Not The Oldest Missing Page

It is an interesting story, but the title of it is really quite wrong. This hit a few of the blogs recently and just got posted to the biblicalist, in both places debunked. "The Independent" last month put out an article entitled "Found at Last: The World’s Oldest Missing Page." The article is interesting, so give it a read.

It is certainly not true that it is the oldest missing page. We have dozens of New Testament papyri, for example, that date earliest that are missing something. Since most are fragments of a single page, they are missing more than just a page! Or take codex Vaticanus. It was made a century earlier and is missing quite a bit more than a single page. It is also not true that this is our oldest document, which someone might surmise from the title. We have much older documents.

What may be true is that it may be our oldest dated page, but that’s only sorta true to me. We have papyri, for example, date "date" themselves by saying they were written in the whatever year of whomever was reigning at the time. That’s how they dated documents. So, I’m not sure there is anything good about how they started that story. But, like I said, it is an interesting story...if you just move past the hype of the writer.