Book review for “New Testament Fragments Amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls”

This is a review written by a friend of mine: R. W. Dooley:
7Qonspiracy” Quaintly Quipped”
This, the Kindle version of [[ASIN:0993141587 New Testament Fragments Amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls]], is not only the shortest and most recent of the very few books on the topic, but also the best!
This, the Print version of [[ASIN:B01GMN3WBM The Authenticity of the New Testament Fragments of Qumran]], is not only the shortest and most recent of the very few books on the topic, but also the best!
Rather than quelling the notion of conspiracy: he wryly, wisely, & judiciously quips the obviousness of the evidence into the face of Academia.  The level of Academic dishonesty today is at an all-time high.  Case in point: “The Grievance Studies Scandal” . . . for which see Quillette Magazine’s Oct. 1, 2018 article (online, which is “a platform for free thought”) wherein “Five Academics Respond” and a blizzard of others (292 so far) respond in the Comments underneath . . . .
“Fake news” is NOT just something confined to the secular arena; and in fact, the sooner Believers wake up and realize that the Sacred Arena has been under nonstop assault all along, for thousands of years, far outranking what we see in today’s secular arena, then the sooner they will drop their airs of incredulity (“disbelief”) and learn to listen patiently to dissenting voices on ALL sides of Sacred Scriptural debate.
Reckoning that I cannot out-review the “English Churchman” newsletter’s in situ appraisal of Dr. Cooper’s oral presentation of this little book’s content on May 13th 2017, I shall proceed to simply share with you THEIR Review . . . something (lamentably) most readers will probably be unaware of ever having been written . . . and then follow up with a few further recommended resources myself.
№.7978 English Churchman
Fridays, 23rd & 30th June 2017
This third article concludes our report on the superb lectures given on 13th May in Portsmouth by Dr Bill Cooper.
Having been amazed by what we had heard in the morning regarding the forgery of the Codex Sinaiticus manuscript of the New Testament so much loved by liberal scholars, how could such a session be followed? After all, hasn’t everything that needs to be said about the Dead Sea Scrolls already been said? Little did those assembled know what a treat was in store. In the afternoon Dr Cooper gave an address that truly captivated the audience. What made it all the more wonderful was how Dr Cooper was able to explain a complicated subject in a way which everyone could easily understand.
Dr Cooper began by noting that the many books written on the Dead Sea Scrolls don’t say much about the findings from Qumran Cave Seven. Though discovered in 1955 it was not until 1972 that several small papyrus fragments were first identified as being from the New Testament. Furthermore they resembled most closely the Textus Receptus, not Sinaiticus. It was Jose O’Callaghan, an internationally esteemed papyrologist, who was intrigued by these Greek fragments, held in the Rockefeller museum, Jerusalem. He first thought the fragments were from the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament, but by a painstaking search he discovered that they did not match but were from the New Testament. Dr Cooper noted that it was a very strange thing to count O’Callaghan, being a Jesuit, as one of his heroes but O’Callaghan was no ordinary Jesuit. Because of his discoveries, O’Callaghan took a tremendous amount of flak from both scholars and from his superiors. Then Dr Carsten Peter Thiede laid his own career and reputation on the line and defended O’Callaghan’s work. Thiede was a world class papyrologist, head and shoulders above his peers who savaged him.
There are nineteen fragments. The first three are from the Old Testament so we begin at the fourth, named 7Q4, being the fourth fragment from the seventh Qumran cave. O’Callaghan discovered that this was from First Timothy 3:16-4:3. It is important to understand how this is worked out as the fragment is only a few letters at the end of a few lines! The scholars count the letters which have no spaces except for paragraphs. This line and letter counting is called stichometry. Some scholars tried and failed to prove these fragments were from Enoch.
All these fragments proved to be TR, not critical text. All these fragments are from 68AD at the latest when the caves were sealed against Roman soldiers who were scouring the Qumran area for Jewish rebels. It is thought that in some caves the soldiers smashed some of the pots and threw out most of the manuscripts. The fragments remaining are the very earliest New Testament manuscript evidence.
7Q5 is, by computer analysis, Mark 6:52,53. This was even checked by Israeli forensics. One mathematician (Albert Dou) calculated that the chances of it belonging to some document other than Mark’s Gospel are more than 900,000,000,000 to 1 against!
7Q6 is from Mark 4:28 written in Herculanaeum script, indicating that it predates the Vesuvius eruption of AD79 and also that it was from a different copy than 7Q5. Kurt Aland said it exceeds all possible bounds of fantasy, but he was a leading higher critic favouring Sinaiticus. Yet this fits TR perfectly. (Ed: to know more about Aland, there is an amazing booklet available from Trinitarian Bible Society which is enough to put anybody off going anywhere near the UBS Nestle Aland text.)
We know that letters were commanded to be copied to other churches and it looks like many copies were made. “And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.” Colossians 4:16.
7Q6.2 letters fit into Acts 27:38. While 64 million words of Greek are preserved, the word ekouphizon translated “lightened” is only found in Acts 27:38, proving the early date of Acts which scholars simply refuse to accept!
7Q7 contains Mark 12:17. Dr Cooper apologised that in his book at this point there is an eta for epsilon, i.e. an incorrect vowel. Dr Cooper has shown in his book that O’Callaghan used an Alexandrian text which did not fit as accurately as the Received Text.
7Q8 is James 1:23-24. In his book, Cooper argues for a very early date and gives several reasons for the James, the brother of John, martyred in AD42, as the author.
7Q9 = Romans 5:11-12.
7Q10 = 2 Peter 1:15. This is a very important fragment as critics say that 2 Peter was written over a hundred years later, but here it is before 68AD. This is another fragment that proves the TR rather than the critical text. (Ed: Aland even wanted Peter and the Pastoral Epistles out of the Bible!)
7Q11 to 14 were all by different hands but they were too small to identify. 
7Q15 is Mark 6:48.
7Q16-18 are too small to identify.
7Q19 is a sliver of mud into which the papyrus fell so the imprint is backward. But these caves are bone dry, so this was possibly made by a soldier urinating in a cave! There are good reasons why 7Q19 appears to be a commentary on Romans. How? In Romans 1:2 Paul adds the word ‘Holy’ when describing Scripture, but he does not use the word the Jews always used, and that word is also absent in this commentary. Second Peter 3:16 says that Paul writes of things in scripture hard to understand. It appears that someone at Qumran was trying to supply this need.
A very strange matter is that cave seven no longer exists. Plans were made to excavate it but it has gone. Israeli authorities say it eroded, but how can it have done so, as nothing remains. Dr Cooper believed that when O’Callaghan published his findings it angered the critics so much. Nobody will own up. It is well guarded by the antiquities authority. Now the fragments are in the Rockefeller museum in Jerusalem. It now receives more publicity through his book. It supports the TR and predates anything the Gnostics and Alexandrians came up with afterwards. Dr Carsten Peter Thiede studied Magdalen Papyrus P64 and found it to contain parts of the Gospel of Matthew and to be by the same scribe as 7Q5.
And, Dr. Cooper’s is the ONLY resource that I’ve found to utilize Dr. Thiede’s irrefutable & unanswered clarion call to scholars worldwide in his 1994 “Biblica” article, despite Dr. Pickering’s 7Q5-Appendix still making its (obviously not updated) appearance in his 2014 edition of [[ASIN:0989827356 The Identity of the New Testament Text IV]], and despite Giuseppe Guarino’s 2015 [[ASIN:1519606028 The New Testament among the Dead Sea Scrolls: Is 7Q5 the Gospel of Mark?]] (Print) and 2017 [[ASIN:B075MGPF8W The New Testament among the Dead Sea Scrolls: Is 7Q5 a fragment of the Gospel of Mark]] (Kindle) deploying “Biblica” with even greater facility since the author is Italian.
Though this 1978 book [[ASIN:0840751214 The First New Testament]] by Mr. Estrada was mocked & marked by even ‘Conservatives’ as fodder for its ‘overzealousness’ and ‘imprudence’, it has been vindicated by Dr. Thiede, foremost papyrologist; for which see his 1992 [[ASIN:0853645078 The Earliest Gospel Manuscript?]], his 1996 [[ASIN:1563381362 Rekindling the Word: In Search of Gospel Truth]] (a collection of 19 essays including 7Q5), and his 2000 [[ASIN:0312293615 The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Jewish Origins of Christianity]].
It’s tempting to point to all his Magdalen Papyrus (“Matthew”) works as well, but that’s beyond the scope of this 7Q5 (“Mark”) book review, other than to point out how it appears that the SAME SCRIBE WROTE BOTH; and since there is 1 single work representing the latest & most visual of Thiede’s labors on not merely the Magdalen Papyrus itself but also gives the viewer an accounting of Papyrology itself + mentions 7Q5 therein, I heartily recommend the 2011 [[ASIN:B0047HXMOI Eyewitness to Jesus]] DVD, based on his 1996 book by the same name.
And if there’s any doubt left in the Critic’s incredulous mind over the ‘absolute scientificness’ of MAINSTREAM Papyrology, then let them confer Bagnall’s [[ASIN:069114026X Early Christian Books in Egypt]] which touches on 7Q5 critically but somewhat fairly; ‘somewhat’ due to his carping about ‘interference’ from ‘non-academics’ (at one point sniping at Thiede as having never been a real papyrologist) whilst insinuating that Academia is infallible (even as he marshalls forth disagreements with numerous academics!) when in fact quite the opposite is true (again see “The Grievance Studies Scandal” for a case in point).
It is interesting how many of Thiede’s works Bagnall did NOT consult; but over all, Bagnall does everyone a service in revealing the horrid mess of presupposition- & theory-land when it comes to ’emperical’ Papyrology (the same can be said of Codicology, Epigraphy, & Palaeography, unfortunately).  And in so doing, Bagnall really threw a curve ball at the Alexandrian/Critical Text camp . . . though not that they flinched.  And whatever curve ball it may have appeared to asperse upon the Byzantine/TR camp looking to 7Q4-19 as authentic N.T. papyri in their favor: Cooper’s little book allays in its own way.
However, I do wish that Dr. Cooper would have himself treated Bagnall within his own small work; or at least the one work to which Bagnall paid weighty deference: Stefan Enste’s 1999, “Qumran-Fragment 7Q5 ist nicht Markus 6,52–53” (in the Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 126; pp.189–94).
In my opinion, Bagnall’s work revealed precisely WHY the world needed Thiede in it, though I highly doubt that the preemiment papyrologist of today, Mr. Bagnall, would have wanted me to walk away from his book with that impression.  It actually helped me to see clearer how losing such a scholar of such rare intellectual integrity – in scientia & faith – as Dr. Thiede, has been SUCH a loss!
Thankfully, Dr. Cooper – who met Thiede – has stood in the gap over 7Q5 since his passing, and has even surpassed his evaluation, by demonstrating how it actually points to the *Textus Receptus Greek* rather than the Critical Greek of Thiede’s stichometry!
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(2022 Addenda):
To which could now be added, in order to buttress the Konspiratorial & UNempirical nature of Papyrology *itself*, especially & namely *Biblical* Papyrology (of which Dr. Cooper feels many favored Papyrus fragments to be modern forgeries) [to which I agree, notwithstanding my wish that he’d have responded to my email enquiry about the authenticity of the Ezekiel Tablets/Stones/Plates tucked away in Israel, which I feel to be authentic]):
• [[ASIN:030021541X God’s Library: The Archaeology of the Earliest Christian Manuscripts]]
(Nongbri’s upfront disclosure of his wife helping to keep him honest [intimating these guys have a lot of integrity issues!] is quite telling; and so are all the data bytes revealing the whole entire Egyptian Papyri Enterprise to be one of cloak & dagger dishonesty from the outset up until today!—for which consult an Amazon Review pointing out transcriptional ‘errors’ found within even the most up-to-date of Dr. Comfort’s 3rd [!] Ed. “Text of the Earliest N.T. Greek MSS”)
• [[ASIN:0385542585 Veritas: A Harvard Professor, a Con Man and the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife]]
(absolutely eviscerates the integrity of Modern Libtard ‘Scholarship’, er, that is to say, Academic Biblical Scholarship, *demonstrating* the lack of ‘absolute empericalness’ of the waffling, easily fooled Dr. Bagnall, just as I alleged back in my 2018 Review above; and if available back then, would have made a better citation than the Quillette Studies)