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The Muratorian Fragment as Roman Fake

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image of Novum Testamentum

Today scholarship has reached an impasse as to the origin of the well-known fragment published by L. A. Muratori. Approximately half accepts a second-century Roman provenance based on views held by, for example, Adolf von Harnack and Samuel Tregelles. The other half, following Albert C. Sundberg Jr., accepts a fourth-century Eastern provenance. This paper argues that the Fragment represents an attempt to provide a venerable second-century precedent for a later position on canon. The present essay restricts itself to three aspects of the debate: (1) initial discovery; (2) Fraternity Legend and Catalogue of Heresies; and, (3) historical settings in which such a text might have emerged.

Affiliations: 1: Lewis University Chicago, ilUSA


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