Posted by: aboutalbion | January 13, 2015

Papyrus 46 is now online

I am pleased to be able to report that the papyrus I wish to look at more closely is now online.

Papyrus 46 is (so far as I can see) the oldest substantial piece of text belonging to a Christian person or group.  The consensus of palaeographers dates the codex to around 200CE.

What has survived is about 85 sheets out of a presumed complete codex of 104 sheets.  The order of the extant texts is (using terms familiar to our culture) Romans, Hebrews, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Ephesians, Galatians, Philippians, Colossians, and 1 Thessalonians.

For reasons that I am not aware of, the surviving sheets of the codex are in the possession of two custodians.  Some are in the Chester Beatty collection in Dublin, Ireland, and some are in the possession of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA.

I am glad that both custodians have co-operated with The Centre for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts [CSNTM].  On 6 January this year, CSNTM placed digital images online of all the surviving sheets of the codex.  They can be viewed at

I find that there are now no obstacles to my having a closer look at this important set of texts … after I have brushed up my Greek, of course.


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