Carbon 14 dating papyrus fragments
So palaeography doesn’t give us such specific dates.Radiocarbon dating Radiocarbon analysis is great when we’re dealing with questions of large chunks of time.
A couple things about this story made those of us who spend our days studying early Christian manuscripts scratch our heads.
So, yes, it’s time for this story to go away until some actual evidence appears in print.
But the next time we see these kinds of claims (and there probably will be a next time), it’s a good idea to keep in mind how tenuous this whole process of assigning dates to undated manuscripts really is.
For instance, radiocarbon dating showed conclusively that the Shroud of Turin was a product of the 13 century and not the first century.
But it’s less helpful when we’re talking about smaller periods of time.
That’s because radiocarbon dates (when they are reported accurately) are expressed in terms of ranges and probabilities.