Why is this so important? It has great potential to promote the Gospel! Why? Because skeptics claim that the accounts of Jesus of Nazareth are the product of legendary development. In other words they allow that He was a wise man and a good teacher but argue that the early evangelists exaggerated his life and ministry manufacturing miracles and prophetic predictions from whole cloth. The Gospel of Mark claims that Jesus was able to raise the dead (Mk 5:41) and that he predicted future events:
And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”(Mk 13:2)
While we must rely on the word of the witnesses for the raising of Jarius’ daughter, there is plenty of external evidence confirming that Jesus’ prophecy about the destruction of the temple came to pass. What we lack is proof that it was written down prior to AD 70 when it came to pass. Thus, if a manuscript of Mark is convincingly dated prior to AD 70 then we have a major authentication of Jesus’ supernatural ability. Accordingly, I expect a lot of push back on the dating of the manuscript. I pray the Lord will mercifully bless the skeptical world with more evidence as the time of His return draws near.