PAPYRUS 72 (P72) P. Bodmer VII and VIII: the letters of Jude, 1 Peter, and 2 Peter

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EDWARD D. ANDREWS (AS in Criminal Justice, BS in Religion, MA in Biblical Studies, and MDiv in Theology) is CEO and President of Christian Publishing House. He has authored over 170+ books. Andrews is the Chief Translator of the Updated American Standard Version (UASV).

Image: 1 Peter 5:12–end and 2 Peter 1:1–5 on facing pages of Papyrus Bodmer VIII
Name Papyrus Bodmer VII-IX
Sign P72
Text Jude, 1 Peter, 2 Peter
Date 200-250 C.E.
Script Greek
Housing: Cologny/Geneva; Vatican City, Bibl. Bodmeriana; Bibl. Vaticana
Size 14.5 by 16 cm
Type-Type Alexandrian text-type
Category I
Hand documentary hand
Note: resembles P50

The P52 PROJECT THE NEW TESTAMENT DOCUMENTS 4th ed. MISREPRESENTING JESUS

1 Peter 5:12–end and 2 Peter 1:1–5 on facing pages of Papyrus Bodmer VIII

Papyrus 72 P72Papyrus Bodmer VII-VIII), is the designation used by textual scholars of the New Testament to describe portions of the so-called Bodmer Miscellaneous codex, namely the letters of Jude, 1 Peter, and 2 Peter. These books seem to have been copied by the same scribe, and the handwriting has been paleographically assigned to the 3rd or 4th century by the Alands[1] but has been dated to 200-250 C.E. by Philip Comfort.[2] On P72 Comfort writes, “This document also contains the Nativity of Mary, the apocryphal correspondence of Paul to the Corinthians, the eleventh ode of Solomon, Melito’s Homily on the Passover, a fragment of a hymn, the Apology of Phileas, and Psalms 33 and 34. P72 is a small codex made for private use and not for church meetings. Scholars think that four scribes took part in producing the entire manuscript. First Peter has clear Alexandrian affinities, especially with B and then with A. Sakae Kubo observes in 1 Peter, ‘exclusive of singular variants, P72 has as a whole a text superior to that of B.’[3] Second Peter and especially Jude display more of an uncontrolled-type text (usually associated with the ‘Western’ text), with several independent readings.”[4]

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1 Peter 2:7-12; 2:12-17 in Papyrus Bodmer VII-IX

Description of P72

It is the earliest known manuscript of these epistles, though a few verses of Jude are in a fragment P78 (P. Oxy. 2684).[5]

P.Bodmer VII (Jude) and P.Bodmer VIII (1-2 Peter) form part of a single book (the Bodmer Miscellaneous Codex). This book appeared on the antiquities market in Egypt and was bought by the Swiss collector Martin Bodmer (Bodmer donated the letters of Peter, P.Bodmer VIII, to the Vatican in 1969.[6] The complete make-up of the book is generally reconstructed as: The Nativity of Mary (P.Bodmer V), the apocryphal correspondence of Paul to the Corinthians (P.Bodmer X), the eleventh ode of Solomon (P.Bodmer XI), Jude (P.Bodmer VII), Melito’s Homily on the Passover (P.Bodmer XIII), a fragment of a hymn (P.Bodmer XII), the Apology of Phileas (P.Bodmer XX), Psalm 33 and 34 (P.Bodmer IX), and 1-2 Peter (P.Bodmer VIII). The same scribe who copied P.Bodmer VII and VIII is also thought to have copied P.Bodmer X and XI.[7]

A facsimile edition of Bodmer Papyrus VIII was published in 2007 by Testimonio Compañía Editorial.[8]

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P72 Text

The Greek text of this codex is a representative of the Alexandrian text-type. According to Aland in 1-2 Peter it has normal text, in Jude free text, both with certain peculiarities. Aland placed it into I Category. It is close to the Codex Vaticanus and Codex Alexandrinus.[9]

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[1] Aland and Aland, The Text of the New Testament (2nd ed.), 100

[2] Philip Wesley Comfort and David P. Barrett, THE TEXT OF THE EARLIEST NEW TESTAMENT MANUSCRIPTS: Papyri 75-139 and Uncials, Vol. 2 (English and Greek Edition) (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic, 2019), 446.

[3] Sakae Kubo, P72 and the Codex Vaticanus, Studies and Documents 27 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1965), 152.

[4] Philip Wesley Comfort and David P. Barrett, THE TEXT OF THE EARLIEST NEW TESTAMENT MANUSCRIPTS: Papyri 75-139 and Uncials, Vol. 2 (English and Greek Edition) (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic, 2019), 446.

[5] Wasserman, “Papyrus 72 and the Bodmer Miscellaneous Codex,” 137

[6] Nongbri, “The Construction of P.Bodmer VIII and the Bodmer ‘Composite’ or ‘Miscellaneous’ Codex,” 396

[7] Wasserman, “Papyrus 72 and the Bodmer Miscellaneous Codex,” 140 and 149-151

[8] http://www.testimonio.com/en/facsimil-colecciones/st-peter-facsimile.html

[9] Aland and Aland, The Text of the New Testament (2nd ed.), 100

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