Friday, October 10, 2014

Nongbri on the Chester Beatty Biblical Papyri (Michigan Portion)


In the recent issue of Archiv für Papyrusforschung 60/1 (2014), Brent Nongbri  has published an article on "The Acquisition of the University of Michigan's Portion of the Chester Beatty Biblical Papyri and a New Suggested Provenance."

The title perhaps sounds too optimistic in regard to provenance—to cite the conclusion:

The goal of this paper was two-fold – to clarify the history of acquisitions of Beatty biblical papyri and to reassess what we know of the provenance of the find. I am reasonably satisfied with the results of the first task. As to the reassessment of provenance, I think dissatisfaction is the order of the day.
Brent has kindly made his article available here.


  1. It is very interesting to read this in view of very recent discussions about the purchase of antiquities without proper provenance.

  2. Peter, can you develop your thoughts.

  3. If you read the notes in this article the scholars involved seem to know that some of their purchasing activities are not fully legal and against Egyptian government policy. In 1930.

  4. Thanks for the post, Tommy.