Is P.Oxy. 5575 the Only Manuscript that Mixes Synoptic Material with the Gospel of Thomas?

Back in September of 2023, I published an article on the newly discovered “gospel” manuscript from Oxyrhynchus: “New ‘Gospel’ Manuscript Discovered? (What it Is and Why it Matters).”

That manuscript, labelled P.Oxy. 5575, is a small papyrus manuscript dated to the second-century that exhibits a most notable feature, namely that it apparently contains a conglomeration of material from Matthew (6:25-26, 28-33) and Luke (12:22, 24, 27-31), and this Matt/Luke material is laid alongside portions from the Gospel of Thomas (27, 36, 63).

Indeed, it is this feature that has generated all the online buzz. Why? Because this is purportedly the only known manuscript that mixes Synoptic material with material from …

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What Should We Make of the Hypothetical “Q” Source?

Students of the Gospels will know that there has been a long-standing discussion among scholars about the relationship between the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). These three Gospels are so similar at so many points (often word for word), that it raises a number of intriguing questions. Did they know each other? Did they use each other?

For generations, the dominant answer to this question has been the so-called “Two Source” hypothesis. In brief, that hypothesis argues that Mark wrote first, and then Matthew and Luke independently used Mark.  Since Matthew and Luke did not know each other (so the argument goes), then the common material they share that …

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All Gospels Are Not Created Equal: My Wall Street Journal Review of “The Apocryphal Gospels”

Most people have never read one of the “apocryphal” Gospels—that is, a gospel that was not included in our Bibles. For that matter, most people have never read one of the canonical Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  Perhaps they’ve read snippets here and there, but very few have read them straight through.

Even so, there seems to be no shortage of opinions about the nature of ancient Gospels and how they functioned in the early church.  Dramatic claims—typically filtered through blog articles and internet lore—are the order of the day.  There were hundreds of “other” Gospels in the early church, we are told. No one knew which Gospels they …

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Five “Fake News” Stories That People Believe about Early Christianity

There’s been a lot of chatter about “fake news” in recent months.  Some stories, even though they have no basis in fact, are told so often, and with such conviction, that large numbers of people end up believing them anyway.

And some of these fake news stories even dupe legitimate political figures who repeat the story without realizing it is false.  And, of course, once a mainstream political figure repeats a story then it becomes even more entrenched in the national psyche.

While some of these fake news stories are rather harmless, others have become quite dangerous.  Most famous perhaps is the “Pizza Gate” incident in 2016 where …

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Scripture in the Early Church: The 2017 Ligonier Winter Conference

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to join R.C. Sproul, Michael Haykin, and Stephen Nichols for the Ligonier 2017 Winter Conference.  The theme was “Scripture in the Early Church.”

There were a number of great sessions on a variety of topics related to early Christianity, such as “Preaching God’s Word in the Early Church,”  “Living God’s Word in the Early Church,” and “Heresy in the Early Church.

My session was on “God’s Word in the Early Church,” where I explored the unique qualities of our four gospels over against apocryphal texts like the Gospel of  Thomas.  You can watch here:…

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