Papyrus 47 (P47) Is An Early Copy of the Greek New Testament Dating to 200-250 C.E.

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Papyrus 47

 
Text Book of Revelation 9:10-17:2 †
Date 200-250 C.E.
Script Greek
Found Egypt
Now at Chester Beatty Library
Cite F. G. Kenyon, The Chester Beatty Biblical Papyri III, (London, 1934).
Type Alexandrian text-type
Category I
Note close to Sinaiticus0308
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Papyrus 47 (Gregory-Aland) (LDAB 2778), signed by P47, is an early copy of the New Testament in Greek. It is a papyrus manuscript of the Book of Revelation which contains Rev. 9:10-11:3; 11:5-16:15; 16:17-17:2. The manuscript has been assigned paleographically the 200-250 C.E.

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The Greek text of this codex is a representative of the Alexandrian text-type.[1] Aland[2] ascribed it as a Normal text, and placed it in Category I.[3] The text of this manuscript is closest to Codex Sinaiticus,[4] and they are witnesses for one of the early textual types of the Book of Revelation.[3] Another type is represented by manuscripts Papyrus 115Codex Alexandrinus,[5] and Codex Ephraemi.[6]

It is currently housed at the Chester Beatty Library[7] (Inv. 14. 1. 527) in Dublin.[8]

Philip W. Comfort,

Textual character          closest to א

Kenyon dated P47 to the second half of the third century on the basis of the formation of its letters (particularly alpha, beta, epsilon, mu, sigma, and omega). This manuscript bears resemblance to two other manuscripts of Revelation: P18 and P24, both dated to the late third century.

When this manuscript was first examined by Kenyon, he said, “It is on the whole closest to א and C, with P next, and A rather further away.” Further study of P47 has shown that it “is allied to א, but not to A or to C, which are of a different text type.” We know that A, C, and P115 (see comments there) form one early group for Revelation, while P47 and א form another.[1]

[1] Philip Wesley Comfort and David P. Barrett, The Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 2001), 335.

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[1] In textual criticism of the New Testament, the Alexandrian text-type is one of the main text types. It is the text type favored by the majority of modern textual critics, and it is the basis for most modern (after 1900) Bible translations.

[2] Kurt Aland (28 March 1915 – 13 April 1994) was a German theologian and biblical scholar who specialized in New Testament textual criticism. He founded the Institut für neutestamentliche Textforschung (Institute for New Testament Textual Research) in Münster and served as its first director from 1959 to 1983.

[3] New Testament manuscripts in Greek are categorized into five groups, according to a scheme introduced in 1981 by Kurt and Barbara Aland in The text of the New Testament. The categories are based on how each manuscript relates to the various text-types.

[4] The Codex Sinaiticus (Shelfmarks and references: London, British Library, Add MS 43725; Gregory-Aland nº א [Aleph] or 01, [Soden δ 2]), or “Sinai Bible”, is one of the four great uncial codices, ancient, handwritten copies of a Christian Bible in Greek. The codex is a historical treasure.The codex is an Alexandrian text-type manuscript written in uncial letters on parchment and dated paleographically to the mid-4th century.

[5] The Codex Alexandrinus (London, British Library, Royal MS 1. D. V-VIII; Gregory-Aland no.

[6] Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus (Paris, National Library of France, Greek 9; Gregory-Aland no. C or 04, von Soden δ 3) is a fifth-century Greek manuscript of the Bible, sometimes referred to as one of the four great uncials (see Codices Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus and Vaticanus).

[7] The Chester Beatty Library, now known as the Chester Beatty, is a museum and library in Dublin. It was established in Ireland in 1950, to house the collections of mining magnate, Sir Alfred Chester Beatty.

[8] Aland, Kurt; Aland, Barbara (1995). The Text of the New Testament: An Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism. Erroll F. Rhodes (trans.). Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. p. 99.

“Liste Handschriften”. Münster: Institute for New Testament Textual Research. Retrieved Sunday, January 30, 2022.

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