December 5-6, 2013.Over 250 scholars and leaders gathered together for an event that was unprecedented on a number of levels.
What we experienced was not simply a unique event. A meeting of so many people participating in the extraction of ancient papyri had never been tried before. Everyone attending was able to see and touch ancient manuscripts few ever experience. We heard from top scholars and experts of our day on biblical manuscript discovery including the Dead Sea Scrolls. We watched as papyri were carefully extracted from ancient artifacts. That was historic!
Literally thousands of hours have gone into research both before and since the event. We participated in the extraction and identification of over 50 papyri fragments out of nearly 200 papyri that were discovered.* So far the discoveries include some of the earliest accounts of famous authors, the recovery of lost literary works, and 8 biblical and biblically-related papyri. The painstaking labor of accurately identifying the remaining fragments continues.
Some of the most exciting discoveries were biblical fragments from items Dottie and I have acquired. In these fragments was a miniature parchment dated from the late 4th century with the Coptic writing: “Seek first the Kingdom of God…” This is likely from a codex of the Gospel of Matthew chapter 6 and 7. Other Coptic-language fragments from 5c AD were portions of Jeremiah 33, Mark 15, John 14, Acts, Galatians 4 and 1 John 2 (all these are some of the oldest Coptic writings ever discovered). This is significant!
These biblical manuscript fragments will be used of God to bring many young people to Christ. I plan to take these manuscripts with me as part of the Heroic Truth Experience to help provide an a-ha experience for young people and their parents, providing hands-on exposure to ancient evidence for the historical reliability of Scripture. Pray with me that these discoveries will be blessed of God to bring people to Christ and ground believers in the true faith so they can “give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have [in Christ]” (1 Peter 3:15, NIV). This is thrilling!
Thank you again for your interest in these historic, thrilling and significant discoveries. This is a great age to spread the Gospel from God’s reliable Word!
The Bibliographical Test Update can help you understand and appreciate the incredible new manuscript discoveries. Click HERE to access the latest descriptions and photos of these discoveries and findings!
Until the Whole World Hears,
Josh D. McDowell
*Of the 200 discovered, most are owned by Scott Carroll Manuscripts and Rare Books. Until each piece is fully researched and published, we are not able to share these discoveries at this time.
Articles & Resources
Scott Carroll was on a full athletic scholarship to West Virginia University when a fellow athlete led him to Christ. Believing that God had planned full-time ministry for him, he left WVU, enrolled in Bible College, married his girlfriend Denise (whom he led to Christ), and embarked on a 10-year journey culminating with a PhD from Miami University, OH.
Over the past 20 years, he has been privileged to build the two largest privately-held collections of Bibles and Biblically-related materials in the world – the Van Kampen Collection (1990s) and most recently the Green Collection (owners of Hobby Lobby). He has been featured on television, radio and in written publications, including The New York Times and the Huffington Post. He created an exhibit called Passages, currently traveling around the United States, as well as an international exhibit at St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican in 2012 which attracted thousands of visitors.
He has published many academic articles, three books, and has been involved with the discovery and publication of many of the most significant biblical discoveries in the past 50 years.
As a university professor, Dr. Carroll has taught thousands of students and was honored as Teacher of the Year three times. He has had appointments at many institutions, including Tyndale House, Cambridge and Baylor University. He regularly lectures around the world and has been featured in various television documentaries.
Scott’s academic training included ancient history, church history, Bible, archaeology, classics, and 13 ancient languages which he uses today in identifying and preparing for publication some of the earliest biblical and classical texts known. He directed an excavation in the 1990s in Egypt of the earliest, unoccupied monastery in the world. He and Denise believe the Lord has provided him with wide-open doors to speak to the reliability of the scriptures, not only to believing audiences but at secular universities and events as well.
He and his wife have established both the Scott Carroll Manuscripts & Rare Books and a non-profit – The Manuscript Research Group, which provides access to scholars who identify and prepare for publication cuneiform tablets, papyri, Dead Sea Scrolls, biblical manuscripts and Torahs of enormous significance. They link established scholars with rising professors and doctoral students worldwide to train a new generation of scholars with a passion for the Bible. This creates new platforms in universities and countries around the world, where opportunities for this training do not exist.
He and Denise have been married for 35 years; have 4 children, one son-in-law, and a six-month old grandson
Peter Flint received his PhD (1993) in Old Testament and Second Temple Judaism from the University of Notre Dame and was Professor of Religious Studies and Co-Director of the Dead Sea Scrolls Institute at Trinity Western University in British Columbia.
He held the Canada Research Chair in Dead Sea Scrolls studies and actively promoted Scrolls studies through sponsored symposia, teaching, writing and delivering public lectures. He regularly participated in seminars and academic meetings on the Dead Sea Scrolls, Biblical topics, and the Christian faith.
He authored numerous studies on the Dead Sea Scrolls, including the critically acclaimed The Dead Sea Psalms Scrolls and the Book of Psalms (E.J. Brill, 1997). Peter was editor of the major two-volume collection The Dead Sea Scrolls After Fifty Years: A Comprehensive Assessment (E.J. Brill, 1998-99).
Dr. Flint served as a General Editor of one series on the Old Testament: The Formation and Interpretation of Old Testament Literature, (E.J. Brill), as well as three series on the Dead Sea Scrolls. He has also edited over 25 Dead Sea Scrolls for three volumes in the internationally acclaimed series Discoveries in the Judaean Desert, (Oxford University Press).
He died on November 3, 2016.
odd Hillard is the founder of Ancient Asset Investments LLC, which works closely with Scott Carroll Manuscripts & Rare Books to provide biblical antiquities to ministries, funding to nonprofits and significant tax relief to clients.
He is a husband, father, pastor and award-winning free-lance writer.
Todd specializes in Christian non-fiction, autobiographies, humor and devotionals. He also dabbles in writing magazine articles and screenwriting.
As a collaborator, Todd works from existing manuscripts, lecture notes, sermon recordings, etc. He often starts completely from scratch working from interviews to create compelling proposals and content which capture the voice and passion of the author. He has created more than a dozen trade-length books.
As an author, he can begin with an original or assigned idea, research it and complete it with a special flair of authenticity and humor.
As a 20-year veteran of faith-based non-profit organizations, he has logged thousands of hours as a lecturer, classroom instructor, small group facilitator and one-on-one mentor. His passion for the personal learning process overflows not only in his writing but also in all areas of his professional and personal life.
A trailblazer for truth and relationships, Josh has been at the forefront of cultural trends and ground-breaking ministry for over five decades.
Josh shares the essentials of the Christian faith in everyday language so youth, families, churches, leaders and individuals of all ages are prepared for the life of faith and the work of the ministry.
After his conversion to Christianity, his plans for law school turned to plans to tell a doubting world about the truth of Jesus Christ. Josh completed his bachelor’s degree at Wheaton College and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Talbot Theological Seminary with a Master’s of Divinity. He received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Simon Greenleaf School of Law.
Since 1961, Josh has delivered more than 27,000 talks to over 25,000,000 people in 125 countries. He is the author or co-author of 140 books, including More Than a Carpenter and New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, recognized by World Magazine as one of the top 40 books of the twentieth century. Josh’s books are available in over 100 different languages.
Josh and his wife, Dottie, are quick to acknowledge that after their love for the Lord, family is their greatest joy and top priority. They have been married for 42 years and have four wonderful children and eight beloved grandchildren.
Sean McDowell is a gifted communicator with a passion for reaching the younger generation with the Gospel message. He connects with youth in a tangible way through humor and stories while imparting hard evidence and logical support for viewing all areas of life through a Biblical worldview. He recently joined Biola University’s Master of Arts Program in Christian Apologetics as an assistant professor. Beginning Spring 2014, he will begin regular teaching of graduate students in courses such as “Scripture, Authority – Canon, and Criticism,” “In Defense of the Resurrection,” and “Comparative Religions.” Concurrently, he serves as Head of the Bible Department at Capistrano Valley Christian Schools where he teaches an honors Bible class.
As a high school teacher, Sean has exceptional insight into the prevailing culture and imparts his observations poignantly to fellow educators, pastors, and parents alike. In 2008 he received Educator of the Year award for San Juan Capistrano, California. His apologetics training was awarded Exemplary Status by the Association of Christian Schools International. Sean is listed among the top 100 apologists. He graduated summa cum laude from Talbot Theological Seminary with a double master’s degree in Theology and Philosophy. He is pursuing a PhD in Apologetics and Worldview Studies from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Traveling throughout the United States and abroad, Sean speaks at camps, churches, schools, universities, and conferences. He has spoken for organizations including Focus on the Family, the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, Campus Crusade for Christ, Youth Specialties, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Association of Christian Schools International. Sean has also appeared as a guest on radio shows such as Focus on the Family, Point of View, Converse with Scholars, Stand to Reason as well as shows hosted by Hugh Hewitt, Michael Reagan, and others.
Sean recently released GodQuest, a six week DVD-based curriculum complete with fiction and non-fiction books and a workbook. He is the co-author of Is God Just a Human Invention?, Understanding Intelligent Design with William A. Dembski, Experience Your Bible, The Unshakable Truth: How You Can Experience the Twelve Essentials of a Relevant Faith, Evidence for the Resurrection and More Than A Carpenter with his father, Josh McDowell. Sean is the General Editor for Apologetics for a New Generation and The Apologetics Study Bible for Students. He has also written Ethix: Being Bold in a Whatever World, and has contributed to YouthWorker Journal, Decision Magazine, and the Christian Research Journal. Follow the dialogue with Sean as he blogs regularly at www.conversantlife.com.
In April, 2000, Sean married his high school sweetheart, Stephanie. They have three children and live in San Juan Capistrano, California. Sean played college basketball at Biola University and was the captain his senior year on a team that went 30-7. He likes to brag about his ping-pong skills.
The career of Father Columba Stewart links the ancient past with current events in the world’s most volatile regions. His travels are a stark contrast to the steady routine of Benedictine monastic life in Minnesota. He is the executive director of the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML) at Saint John’s University in Collegeville, MN, dedicated to the preservation and study of humanity’s manuscript heritage.
Since 2003, Father Columba has traveled throughout the Middle East, Horn of Africa, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and South India, cultivating relationships with monastic, ecclesiastical, and academic communities possessing manuscript collections from the antique, medieval and early modern periods. He has overseen the expansion of HMML’s preservation projects from one project in Lebanon to projects located in nine countries.
During the last decade, HMML has photographed 40,000+ manuscripts in many of the world’s most dangerous and difficult-to-reach places. HMML also seeks to preserve the manuscript collections of persecuted minorities, and has conducted quiet but extensive projects to digitize manuscripts belonging to remnants of Armenian and Syrian communities that survived the 1915-1922 massacres in Turkey.
In February 2009, Father Columba was in Iraq to explore manuscript preservation with Assyrian and Chaldean Christian leaders displaced by war and terrorism and subsequently secured a major digitization effort across the country. He will also be digitizing major manuscript collections in Ethiopia’s ancient and threatened Christian culture. HMML has also partnered with libraries of Islamic manuscripts in Harar, Ethiopia and the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel.
A graduate of Harvard, Yale, and Oxford universities, Father Columba has been published extensively in the field of early Christian monasticism. In 2009-2010 he was the recipient of a research fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and a residential fellowship in Byzantine Studies at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library in Washington, DC. Father Columba has made HMML a charter member of the World Digital Library, a project between the United States Library of Congress, UNESCO, and 30 libraries and archives.
He is a member of the International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and Oriental Orthodox Churches. Under his leadership, HMML was awarded the 2011 National Medal of Honor from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) —the highest award a library can receive in the United States. In 2012, HMML received a National Leadership Grant from the IMLS to create vHMML, an online environment for manuscript studies in several languages.
Dan Wallace has taught New Testament Greek for 25+ years at Dallas Theological Seminary. He is also the founder and Executive Director of the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (www.csntm.org), dedicated to digitally photographing all surviving Greek New Testament manuscripts and posting them free on-line so scholars may research them. It’s an enormous task, with 2.6 million pages of texts to photograph. In the past ten years, CSNTM staff have discovered 70 Greek New Testament manuscripts – more than all other institutes and individuals combined.
Dan earned a Bachelor of Arts at Biola University, and a ThM and a PhD from Dallas Seminary. He has done postdoctoral study at Cambridge University; the Institut für neutestamentliche Textforschung; Tübingen University; Glasgow University; St. Andrews University; Macquarrie University; Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, as well as various libraries and monasteries worldwide and is a member of several scholarly societies.
Dr. Wallace has been interviewed by Christianity Today, the Wall Street Journal, US News and World Report, Boston Globe, Forbes, and many others. His television/film appearances include The John Ankerberg Show; Day of Discovery; The DayStar’s Celebration!; WFAA News (Dallas ABC affiliate); Jesus Film; Coral Ridge Program; CBN News; and scores of radio shows and websites including Moody Broadcasting Network, and an Arabic Christian website in Alexandria, Egypt.
He has written or contributed to almost three dozen books. His Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics is the standard intermediate/advanced Greek grammar for New Testament studies in the English-speaking world. As an internationally known Greek New Testament scholar, Wallace has been a consultant for four Bible translations—ESV, TNIV, NKJV, and NET. He has also contributed articles to the ESV Study Bible and the Holman Christian Standard Study Bible.
In 2008, he debated Bart D. Ehrman on the reliability of the New Testament manuscripts as witnesses to the original text at New Orleans Baptist Seminary. They met again at Southern Methodist University on Oct 1, 2011 before the largest crowd ever assembled (1,425 people) to witness a debate on textual criticism (available on DVD). Their third debate was at Dr. Ehrman’s school, UNC Chapel Hill, on Feb 1, 2012.
Dan is a fourth-generation Californian, who grew up in Newport Beach and was transplanted against his will to Texas. Dan and his wife, Pati, have been married 39 years. They met at Biola University and within minutes stole a car! They have four adult sons and three wonderful daughters-in-law. They also have two dogs and one cat. They like the dogs.
Dr. Christian A. Widener is an associate professor with a joint appointment in the mechanical engineering and metallurgical and materials engineering departments at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSM&T).
He is the Director of the Arbegast Materials Processing and Joining Laboratory (AMP), a cutting-edge research facility dedicated to additive manufacturing (3-D printing) and metals processing, joining, and cladding technologies. Dr. Widener also directs the Advanced Manufacturing Process Technology Center (AMPTEC), a South Dakota Governor’s Research Center, which focuses on using advanced manufacturing processes for additive manufacturing and repair for industrial and defense-related applications.
Dr. Widener received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Wichita State University in 2005, and has more than 50 publications and international conference proceedings on properties, applications development, and repair using friction stir welding and cold spray technologies.
Christian has been a follower of Jesus Christ and a student of His Word for more than 25 years. He also has a passion for evangelism, apologetics, eschatology and the scientific defense of Scripture.