Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Magdalen Papyrus (P64)

This is sometimes also called the Jesus Papyrus or the Huleatt manuscript. P64 is one of the earliest extent Greek manuscripts of the New Testament containing portions of Matthew. I've found that on many less than scrupulus sites, P64 is listed as a manuscript which refers to Yeshua as God. Thus, for instance, you have this dubious quote floating around the internet, about which no reference or evidence is ever given for its origin, translation, or veracity:
"She poured it [the perfume] over his [Jesus'] hair when he sat at the table. But, when the disciples saw it, they were indignant. . . . God, aware of this, said to them: 'Why do you trouble this woman? She has done [a beautiful thing for me.] . . .
--unknown reference
A little investigative activity revealed that the word
"God" does not actually exist in P64. The reason it has been supplied is because a German scholar by the name of Thiede reconstructed missing and fragmentary portions of text in a way that proposed a nomina sacra for Yeshua. The nomina sacra, though it may not be a shortened form of the word "God", could still hint at some sacred meaning (like considering Yeshua divine). The problem is that the proposed nomina sacra do not physically exist on the papyrus.

Below is a picture of P64 for your pleasure. I am not certain whether the fragments are recto or verso or e
ven displayed in the correct order.


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