Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Greek New Testament papyrus discovered at auction on eBay

THE NEW YORK TIMES
By Jennifer Schuesller
A papyrus fragment believed to contain lines from the Gospel of John, dating from A.D. 250 to A.D. 350. Credit Geoffrey Smith, via The University of Texas at Austin
Last January, Geoffrey Smith, a scholar of early Christianity at the University of Texas, noticed something startling: an eBay listing for an ancient Greek papyrus fragment of the Gospel of John — with an opening bid of only $99. The credit-card-size papyrus, which Dr. Smith dates from around A.D. 250 to A.D. 350, contains about six lines of the Gospel of John on one side and an unidentified Christian text on the other. If Dr. Smith’s analysis is correct, it is the only known Greek New Testament papyrus from an unused scroll rather than a codex, the emerging book technology that early Christians, in sharp contrast to their Jewish and pagan contemporaries, preferred for their texts. [link]