Monday, September 24, 2012

Ancient Gospel Texts

This 4th century CE Codex Sinacticus, Gospel of Matthew, Greek text is part of one of the oldest complete Christian Scriptures existing. Although the gospels are "dated" as being written in the second half of the 1st century CE, no nearly complete physical manuscripts exist until the 4th century. All the texts have variations from one another, ranging from scribal errors and omissions to actual substantial variations in the narratives. The scriptural traditions of early Christianity were diverse and varied, even within an "established" text like a gospel. The oldest gospel fragment contains 18 lines from the Gospel of John and the papyrus is dated to 125 CE.

Rylands Library Papyrus P52 from the Gospel of John dated 125 CE by it's handwriting and papyrus.

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