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New Study of P.Oxy 1228

December 7, 2015

I’m pleased to announce the publication of my essay on the curious fragments of the Gospel of John comprising P22 (or P.Oxyrhynchus 1228) in the recently-published volume of essays in honor of Michael Holmes:  “A Fresh Analysis of P.Oxyrhynchus 1228 (P22) as Artefact,” in Studies on the Text of the New Testament and Early Christianity, eds. Daniel M. Gurtner, Juan Hernandez and Paul Foster (Leiden:  Brill, 2015), 206-16.  The pre-publication version of my essay is available on this blog site under the “Selected Published Essays” tab here.

P22 (as identified in the Gregory-Aland list of NT papyri) comprises two fragments with a few verses of the Gospel of John, remnants of two columns from what appears to have been a roll, which makes this an interesting item (nearly all manuscripts of NT writings are codices).  Also, the text is on the outer surface of that roll (the side with the papyrus fibres running vertically, and so the text written across the fibres), but the inner surface (with the horizontal fibres) is blank.  Doubly curious!

To my knowledge, my autopsy analysis is the first of such detail since the original publication of the fragments by Grenfell & Hunt in 1914.

It is a personal pleasure to honor my friend, Michael Holmes, whose scholarly expertise and contributions have generated also my admiration for many years.

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  1. Donald Jacobs permalink

    Professor Hurtado didn’t you say there are potentially many unidentified and unpublished NT fragments among the Oxyrhyncus collection? So how come a new study of a fragment already published? Why not concentrate on identifying and analysing all the new stuff waiting there?

    I am reading a great book on digital humanities at the moment called Exploring Big Historical Data: The Historian’s Macroscope by Shawn Grahan, Ian Milligan and Scott Weingart. And with all this new technology I wonder if there may be a technological answer to the problem of identifying, cataloging, and analysing the thousands of unpublished fragments. Could you read into this topic and suggest a way forward to those in charge?

    • Donald: I made my new study of P.Oxy 1228 because it is peculiar, and close by (Glasgow), and the work was modest enough to encapsulate into an essay-length. Moreover, to my knowledge, the item hadn’t previously been studied using the “artefact” approach that I’ve emphasized: i.e., taking account of the “para-textual” data of the item, its physical/visual properties, and what they may suggest about use, user, etc.
      We do use modern digital technology in identifying the text of papyrus fragments: The Thesaurus Linguae Graecae is invaluable!!

  2. It is interesting but puzzling that the perhaps earliest surviving NT fragments are from John.

    • They aren’t all John. P104 is dated 2nd century and is remnants of Matthew. P75 (dated perhaps 175-225) is remnants of Luke & John. And there are also early remnants of other texts, as listed in the Appendix to my book, The Earliest Christian Artifacts.

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