THE UNKNOWN GOSPEL: Egerton Papyrus 2

The Reading Culture of Early Christianity From Spoken Words to Sacred Texts 400,000 Textual Variants 02

Please Help Us Keep These Thousands of Blog Posts Growing and Free for All

$5.00

Edward D. Andrews
EDWARD D. ANDREWS (AS in Criminal Justice, BS in Religion, MA in Biblical Studies, and MDiv in Theology) is CEO and President of Christian Publishing House. He has authored over 140 books. Andrews is the Chief Translator of the Updated American Standard Version (UASV).

Really, for Christians, there should be no surprise that there have been papyrus manuscripts discovered that contain the sayings of Jesus that are not exactly the same as that of our canonical Gospels. The apostle John himself wrote in 98 C.E. “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books[106] that would be written.” (John 21:25) Luke also infers this in his Gospel introduction when he writes, “Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, … it seemed good to me also, having followed all things accurately from the beginning, to write an orderly account for you …” – Luke 1:1-3.

At Oxyrhynchus, Egypt in 1897 papyrologists Grenfell and Hunt discovered from a rubbish mound, a single damaged papyrus leaf. It was determined that it was from a Greek codex of the third century [200-300] containing supposed sayings of Jesus. The fragment, like many others, is commonly referred to as Oxyrhynchus Papyrus (e.g., P.Oxy.LXI 4183, P.Oxy.LXI 4230, P.Oxy.LXI 4099) based on the location of the discovery. An English translation reads:

The P52 PROJECT THE NEW TESTAMENT DOCUMENTS 4th ed. MISREPRESENTING JESUS

“Jesus saith, ‘Except ye fast to the world, ye shall in no wise find the kingdom of God; and except you make the sabbath a real sabbath, ye shall not see the Father.’ Jesus saith, ‘I stood in the midst of the world, and in the flesh was I seen of them, and I found all men drunken, and none found I athirst among them, and my soul grieveth over the sons of men, because they are blind in their heart, and see not.’ Jesus saith, ‘A prophet is not acceptable in his own country, neither doth a physician work cures upon them that know him.’ Jesus saith, ‘A city built upon the top of a high hill and established, can neither fall nor be hid.’”[1]

We notice that the first supposed two sayings of Jesus are extra-biblical. In other words, thee is no connection to the canonical Gospels. Numerous scholars have claimed that these are some of the “many other things” to which John refers to in John 21:25, which were never recorded in the canonical Bible. Now, if we look at the saying, part of which says, “A prophet is not acceptable in his own country,” it is comparable to Matthew 13:57. However, the rest of it is a part of the “many other things” to which John may have been referring. The fourth saying is quite similar to Matthew 5:14.

There was yet another discovery of “sayings” that came to light in 1934 when the British Museum, London, obtained a number of papyri fragments from a dealer. Within these fragments were some of an ‘unknown life of Jesus,’ which was written in a hand that has been date to about 150 C.E. In 1935, H. I. Bell and T. C. Skeat, who were librarians at the British Museum, working as Assistant Keepers of the manuscripts, published the photostats of the three leaves that had been discovered. As it happened these were part of an old Greek codex that had originated in Egypt. These fragmentary pages are now known as “Egerton Papyrus 2.” 

APOSTOLIC FATHERS Lightfoot APOSTOLIC FATHERS I AM John 8.58

Together they comprise one of the oldest surviving witnesses to any gospel or any codex. The British Museum lost no time in publishing the text: acquired in the summer of 1934, it was in print in 1935. It is also called them the Unknown Gospel, as no ancient source makes reference to it, in addition to being entirely unknown before its publication. The fragmentary manuscript forms part of the Egerton Collection in the British Library. A fourth fragment of the same manuscript has since been identified in the papyrus collection of the University of Cologne.

The surviving fragments include four stories: (1) a controversy similar to John 5:39-47 and 10:31-39; (2) curing a leper similar to Matt 8:1-4, Mark 1:40-45, Luke 5:12-16 and Luke 17:11-14; (3) a controversy about paying tribute to Caesar analogous to Matt 22:15-22, Mark 12:13-17, Luke 20:20-26; and (4) an incomplete account of a miracle on the Jordan River bank, perhaps carried out to illustrate the parable about seeds growing miraculously. The latter story has no equivalent in the canonical Gospels:

Jesus walked and stood on the bank of the Jordan river; he reached out his right hand, and filled it…. And he sowed it on the… And then…water…and…before their eyes; and it brought forth fruit…many…for joy…

Egerton Papyrus 2 (150 C.E.) Verso θC

300px-Nomina_sacra_IC_XC_2
Nomina sacra IC XC, from the Greek ΙΗΣΟΥΣ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ (Jesus Christ – the letter C on the icon being koine Greek Σ). Detail from an icon at the Troyan Monastery in Bulgaria.

The Nomina Sacra

This Greek text, especially with the early dating of 150 C.E., evidences a scribal custom that had recently developed. The scribes used suspensions (ΙΗ ΧΡ. Ἰησοῦς Χριστός [Jesus Christ]) or contractions (ΘΣ, Θεός, Theos, God), to which he would place a bar over the entire name (OKC), for sacred names and words (nomina sacra). Nomina Sacra (singular: nomen sacrum from Latin sacred name): In early Christian scribal practices (how early we cannot know), there was the abbreviation of several frequently occurring divine names or titles within the Greek manuscripts. The very earliest copyists used a special form for the divine names: kurios (Lord), Iēsous (Jesus), Christos (Christ), theos (God), and pneuma (Spirit). In time, the list grew to fifteen names or words.

Nomina Sacra List

9781949586121 BIBLE DIFFICULTIES THE NEW TESTAMENT DOCUMENTS

It should be noted that “the nomina sacra for Lord, Jesus, Christ, God, and Spirit are present in all extant second-century New Testament manuscripts where one or more of these nomina sacra are extant. The following second-century manuscripts that clearly show these nomina sacra are as follows:

  • P4+P64+P67Matthew, Luke
  • P32Titus
  • P46Paul’s Epistles
  • P66John
  • P75Luke, John
  • P90John”
Nomina Sacra_in_Codex_Vaticanus_John_1
Two nomina sacra are highlighted, ΙΥ and ΘΥ, representing Jesus and God respectively, in this passage from John 1 in Codex Vaticanus (B), 4th century

This practice by the Christian scribes followed the custom of the Jewish scribes and their rendering of the Tetragrammaton or sacred name יהוה [JHVH] in Greek by the words kyrios (“Lord”) without the definite article and theos (“God”) with only the first and last letters written and a stroke above them. However, P4+P64+P67 dates to (150-175 C.E.), P32 dates to (150-200 C.E.), P46 dates to 150 C.E.), P66 dates to about (150 C.E.), P75 dates to about (175 C.E.), and P90 dates to (150-200 C.E.). This means that the nomina sacra for Lord, Jesus, Christ, God, and Spirit are standard by 150 C.E. Which would suggest that, after the death of the last apostle John died in about 100 C.E., more than just division started to set in, as the apostles had really served as a restraint against the great apostasy that was about to come. Now, this little excursion into an area that might seem totally unrelated is just to say, we cannot know what the authors penned in their autographs, nor the first generation of copyists, based on mid-late second-century manuscripts. Why? The phenomena of the standardization of the nomina sacra only need about fifty-years to take place. Of course, John wrote his Gospel and three letters between 96-98 C.E. so we can say that his writings would have been closest. The other books all date prior to 70 C.E.

Egerton Papyrus 2 Recto OKC

Again, the first four nominal sacra were (‘Jesus,’ ‘God,’ ‘Lord,’ and ‘Christ’) in the earliest extant manuscripts that we have. It is possible that the personal name of the Father, Jehovah, could be designated in the Greek as OKCandθCand were the first attempts at the nomina sacra.[2] The Christian scribes soon thereafter expanded the list of abbreviations that included the following: OKC ho kyrios with a definite article applying to Jesus, not the Father? Followed by (IH) (Iesous, Jesus). Was the initial attempt with OKCthe title for the father replacing the Tetragrammaton or sacred name יהוה in Greek without the definite article? Also,θC, the title for the father replacing the Tetragrammaton or sacred name יהוה in Greek? In addition, we have PRA (patera, father) and Moses(Moÿses, Moses).[3] It is certainly an anomaly that we find Moses’ name abbreviated by suspension (the first two letters) here in P Egerton 2 similar to how Jesus’ name is treated. Comfort writes, “Scattered across the pages of nearly every extant Greek New Testament manuscript can be seen the following nomina sacra.” (Encountering the Manuscripts, 2005, 199). The contraction or suspended word would have a bar over it.

ΚΣ for κυριος (Kurios) = Lord
ΙΗ or ΙΗΣ for ιησους (lēsous) = Jesus
ΧΡ or ΧΣ or ΧΡΣ for χριστος (Christos) = Christ
ΘΣ for θεος (theos) = God
ΠΝΑ for πνευμα (pneuma) = Spirit

English Bible Versions King James Bible KING JAMES BIBLE II

George Howard argues that κς (κύριος) and θς (θεός) were the initial nomina sacra, created by non-Jewish Christian scribes who “found no traditional reasons to preserve the Tetragrammaton” in copies of the Septuagint. Larry W. Hurtado, following Colin Roberts, rejects that claim in favor of the theory that the first was ιη (Ἰησσῦς), as suggested in the Epistle of Barnabas, followed by the analogous χρ (Χριστός), and later by κς and θς, at about the time when the contracted forms ις and χς were adopted for the first two. It is possible that the personal name of the Father, Jehovah, could be designated in the Greek as κς (κύριος) and θς (θεός) and were the first attempts at the nomina sacra. Comfort writes,

The nomina sacra are also present in Greek Old Testament manuscripts and other Christian writings produced by Christians. This includes several second-century manuscripts noted below:

P. Chester Beatty VI, Numbers, Deuteronomy
P. Baden 4.56 (P. Heidelberg inv. 8), Exodus and Deuteronomy
P. Antinoopolis 7, Psalms
PSI 921, Psalms
P. Oxyrhynchus 1074, Exodus
P. Chester Beatty Papyrus VIII, Jeremiah
P. Chester Beatty Papyrus IX, Ezekiel, Daniel, Esther

Other Christian writings also use nomina sacra:

P. Geneva 253, Christian homily
P. Egerton 2, Unknown Gospel
P. Oxyrhynchus 405, fragment of Irenaeus
P. Oxyrhynchus 406, Christian homily

PAUL AND LUKE ON TRIAL PAUL AND LUKE ON TRIAL PAUL AND LUKE ON TRIAL

One of the main reasons we know that the Old Testament manuscripts are Christian manuscripts and not Jewish is the presence of nomina sacra in the text. Significantly, not one copy of the Greek Old Testament found at Qumran has these nomina sacra because this was a Jewish, not a Christian community. Jews never wrote nomina sacra the way Christians did; the Jews did things differently for one divine name and one divine name only: Yahweh. Jewish scribes would frequently write this in its Hebrew contracted form (even in paleo-Hebrew letters) and then continue on with the Greek text. Christians used κυριος (kurios = Lord) in place of Yahweh (YHWH) and wrote it in nomen sacrum form. Many Greek Old Testament manuscripts produced by Christians display this nomen sacrum. This can be seen in all six second-century Greek Old Testament manuscripts noted above. – Philip Comfort, Encountering the Manuscripts: An Introduction to New Testament Paleography & Textual Criticism (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 2005), 202.

Egerton Papyrus 2 (150 C.E.) Verso Moses Father

Take a look at the image below at “1 verso” and note PRA in line 12, Moses in line 13 and θC in line 16. Next look at “1 recto” and note OKC in line 9 and (IH) in line 12. However, we do not have Kyrios without the definite article, which would apply to the Father in the fragments. Really, we can say that it is likely that 150 C.E. was entering the time of standardization of the nomina sacra that would grow in sacred names and words.

Egerton Papyrus 2_02Sir Frederic Kenyon, was a British palaeographer and biblical and classical scholar, comments on these fragments. “They contain four episodes in the life of our Lord, told quite simply, and therefore unlike the exaggerated and fanciful style of later apocryphal gospels, and in language showing strong affinities, sometimes with the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) and sometimes with the Fourth Gospel (John). The exact wording is often left doubtful by the mutilation of the papyrus, but the main drift of three out of the four episodes is clear.”[4] The superior verse below provided by Edward D. Andrews into Bell and Skeat’s translation is his notes indicating those portions paralleled in the Biblical accounts.)

Egerton Gospel Translation

The Unknown Gospel Egerton Papyrus 2 + Cologne Papyrus 255 Fragment 1: Verso (?)

. . . ? And Jesus said] unto the lawyers, [? Punish] every wrongdoer and transgessor, and not me; . . . . . And turning to the rulers of the people he spake this saying, Search the scriptures, in which ye think that ye have life; these are they which bear witness of me. [John 5:39.] Think not that I came to accuse you to my Father; there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, on whom ye have set your hope. [John 5:45] And when they said, We know well that God spake unto Moses, but as for thee, we know not whence thou art, [John 9:29] Jesus answered and said unto them, Now is your unbelief accused …

Fragment 1: Recto (?)

… ? they gave counsel to] the multitude to [? carry the] stones together and stone him. [John 8:59; 10:31] And the rulers sought to lay their hands on him that they might take him and [? hand him over] to the multitude; and they could not take him, because the hour of his betrayal was not yet come. [John 7:30] But he himself, even the Lord, going out through the midst of them, departed from them. [Luke 4:30] And behold, there cometh unto him a leper and saith, Master Jesus, journeying with lepers and eating with them in the inn I myself also became a leper. If therefore thou wilt, I am made clean. The Lord then said unto him, I will; be thou made clean. And straightway the leprosy departed from him. [And the Lord said unto him], Go [and shew thyself] unto the [priests . . .

Fragment 2: Recto (?)

. . . coming unto him began to tempt him with a question, saying, Master Jesus, we know that thou art come from God, [John 3:2; Matt. 22:16] for the things which thou doest testify above all the prophets. [John 10:25] Tell us therefore: Is it lawful [? to render] unto kings that which pertaineth unto their rule? [Shall we render unto them], or not? [Matt. 22:17] But Jesus, knowing their thought, [Matt. 9:4] being moved with indignation, said unto them, Why call ye me with your mouth Master, when ye hear not what I say? [Luke 6:46] Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, This people honour me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. In vain do they worship me, [teaching as their doctrines the] precepts [of men] [Matt. 15:7-9] . . .

Fragment 2: Verso (?)

. . . shut up . . . in . . . place . . . its weight unweighed? And when they were perplexed at his strange question, Jesus, as he walked, stood still on the edge of the river Jordan, and stretching forth his right hand he . . . and sprinkled it upon the . . . And then . . . water that had been sprinkled . . . before them and sent forth fruit . . . Translation reprinted from: H.I. Bell and T.C. Skeat, Fragments of an Unknown Gospel and Other Early Christian Papyri (London: Oxford University Press, 1935).

Dating the Manuscript

Papyrus Köln 255, University of Cologne
Papyrus Köln 255, University of Cologne

The date of the manuscript is established on paleography alone. When the Egerton fragments were first published its date was estimated at around 150 CE;[5] implying that of early Christian papyri it would be rivaled in age only by P52, the John Rylands Library fragment of the Gospel of John. Later, when an additional papyrus fragment of the Egerton Gospel text was identified in the University of Cologne collection (Papyrus Köln 255) and published in 1987, it was found to fit on the bottom of one of the British Library papyrus pages. In this additional fragment, a single use of a hooked apostrophe in between two consonants was observed, a practice that became standard in Greek punctuation at the beginning of the 3rd century; and this sufficed for some to revise the date of the Egerton manuscript. This study placed the manuscript to around the time of Bodmer Papyri P66, noting that Eric Turner had confirmed the paleographic dating of P66 as around 200 A.D., citing use of the hooked apostrophe in that papyrus in support of this date. However, this author and others would date P66 to c. 150 A.D.[6]

Michael Gronewald argues that P52 should be dated no earlier than 200 C.E. based on his analysis of P.Köln VI 255, using the hooked apostrophe in recto line 3 to support his redating of P52. To reinforce this argument Gronewald turned to a comment by Eric Gardner Turner an English papyrologist in Greek Manuscripts, suggesting with certainty (certainty when it suits them) that the apostrophe between mute consonants (e.g., lamb) was a feature of the third-century (200-300) C.E. However, Turner actually said, “In the first decade of iii AD this practice [using an apostrophe between two consonants] suddenly becomes extremely common and then persists.” Notice here what Turner does not say, he was not saying that this practice was not taking place in the second century at all but rather it became “extremely common and then persists” in the third century. Then Turner goes on to give examples of using a hooked apostrophe between two consonants from the second century: BGU III 715.5 (101 A.D.) and P.Petaus 86.11 (184/85 A.D.) and SB XIV 11342.11 (193 A.D.). Even P66 that has been dated to 150-200 A.D. has a hooked apostrophe between two consonants, αγ’γελους. Turner states, this practice of a hooked apostrophe between two consonants “is not normally written in documents till iii AD” – Turner, Greek Manuscripts, 108. (bold and underline mine)

English Bible Versions King James Bible KING JAMES BIBLE II The Challenge Of Translating Truth

The revised dating for the Egerton Papyrus 2 continues to carry wide support among most of the new textual scholars. However, Stanley Porter has reviewed the dating of the Egerton Papyrus 2 alongside that of P52; noting that the scholarly consensus dating the former to the turn of the third century and the latter to the first half of the second century was contra-indicated by close paleographic similarities of the two manuscripts.[7] The 1987 redating of the Egerton Papyrus had rested on a comment made by Eric Turner in 1971 (albeit that Turner himself had continued until his death in 1983 to accept a mid-second century date for the Egerton Papyrus), “in the first decade of III AD this practice (of using an apostrophe between two consonants, such as double mutes or double liquids) suddenly becomes extremely common, and then persists.”[8] Porter notes that Turner had then nevertheless advanced several earlier dated examples of the practice from the later second century, and one (BGU III 715.5) dated to 101 CE. Porter proposes that, notwithstanding the discovery of the hooked apostrophe in P. Köln 255, the original editors’ proposal of a mid-second century date for the Egerton Papyrus accords better with the paleographic evidence of dated comparator documentary and literary hands for both P52 and this papyrus “the middle of the second century, perhaps tending towards the early part of it.”

Simon Gathercole, The Earliest Manuscript Title of Matthew’s Gospel, Novum Testamentum 54 (2012) 209 -235

Article Abstract: A flyleaf bearing the title of Matthew’s gospel, found with the Luke fragments of P4 (henceforth P4), has been neglected in studies of P4 as well as in editions of the Greek New Testament. This article publishes for the first time a photograph of the flyleaf, and seeks to provide an accurate transcription of the often misspelled title. It also discusses the various factors impinging upon the date of the fragment, such as the Philo codex in which it was found and the apostrophe in the middle of Matthew’s name. A date in the late second or early third century makes best sense of the evidence, making this neglected flyfleaf the earliest manuscript title of Matthew’s gospel. Within this article is a lengthy discussion about the scribal habit of using an apostrophe between two consonants that was developing in the second century and became “extremely common and then persists” in the third century. This ties in with our discussion here in P. Egerton 2, the Unknown Gospel, and the redating of P52. Simon Gathercole’s article is excellent and very objective but I feel some observations need to be made. Thus, below are highlights from his article along with my responses

ARTICLE QUOTE: Turner and Parsons have commented: “In the first decade of iii A.D. this practice suddenly becomes extremely common and then persists.” (Page 227).

ARTICLE QUOTE: Oxford Handbook of Papyrology remarking that “in the third century CE, the habit arose of placing an apostrophe between doubled mutes or liquids,” (Page 228).

RESPONSE: Turner said, “In the first decade of iii AD this practice [using an apostrophe between two consonants] suddenly becomes extremely common and then persists.” Notice here what Turner does not say, he was not saying that this practice was not taking place in the second century at all but rather it became “extremely common and then persists” in the third century. Then Turner goes on to give examples of using a hooked apostrophe between two consonants from the second century.

ARTICLE QUOTE: Comfort and Barrett are the two scholars (writing collaboratively) who have ventured to question the consensus view. As a result of some of these considerations outlined above, they remark: “This title sheet was probably produced around a.d. 175-200 because that is when it became stylish for scribes to insert a hooked comma (apostrophe) between double consonants—as here, between the thetas.” (Page 230).

RESPONSE: Gathercole is about to question the wording from Comfort, “it became stylish.” But notice turner again arguing for the third century, [became “extremely common and then persists”] and now Comfort, “became stylish.” What Comfort meant was that using an apostrophe between two consonants was developing in the second century and Turner is correct that it was in the third century that it became “extremely common and then persists.” I will show this to be true after the next quote.

ARTICLE QUOTE: First, the reasons given by Comfort and Barrett for assigning a probable second century date are clearly problematic. Both the facts and the logic are faulty: it is not really true that the habit “became stylish” in the second century, and even if it had, a particular instance in a particular manuscript cannot with probability be assigned to the time when the habit first became fashionable. (Page 230-1).

RESPONSE: Then, this would be true of when it became “extremely common and then persists” too. I mean really, Comfort is only saying when it was being developed. This, if you argue that it was the third century when using an apostrophe between two consonants became “extremely common and then persists;” then, it only seems like common sense that with numerous examples from the second century, it was developing.

On this Philip Comfort offers us a reasonable view, when he writes,

Turner indicates that another feature began in the early third century, namely, the use of a separating apostrophe between double consonants. Some paleographers of late seem to have adopted this observation as “fact” and thereby date manuscripts having this feature as post AD 200. Some paleographers would even redate manuscripts displaying this feature. For example, Schmidt redates P52 to ca. 200 based on the fact that its hand parallels that of the Egerton Gospel, which is now thought by some to date closer to ca. 200 based on this feature appearing in a newly published portion of the Egerton Gospel. However, I would argue that the previously assigned date of such manuscripts was given by many scholars according to their observations of several paleographic features. Thus, the presence of this particular feature (the hook or apostrophe between double consonants) determines an earlier date for its emergence, not the other way around. Thus, the Egerton Gospel, dated by many to ca. 150, should still stand, and so should the date for P52 (as early second century). Another way to come at this is to look at P66, dated by several scholars to ca. 150 (see discussion below). Turner, however, would date P66 later (early third) largely because of the presence of the hook between double consonants. What I would say is that the predominant dating of P66 (i.e., the dating assigned by most scholars) predetermines the date for this particular feature. Furthermore, there are other manuscripts dated prior to AD 200 that exhibit the apostrophe or hook between double consonants:

1. BGU iii 715.5 (AD 101)
αγ’χωριμφις
2. P. Petaus 86 (= P. Michigan 6871) (AD 185)
αγ’γων
3. SPP xxii 3.22 (second century)
απυγ’χεως
4. P. Berol. 9570 + P. Rylands 60 (dated by the editors of the editio princeps to ca. 200, dated by Cavallo to ca. 50)
φαλαγ’γας[9]

ARTICLE QUOTE: In these cases above, the apostrophe is often treated not merely as a deciding factor in favour of a third century hand all other things being equal. Rather, it is regarded by some as alone sufficient to indicate a third century date, and to outweigh the other factors indicating an earlier timeframe. (Page 233).

RESPONSE: Herein lies the problem. Using an apostrophe between two consonants was developing in the second century and became “extremely common and then persists” in the third century, so we ignore the fact that is was developing and existed in the second century and start redating everything based on an apostrophe, even though prior to many scholars for many reasons dated the manuscripts earlier. I will return to this in a moment.

ARTICLE QUOTE: It is extremely difficult to evaluate the relative merits of these arguments. Perhaps one should at most conclude that the appearance of the apostrophe cannot be assigned quite the decisive significance it has had in some recent discussions. On the other side, neither should one rush to argue that an apostrophe is as likely to be second century as third. (Page 233).

RESPONSE: No one is arguing that an apostrophe is as likely, just likely, and when coupled with the other reasons for an early date, the early date should stand.

ARTICLE QUOTE: Overall, the presence of the apostrophe in the flyleaf might well play a role in nudging the date into the third century, but it should not play an absolutely decisive role. (Page 233).

RESPONSE: Agreed. But once again, you had many world-renowned scholars date some manuscripts one way and then based on an apostrophe that was developing and did exist in the second century, they redate because it became “extremely common and then persists” in the third century

ARTICLE QUOTE: The giants in the field of papyrology commonly state that the apostrophe as a consonant divider is a feature almost exclusively belonging to the third century CE and beyond. (Page 227).

RESPONSE: Usually, either side would say this is a fallacy of arguing from authority. But I can say it has to add some weight but the evidence they present is the real evidence. So, if we are going to argue “giants in the field of papyrology” then let’s do it.

World-Renowned Paleographers and Textual Scholars Date P52 Early

  • 100-150 C.H. Roberts
  • 100-150 Sir Frederic G. Kenyon
  • 100-150 W. Schubart
  • 100-150 Sir Harold I. Bell
  • 100-150 Adolf Deissmann
  • 100-150 E. G. Turner
  • 100-150 Ulrich Wilken
  • 100-150 W. H. P. Hatch
  • 125-175 Kurt and Barbara Aland
  • 100-150: Philip W. Comfort
  • 100-150 Bruce M. Metzger
  • 100-150 Daniel B. Wallace
  • 125-175 Pasquale Orsini
  • 125-175 Willy Clarysse

The New Uncertain and Ambiguous Minded Textual Scholars Date P52

  • 175-225 Brent Nongbri
  • 200-300 Michael Gronewald

English Bible Versions English Bible Versions English Bible Versions

P52 and the Nomina Sacra

Larry W. Hurtado

Whether P52 did or did not have some nomina sacra form of Ιησους is a relatively small matter that can be addressed only on the basis of the sort of highly detailed observations that I have urged here. The larger concern that I underscore here is the importance of following an adequate method in dealing with such questions. My fundamental point is that sound method requires a rather thorough acquaintance with the scribal features of early Christian manuscripts in general, and particular attention to all the scribal features of any manuscript about which we seek to judge probabilities. – P52 (P. RYLANDS GK. 457) AND THE NOMINA SACRA_METHOD AND PROBABILITY

World-Renowned Paleographers and Textual Scholars Date P52 Early

  • 100-150 C.H. Roberts
  • 100-150 Sir Frederic G. Kenyon
  • 100-150 W. Schubart
  • 100-150 Sir Harold I. Bell
  • 100-150 Adolf Deissmann
  • 100-150 E. G. Turner
  • 100-150 Ulrich Wilken
  • 100-150 W. H. P. Hatch
  • 125-175 Kurt and Barbara Aland
  • 100-150: Philip W. Comfort
  • 100-150 Bruce M. Metzger
  • 100-150 Daniel B. Wallace
  • 125-175 Pasquale Orsini
  • 125-175 Willy Clarysse

The New Uncertain and Ambiguous Minded Textual Scholars Date P52

  • 175-225 Brent Nongbri
  • 200-300 Michael Gronewald

In New Testament textual studies, there are but two ways to make a name for oneself as a textual scholar. (1) The person would have to make a discovery that overwhelms the scholarly world in the extreme. (2) The person has to take a view or a position on something and then go out and find evidence that changes that view or position. Brent Nongbri seems to be trying (2) in his efforts to have his place within the history of New Testament Textual Studies. In 2120, scholars can look back at who changed the dates of the early papyri.

From Spoken Words to Sacred Texts From Spoken Words to Sacred Texts From Spoken Words to Sacred Texts

In Conclusion

In short, concerning the sayings of Jesus that were not part of the canonical Gospels, they can be viewed with mere curiosity because they were not preserved for us through inspiration by NT authors Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John when the canonical Scriptures were being written. They contain no value that would be binding on Christians.

Nevertheless, there is a great value in Egerton Papyrus 2 fragments just as it true with P52. They serve as an aid in undermining the Bible critics. These critics have long argued that John’s Gospel was not written until 150 C.E. This would mean that it could not have been written by the apostle John who died fifty years earlier in 100 C.E. Since Egerton Papyrus 2 fragments have so many parallel expressions found in John’s Gospel, it strongly indicates that whoever wrote Egerton Papyrus 2 fragments, he was using John’s writing as a source. Then, we have P52, a fragment of John’s Gospel, which has been dated to 100-150 C.E. Thus, the Gospel of John must have been written earlier than 150 C.E. in order for it to have been circulating down in Egypt where the Egerton Papyrus 2 fragments were written about 150 C.E. Therefore, Egerton Papyrus 2 fragments bolstered by the discovery in 1935 of the fragment P52 of John’s Gospel (Papyrus Rylands Gk 457), which also dates likely 110-125 C.E. to give it time to be found in Egypt, confirm the date of the writing of John’s Gospel to be about 96 C.E.

See Also: PAPYRUS 52 (P52): THE “AMBIGUITY AND UNCERTAINTY” OF MODERN-DAY EVANGELICAL BIBLE SCHOLARS REDATING EARLY PAPYRI

A very small portion of information was by Wikipedia

The Reading Culture of Early Christianity The Reading Culture of Early Christianity The Reading Culture of Early Christianity

Please Help Us Keep These Thousands of Blog Posts Growing and Free for All

$5.00

SCROLL THROUGH DIFFERENT CATEGORIES BELOW

BIBLE TRANSLATION AND TEXTUAL CRITICISM

4th ed. MISREPRESENTING JESUS King James Bible The Complete Guide to Bible Translation-2
The Reading Culture of Early Christianity From Spoken Words to Sacred Texts 400,000 Textual Variants 02
The P52 PROJECT THE NEW TESTAMENT DOCUMENTS 4th ed. MISREPRESENTING JESUS
APOSTOLIC FATHERS Lightfoot APOSTOLIC FATHERS I AM John 8.58
English Bible Versions King James Bible KING JAMES BIBLE II
9781949586121 BIBLE DIFFICULTIES THE NEW TESTAMENT DOCUMENTS

BIBLICAL STUDIES / INTERPRETATION

CALVINISM VS. ARMINIANISM THE NEW TESTAMENT how-to-study-your-bible1
How to Interpret the Bible-1 INTERPRETING THE BIBLE how-to-study-your-bible1
israel against all odds ISRAEL AGAINST ALL ODDS - Vol. II AN ENCOURAGING THOUGHT_01

EARLY CHRISTIANITY

THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST by Stalker-1 The TRIAL and Death of Jesus_02 THE LIFE OF Paul by Stalker-1
The Epistle to the Hebrews EARLY CHRISTIANITY-1 BIBLE DIFFICULTIES
THE LIFE OF Paul by Stalker-1 Paul PAUL AND LUKE ON TRIAL

CHRISTIAN APOLOGETIC EVANGELISM

PAUL AND LUKE ON TRIAL THE NEW TESTAMENT DOCUMENTS BIBLE DIFFICULTIES
The Epistle to the Hebrews Paul PAUL AND LUKE ON TRIAL
REASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURES APOLOGETICS CONVERSATION EVANGELISM
Young Christians AN ENCOURAGING THOUGHT_01 EARLY CHRISTIANITY-1
INVESTIGATING JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES REVIEWING 2013 New World Translation INVESTIGATING JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES
Jesus Paul THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK
REASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURES REASONING WITH OTHER RELIGIONS APOLOGETICS
REASONABLE FAITH Why Me_ FEARLESS-1
Satan BLESSED IN SATAN'S WORLD_02 HEROES OF FAITH - ABEL
is-the-quran-the-word-of-god UNDERSTANDING ISLAM AND TERRORISM THE GUIDE TO ANSWERING ISLAM.png
DEFENDING OLD TESTAMENT AUTHORSHIP Agabus Cover BIBLICAL CRITICISM
Mosaic Authorship HOW RELIABLE ARE THE GOSPELS WHY DON'T YOU BELIEVE
The Holy Spirit_02 THE CREATION DAYS OF GENESIS gift of prophecy

TECHNOLOGY

9798623463753 Machinehead KILLER COMPUTERS
INTO THE VOID

CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY

The Holy Spirit_02 Explaining the Doctrine of the Last Things Understaning Creation Account
Homosexuality and the Christian second coming Cover Where Are the Dead
The Holy Spirit_02 THE CREATION DAYS OF GENESIS gift of prophecy
CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY Vol. CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY Vol. II CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY Vol. III
CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY Vol. IV CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY Vol. V MIRACLES
WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU DIE Human Imperfection HUMILITY

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

READ ALONG WITH ME READ ALONG WITH ME READ ALONG WITH ME

PRAYER

Powerful Weapon of Prayer Power Through Prayer How to Pray_Torrey_Half Cover-1

TEENS-YOUTH-ADOLESCENCE-JUVENILE

THERE IS A REBEL IN THE HOUSE thirteen-reasons-to-keep-living_021 Waging War - Heather Freeman
Young Christians DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS 40 day devotional (1)
Homosexuality and the Christian THE OUTSIDER RENEW YOUR MIND

CHRISTIAN LIVING

GODLY WISDOM SPEAKS Wives_02 HUSBANDS - Love Your Wives
ADULTERY 9781949586053 PROMISES OF GODS GUIDANCE
WALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD THE BATTLE FOR THE CHRISTIAN MIND (1)-1 WAITING ON GOD
ADULTERY 9781949586053 PROMISES OF GODS GUIDANCE
APPLYING GODS WORD-1 For As I Think In My Heart_2nd Edition Put Off the Old Person
Abortion Booklet Dying to Kill The Pilgrim’s Progress
WHY DON'T YOU BELIEVE WAITING ON GOD WORKING FOR GOD
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE Let God Use You to Solve Your PROBLEMS THE POWER OF GOD
HOW TO OVERCOME YOUR BAD HABITS-1 GOD WILL GET YOU THROUGH THIS A Dangerous Journey
ARTS, MEDIA, AND CULTURE Christians and Government Christians and Economics

CHRISTIAN COMMENTARIES

Book of Philippians Book of James Book of Proverbs Book of Esther
CHRISTIAN DEVOTIONALS
40 day devotional (1) Daily Devotional_NT_TM Daily_OT
DEVOTIONAL FOR CAREGIVERS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS DEVOTIONAL FOR TRAGEDY
DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS 40 day devotional (1) daily-devotional_darker

CHURCH ISSUES, GROWTH, AND HISTORY

LEARN TO DISCERN Deception In the Church FLEECING THE FLOCK_03
The Church Community_02 THE CHURCH CURE Developing Healthy Churches
FIRST TIMOTHY 2.12 THE NEW TESTAMENT EARLY CHRISTIANITY-1

Apocalyptic-Eschatology [End Times]

Explaining the Doctrine of the Last Things Identifying the AntiChrist second coming Cover
ANGELS AMERICA IN BIBLE PROPHECY_ ezekiel, daniel, & revelation

CHRISTIAN FICTION

Oren Natas_JPEG Sentient-Front Seekers and Deceivers
Judas Diary 02 Journey PNG The Rapture

[1] Light from the Ancient Past, 1946, by J. Finegan, pp. 322, 323.

[2] Nomina Sacra, by Traube, III, i, p. 32.

[3] Fragments of an Unknown Gospel, by Bell and Skeat, p. 2.

[4] The Bible and Archaeology, 1940, by Sir Frederic Kenyon, pp. 216, 217.

[5] Bell, Idris and Skeat, T.C. Fragments of an Unknown Gospel and other Early Christian Papyri. Oxford, OUP, 1935.

[6] Philip Wesley Comfort and David P. Barrett, The Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts Vol. I (Gran Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic, 2019), 353.

[7] Porter, Stanley E. (2013) “Recent efforts to Reconstruct Early Christianity on the Basis of its Papyrological Evidence” in Christian Origins and Graeco-Roman Culture, Eds. Stanley Porter and Andrew Pitts, Leiden, Brill, pp 71–84.

[8] Eric G Turner, Greek Manuscripts of the Ancient World, Oxford, OUP, 1971, p11 n50

[9] Philip Comfort, Encountering the Manuscripts: An Introduction to New Testament Paleography & Textual Criticism (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 2005), 108–109.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: