Mummy mask papyrus may reveal oldest-known gospel

January 21, 2015 4:56 PM

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Mummy mask papyrus may reveal oldest-known gospel

A team of researchers made a surprising find when examining a papyrus-wrapped mummy mask -- they found what they believe to be the oldest-known copy of a gospel in existence. The researchers found a fragment of the Gospel of Mark that dates back to about 90 A.D., Live Live Science reports. Previously, the oldest surviving copies of Biblical gospel texts date back to 101 to 200 A.D.

The text was written on a papyrus sheet that was later reused for the mummy mask. While the stereotypical image of ancient mummies involves bejeweled golden masks, that level of finery was only reserved for the wealthy. The mummy mask for the average person would have been made out of recycled mater...

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