This unusual papyrus fragment has been the subject of much debate since it was discovered in the late 19th century. It contains on one side a fragment from the end of the Book of Exodus, and on the other side the beginning of the Book of Revelation.
The traditional view regards the papyrus as a re-used scroll. Initially, the scroll contained only the text of Exodus. A later owner used its blank verso to record the text of Revelation.
A more recent argument suggests that the fragment comes from a miscellaneous codex, in which the order of books was not the same as in later Bibles.
Regardless of which view is correct, the fragment is precious evidence of the reading of both texts in Oxyrhynchus, a small town in Egypt, in the 3rd century CE.
The Egypt Exploration Society presented the papyrus to the British Museum in 1914.
- Article by:
- Peter Toth
- Art, Religion
Translated into Greek in Hellenistic Egypt, the Greek Old Testament was copied widely in Byzantium. Peter Toth surveys the history of this important text.