It was a shocking discovery and a victory for Biblical scholars – a fragment of the gospel of Mark found inside a mummy mask in Egypt. However, the discovery has atheists up in arms, and you won’t believe why.
The discovery was made in Egypt, where mummy masks were made out of recycled papyrus. When taken apart via a delamination process, the masks can yield up to 12 different fragments of antiquarian writing.
According to the Blaze, one of the masks yielded a fragment of the gospel of Mark from 80 A.D. – the earliest known fragment of that book of the Bible and putting it quite close to the life of Christ. This also goes a long way to disproving the claim that the gospels were literary inventions that took place centuries after the life of Jesus.
“To have a first-century witness to the text of the New Testament is unprecedented. That a fragment of Mark was found in Egypt is even more astonishing,” wrote Boyce College professor Denny Burk.
“That would seem to require that the original was probably penned decades before.”
Needless to say, atheists had a fit – although not over what you’d think.
Militant atheist Bart D. Ehrman took exception on Facebook to the methods being used.
“This complete disregard for the sanctity of surviving antiquities is, for many, many of us not just puzzling but flat-out distressing,” Ehrman wrote.
“It appears that the people behind and the people doing this destruction of antiquities are all conservative evangelical Christians, who care nothing about the preservation of the past – they care only about getting their paws on a small fragment of a manuscript.”
Note that nothing’s mentioned here about the genuine nature of the fragment – something Ehrman would have heretofore claimed was highly unlikely – but just that he doesn’t like archeologists doing work that might disprove his pet theories.
According to the archeologists, though, these weren’t museum quality mummy masks, and the texts inside were more valuable than the masks themselves.
Facebook users struck back, accusing Ehrman of bias.
“Dr. Bart D. Ehrman, are you suggesting that we should preserve the poorly-made halloween mask at the expense of not discovering sacred and secular historical texts?” said one user.
“The distress here seems palpable. If it is first century Mark, then it is what it is,” said another.
So much for atheists believing in science.