~*~Dating p52~*~

When it comes to the New Testament, we have no early manuscript that state explixtly a dat of composition extant in the record. Often, this may seem like an issue that makes dating manuscripts from antiqu a rudd and hard issue.

P52 is the earliest assisted manuscriptin this long tradition held by Christians of the Gospels, namely The Gospel of John. Traditionall it has been viewed as coming about as early as 95 to commonly dated to the year 125 CE. With such a fixed date assigned to this document, it’s interstung when scholars suggest a misusage of belied dates of manuscripts.

Recently, a scholar has made ehedway on the seen with his criticisms of scholarship merely accepting dates assigned to manuscript with no arguments or defences for an assumed widespread consensus view in light of his criticisms of other scholars, he never actually suggested a date for the manuscripts p52. In fact his article is taken as meaning he has radically changed or assessed a new date to the earliest manuscript of the New Testament.

Sadly, many people have read the headline and not noticed even with the academic critisim of other scholars, Nonbori did not suggest a new date for the manuscripts. In fact his article suggested only a slight adjustment to the dating in genera

With all the fuss, the text is still most likely from second century. With this issue far from being settled, we should know that in general it’s wrong to affirm a date to an undated manuscript unless there is good reason to keep it in the same general time period. Also we should consider the fact that most scholars that date manuscripts based on their hand writtng, dates in general should be within a 25 year +/- scale.

With this being said… It would be better to date this manuscript within the period shortly after 125 CE. So if you hold to the early traditional date for p52 (ie 125 CE) we should remember and try to understand that that dating is too precise./exact. 125-175 CE would be more accurate but still somewhat questionable. 150-200 CE is a good general date for the manuscript.



When many come to knowing some of the theories of the Bible that discuss and articulate a mode of what is called in most Christian circles, the doctrine of inspiration, many wonder or they assume wrongly that inspiration means God inspired or sparked a creative inpulse into the transcriber of the original works of the Bible,. Some think the notion of inspired text means that God acted as the author or scribe hearing a voice from heaven theory also, but is this the view of the Bible is portraying or just a modern day assumption of how the Bible itself mentions or discusses its own inspiration? What about God being like a ghost/phantum wrtitter making the authors or scribe ofd the original work of the Bible, controlling their body as their hand travesld across the page? is theis how the Bible articulates it inspiration or how it is known? Does the Bible even give us any hints at how the Bible is inspired in the first place?
Though it will not be my intention here to answer all these questions but in light of some common understandings of inspirition of the Bible and the diffrences of such a view from the Bible itself often are mythicized in our modern culture due to movies and media depictions of these events. So to begin with, Does the Bible give us a claim on its own inspiration? If so, what is and What does this tell us about our God? Can Man know that this is the Word of God?

When we open up the class reading for this post with these questions and mind, what do we find? I think that in light of the first s chapter of the class book, we should note that there are seemingly two inspiration theories that could be seen as quite Biblically grounded and takes the text of the text (and the implications of the belief) seriesoully, namely the Dictation theory and the Plenary Verbal Inspiration. How so?
Regarding the Dictation theory, we see that Scriptue teaches that God may have communicated a precise “word for word” message to human authors in text like Jer 26:2, Revelation 2:1,8). Also, it seems (as attested to in the synopyic problem found in tanakh and NT synoptoc gospels) that God allows for the authors of the text to speak via their own expressions of their own personalities. But does this answer the whoel question about the whole Bible? not really, and this is why the Verbal inpiration theory to be slightly more satifying than the dictaon theory.

In the verbal inspiration theory, the entire text attest to the contention that all Christians hold to in light of their theorlogy that must be considered, namly that the God of the Bible is a transendtal God that prevades history and space time and matter leaving evidence of his existence everywhere (Romans 1:18-20) to such an extent, according to the Bible, all man knows God and Gods existence is made clear to us all yet we suppress this truth in unrighoutousness. Why is this importatnt? Due to God being God, his “speach”/”word” attest to his atturbutes. This implys if true that God Himself can and does not and will not fail in getting his message across. As early in the Church histroy even, we have records that attest to such a POWER in the witness of the Scripture itself. Who said such?

Aristides, a converted Athenian philosopher, who lived and wrote about 125 AD and its interesting how he attested to this feature of the doctrine of inspiration, or as he puts “…it the power in the Scripture” that was avalible and readable in his era…

“The Christians, then, trace the beginning of their religion from Jesus the Messiah; and he is named the Son of God Most High. And it is said that God came down from heaven, and from a Hebrew virgin assumed and clothed himself with flesh; and the Son of God lived in a daughter of man. This is taught in the gospel, as it is called, which a short time was preached among them; and you also if you will read therein, may perceive the power which belongs to it. This Jesus, then, was born of the race of the Hebrews; and he had twelve disciples in order that the purpose of his incarnation might in time be accomplished. But he himself was pierced by the Jews, and he died and was buried; and they say that after three days he rose and ascended to heaven (Apol. 2).”
Notice that even well befor our modern era, the text we read changed lives and was seen to have “Precieved power that belongs to it (the Gospel)”

Not to mention the nature of the text in 1 Peter 3:15, we find that even here in the Apology of Aristides, the Scripture also teaches of itself the
BREATHING OUT of Scriptuer by God.
So as we speak, breath and have our being (in Christ as Scripture also teaches) God has inspired and preserved his text via a verbal reconizable authroty that isnt that merely of the over 40 authors of the Bible but are evidence that God inspirted and breathed out TRUTH and made that truth of himself known to us via his covenantal text we know today as the Bible.

-Courtney Thompson