaries of Christ." The story concerned three tiny scraps of paper belonging to Magdalen College, Oxford, the largest of which is only 4.1 cm X 1.3 cm (15/8 in.X 1/2in.).On both sides of the fragments appeared Greek script, phrases fromthe twenty-sixth chapter of St. Matthew, which describes Jesus' anointment inthe house of Simon the Leper at Bethany and hisbetrayal to the chief priests by Judas Iscariot.Though the verses concern acrucial moment in the life of Christ, the scraps looked unremarkable inthemselves.Yet Thiede, Director of the Institute for Basic EpistemogicalResearch in Paderborn, Germany--argued that they were of astonishingly earlyorigin, dating from the mid-first century A.D.He was shortly to publish hisclaims in the Zeitschrift fr Papyrologie, a specialist journal forpapyrologists (scholars who study ancient manuscript evidence on papyrus). The argument was complex, based upon expert analysis of the Greek writing onthe fragments and upon extensive comparisons with calligraphy on othermanuscript fragments.A scholarly controversy was bound to follow, sinceThiede was challenging the orthodox view that the tiny second-century fragmentof St. John's Gospel in the John Rylands Library in Manchester was our earliestGospel text.He was also making a claim which would have radical implicationsfor our understanding of the Gospels and their origins.And--most important--he was doing so on the basis of physical evidence rather than literary theory or historical supposition. The new claim clearly deserved a much broader audience than the comparatively small guild of papyrologists to whom Thiede's learned article was addressed. Here, it was alleged, was a fragment of the twenty-sixth chapter of St. Matthew remnants of a book perhaps 150 pages long--which might have been written in the lifetime of the apostle himself.If true, Thiede's argument had far-reaching implications.As one senior fellow of Magdalen put it at the time: "It means that the people in the story must have been around when this was being written.It means they were there." *

- Publisher

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About "Eyewitness to Jesus"

Christmas Eve 1994 would have come and gone like any other, had it not been for three tiny papyrus fragments discussed in "The Times" of London's sensational front-page story. The avalanche of letters to the editor jarred the world into realizing that Matthew d'Ancona's story was as big as the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The flood of calls received by Dr. Carsten Peter Thiede, the scholar behind the story, and the international controversy that spread like wildfire, give us an inkling as to why the Magdalen Papyrus has embroiled Christianity in a high-stakes tug-of-war over the Bible. ^Thiede and d'Ancona boldly tell the story of two scholars a century apart who stumbled on the oldest known remains of the New Testament--hard evidence confirming that St. Matthew's Gospel is the account of an eyewitness to Jesus. It starts in 1901 when the Reverend Charles B. Huleatt acquires three pieces of a manuscript on the murky antiquities market of Luxor, Egypt. He donates the papyrus f
- Publisher

THE MAGDALEN COLLEGE PAPYRUS:AN INTRODUCTION Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the Leper, when a woman came to him with a small bottle of fragrant oil, very costly; and as she sat at the table she began to pour it over his head. -- ST.MATTHEW 26:6-7 We may start with the fact, which I confess I did not appreciate before the investigation, of how little evidence there is for dating any of the new testament writings. --JOHN A. T.ROBINSON, Redating the New Testament (1976) On Christmas Eve, 1994, The Times of London reported on its front page an astonishing claim made by the German biblical scholar Carsten Peter Thiede."A papyrus believed to be the oldest extant fragment of the New Testament has been found in an Oxford library," the newspaper said."It provides the first material evidence that the Gospel according to St.Matthew is an eyewitness account written by contemporaries of Christ." The story concerned three tiny scraps of paper belonging to Magdalen College, Oxford, the largest of which is only 4.1 cm X 1.3 cm (15/8 in.X 1/2in.).On both sides of the fragments appeared Greek script, phrases fromthe twenty-sixth chapter of St. Matthew, which describes Jesus' anointment inthe house of Simon the Leper at Bethany and hisbetrayal to the chief priests by Judas Iscariot.Though the verses concern acrucial moment in the life of Christ, the scraps looked unremarkable inthemselves.Yet Thiede, Director of the Institute for Basic EpistemogicalResearch in Paderborn, Germany--argued that they were of astonishingly earlyorigin, dating from the mid-first century A.D.He was shortly to publish hisclaims in the Zeitschrift fr Papyrologie, a specialist journal forpapyrologists (scholars who study ancient manuscript evidence on papyrus). The argument was complex, based upon expert analysis of the Greek writing onthe fragments and upon extensive comparisons with calligraphy on othermanuscript fragments.A scholarly controversy was bound to follow, sinceThiede was challenging the orthodox view that the tiny second-century fragmentof St. John's Gospel in the John Rylands Library in Manchester was our earliestGospel text.He was also making a claim which would have radical implicationsfor our understanding of the Gospels and their origins.And--most important--he was doing so on the basis of physical evidence rather than literary theory or historical supposition. The new claim clearly deserved a much broader audience than the comparatively small guild of papyrologists to whom Thiede's learned article was addressed. Here, it was alleged, was a fragment of the twenty-sixth chapter of St. Matthew remnants of a book perhaps 150 pages long--which might have been written in the lifetime of the apostle himself.If true, Thiede's argument had far-reaching implications.As one senior fellow of Magdalen put it at the time: "It means that the people in the story must have been around when this was being written.It means they were there." *
- Publisher

Meet the Authors

Carsten Peter Thiede

Until his death in December 2004, Carsten Theide was Professor of New Testament History and Papyrology at The State Independent Theological College (STH Basle), and taught at the Department of International Studies at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel. His book, The Jesus Papyrus, co-written with Matthew d'Ancona, was a major bestseller. Born in 1952, Thiede held academic posts at the universities of Berlin, Geneva and Oxford. He is a member of the International Papyrologists' Association and a board member of the History Department at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel. His wife is English and they have three children. He was ordained an Anglican priest in November 1999.

Matthew D'Ancona

CARSTEN PETER THIEDE, German papyrologist, who ran the Institute of German Studies in London, produced documentaries for BBC TV and is now director of the Institute for Basic Epistemological Research at Paderborn, Germany. MATTHEW D'ANCONA, formerly a senior editor on The Times, is now deputy editor of the Sunday Telegraph.

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Product Details

Product Details
  • Catalogue Code 90530
  • Product Code 0385480512
  • EAN 9780385480512
  • Pages 224
  • Department Academic
  • Category Scripture
  • Sub-Category General
  • Publisher Image
  • Publication Date Mar 1996
  • Dimensions 241 x 165 x 23 mm
  • Weight 0.454kg

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