Tuesday, December 18, 2018

New Article on Revelation Papyri

P.Oxy. LXVI 4500 (GA 0308) 
By now, many of you will have been tired (or worse) of my yappings about Revelation manuscripts. I’m sorry, I can’t help it and, what doesn’t help matters, the text of Revelation also happens to be the main focus of my day job. Anyway, one of the disadvantages of working extensively on a single manuscript is that it’s easy to lose the sense of wider context—socio-historical, textual, material, etc. I certainly felt this way during my PhD and so, while working through my analyses of P.Beatty I did my best to get acquainted with the wider manuscript tradition, particularly its earliest strata. An off-shoot of these ancillary investigations was an extended seminar paper I gave at the Kirchliche Hochschule Wuppertal in 2016, followed by a much more condensed SBL paper last year. Especially in the latter, I tried to address some socio-historical claims that have been made concerning the papyri* of Revelation (individually and as a group). My main purpose, however, was to bring the evidence under fresh scrutiny and provide a general overview.

I’m happy to report that a revised version of the paper has just been published and I’m told it works magic if you have problems with insomnia: ‘The Greek Text of Revelation in Late Antique Egypt: Materials, Texts, and Social History’, ZAC 22 (2019) 400–21.

*Note that ‘papyri’ here is taken in the broader sense as used by papyrologists, thus including texts written on other materials as well. 


  1. The ink looks awfully dark.... awfully dark... to be ancient.

    1. I agree that the De Gruyter typesetters aren’t doing the best job imitating ancient writing.

    2. At least it's not backwards. I've seen backwards Hebrew on book covers (and inside) more times than I wish to remember!