Wednesday, June 03, 2015

New NT Papyrus Manuscripts

One of the great things about working in the field of NT manuscripts and textual criticism over the last decades has been the steady flow of new material. Just to show two strands of that flow:
  • NA26 (published in 1979) listed NT papyri up to P88; and majuscules up to 0276. 
  • NA27 (published in 1993) listed NT papyri up to P98; and majuscules up to 0301.
  • NA28 (published in 2012) listed NT papyri up to P127; and majuscules up to 0303.
 Recently new manuscripts of both types have been added to the online list in the VMR:

P128: VI/VII  (5 frags; single col.): John 9.3-4; 12.12-13, 16-18. New York; MMA Inv. 14.1.527
P128 is the Johannine portion of P44, now categorised as a separate papyrus, following (I presume) the conclusion in the IGNTP John Papyri volume that the two fragments ‘are without doubt by different hands’. (photos of the small John fragments are in that book as well as at the VMR). Interesting that the Liste states that they are all from a single page, this would suggest a possible liturgical text (as the original editors). The John transcript folk have provided a transcript (the clue is in the name) which places the different fragments over three separate pages (and hence reflecting a continuous text).

P129: III (4 frags; single column): 1 Cor 7.36-39; 8.10-9.3; 9.14-17; 9.27-10.6

P130: III/IV (1 frag; single col.): Heb 9.9-12, 19-23

P131: III (1 frag.; single col.): Rom 9.18-21, 22- 10.3

These three are not attributed to any particular location, but clearly are the first fruits of the Green Collection papyri. So congratulations are due to the Green Collection for that. Clearly they are making progress on the publication of the first volume of their Greek papyri (mentioned previously on this blog). No photos are available as yet (although somewhere on this blog there is a fuzzy photo of the Romans papyrus). It is, of course, interesting to note that the dates now assigned to these papyri are a century later than were first pronounced (as this blog has suggested on many occasions). On other details we await the forthcoming publications.

Majuscules up to 0323 are also listed. Many of these are extremely interesting, but I don’t have time right now to work through them all.


  1. I suppose P130 (Heb. 9:9-12; 19-23) was checked to make sure it didn't belong to P17 which happens to cover portions of Heb 9:12-19.

  2. And if I see this correctly, p129 would contain the oldest witness to a few words in 1 Cor. 9:3 (where p46 is lacunose), as well as p131 representing the oldest witness to some words from Rom. 9:32-34 (again where p46 is defective).

    1. Jeremiah Coogan6/09/2015 2:33 pm

      Assuming, of course, that P129 and P131 aren't themselves also defective in the same places. We'll have to wait until an edition is published, but the identification as 'frag.' in both cases and the balance of probability for a third century date both would suggest that these manuscripts are also imperfect.

  3. We already know that p129 is badly defective, as an image was already leaked. Only a few words of each verse remain. However, I don't believe any words from 1 Cor 9:3 have survived in p46, so even one word of this verse preserved in p129 represents the oldest. But yes, to know for sure what is there we will have to wait for the publication. Always fun getting something new.