7Q5 - An interesting Detail

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Line 2 is very important in the discussion whether Qumran papyrus-fragment 7Q5 is part of the gospel of Mark or not. In line 2 there is the decisive spot: the identification with the text Mk 6, 52 - 53 recommends a Ny. Actual it is impossible to detect a Ny on this spot of the fragment. To prove the supposed Ny, fragment 7Q5 was examined microscopical in Israel in the year 1992. Video recordings and printouts exist to document the examination. Below you can see such a printout, showing the decisive spot in line 2, large and in high resolution (that causes longer download-time). When you move the mouse over the green plus sign a circle will appear, marking the important spot in the fragment (Maximize the browser-window, resolution 800 x 600; I hope all different browsers understand my intention...)

Vergrößerung aus Fragment 7Q5

The supposed traces of the diagonal Ny-stroke. In fact there only is a rugged piece of papyrus. This is proven with this picture: The rugged structure continues beyond the borders of an imaginary Ny-stroke, especialle above the ´stroke´.

Very important is the beginning of a new letter that can be seen very clear in this area. It is impossible to think that in this area the diagonal Ny stroke could ´arrive´. Supporters of the markan identification reconstruct the Ny in the following way - with the diagonal Ny-stroke making a turn at exactly this place:

Das angebliche Ny in Rekonstruktion


Alpha und Kai kombiniert

The best interpretation of this part (line 2) of the document is the following sequence of letters: Iota - Alpha.
Against this interpretation supporters of the markan identification allege that the visible traces of letters exclude the possibility of the letter Alpha at this place. But this is nonsense. In line 3 an Alpha in the word "kai" can be seen. The connection (or ligature) between this nearly complete Alpha and the Kappa is not preserved. The ink-traces you can find in line 2 fit exactly in this little lacuna. On the left you can see the traces standing alone and then combined to a complete Alpha.
It is quite clear that the vertical stroke in line 2 is the letter Iota. Only the discussion whether 7Q5 is a part of the gospel of Mark made some people question this Iota. The reason is clear: They need a Ny in this place, the Iota-Alpha-sequence would make their desired identification impossible.



Stefan Enste, Juli 2002

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