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|Name||P. IFAO inv. 237b [+a]|
|Text||Book of Revelation 1:13–2:1|
|Now at||French Institute of Oriental Archeology|
|Size||15 cm × 16 cm|
|Note||in bad condition|
Papyrus 98 (in the Gregory–Aland numbering), designated by 𝔓98, is an early copy of the New Testament in Greek. It is a papyrus manuscript of the Book of Revelation. The manuscript paleographically had been assigned to years 150–175. The surviving text of Revelation includes verses 1:13–2:1 in a fragmentary condition. The script is well-formed and large. It was formed in a scroll. The biblical text is on the side verso. On the recto is another documentary text dated to the end of the 1st century or the beginning of the 2nd century. The verso side of the scroll was used for the biblical text at the end of the 2nd century. It has an error of dittography in the first line – περι̣εζωσμμ̣εν̣ον instead of περιεζωσμενον. It is still not placed in any of Aland’s Categories of New Testament manuscripts. “The text shows several differences from that printed in Nestle-Aland 27th.” In Rev 1:18 it lacks the phrase και ο ζων “as the (one) living” as in Latin Codex Gigas and some manuscripts of the Vulgate. It is the only Greek manuscript not containing this phrase. The manuscript was probably written in Egypt. The first publisher was Wagner in 1971, who did not know that it was a biblical text. Hagedorn discovered that it was the text of Rev. 1:13–2:1. The manuscript is currently housed at the Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale (P. IFAO inv. 237b [+a]) at Cairo.
Comfort: The text shows several differences from that in NA27. In the first publication of this manuscript, the editor (Wagner) dated the manuscript (thought to be a letter with a list of objects) to the second century, not knowing that it was a biblical text. He chose this date because the document on the recto side of the roll was dated to the late first or early second century. Later, Hagedorn discovered that what was thought to be a list of objects was actually a part of the text of Rev. 1:13–2:1. Hagedorn re-edited the text, accepting the date of second century as plausible, though not excluding the beginning of the third century. Wagner’s second-century date, assigned without knowing that the text was biblical, is both fairer and more likely, especially since the documentary text on the recto side was dated to the late first or early second century.
περ]ι̣εζωσμμ̣εν̣[ον προς τοις μαστοις ζωνην
χρυ]σεν [1:14] και η κ̣ε[φαλη αυτου και αι τριχες λευκαι
ως] εριον λευκον [ως χιων και οι οφθαλμοι αυτου ως
φλ]οξ πυρος [1:15] και [οι ποδες αυτου ομοιοι χαλκολιβανω
ως] εν καμινω πε[πυρωμενης και η φωνη αυτου ως
φωνη υδατων π̣[ολλων [1:16] και εχων εν τη δεξια χειρι
αυτου αστερες [ζ̅ και εκ του στοματος αυτου ρομ
φαια διστομος ο[ξεια εκπορευομενη και η οψις αυ
το̣υ ως ο η̣λ̣ιος φ[αινει εν τη δυναμει αυτου [1:17] και οτε ει
δ̣ο̣ν̣ αυτον ε[π]εσα [προς τους ποδας αυτου ως νεκρος
και εθηκε̣ τ̣η̣ν̣ [δεξιαν αυτου επ εμε λεγων
μη φοβ̣[ο]υ̣ ε̣γ̣ω̣ [ειμι ο πρωτος και ο εσχατος [1:18] και εγε
νομεν̣ ν̣εκ̣ρ̣ο̣[ς και ιδου ζων ειμι εις τους αιωνας
τ̣ω̣ν̣ α̣ι̣ω̣ν̣ω̣ν̣ [και εχω τας κλεις του θανατου και
του α̣δ̣ο̣υ̣ [1:19] γ̣ρ̣α̣ψ̣ο̣ν̣ [ουν α ειδες και α εισιν και α μελλει
γε̣ν̣ε̣[σ]θ̣α̣ι̣ [μετα ταυτα [1:20] το μυστηριον των ζ̅
α̣στερ̣ω̣ν̣ [ους ειδες επι της δεξιας μου και τας
ζ̅ λυχνει[α]ς [τας χρυσας οι ζ̅ αστερες αγγελοι των
ζ̅ εκκλησ̣ι̣ω̣ν̣ ε̣ι[σιν και αι λυχνιαι αι ζ̅ ζ̅ εκκλεσιαι
εισ]ι̣[ν [2:1] τω αγγελω της εν εφεσω εκκλησιας γραψον ταδε λεγ
ε̣ι̣ [ο κρατων τους ζ̅ αστερας εν τη δεξια αυτου ο
In the case of the New Testament papyri manuscripts, our early evidence for the Greek New Testament, size is irrelevant. They range from centimeters encompassing a couple of verses to a codex with many books of the New Testament. But all of them add something significant. And often, monumental. It can be from support for an original reading to establishing which family of manuscripts were the earliest. A tiny fragment that may date to about 100-150 A.D. or 150-200 A.D. that is established as belonging to the Alexandrian family gives us credence that the Alexandrian text is the earliest form of the text. In addition, it validates our two greatest vellum codices: Vaticanus and Sinaiticus. Early on, the supporters of the Byzantine text tried to argue that the Byzantine manuscripts were the earliest and the most accurate. In addition, they claimed the Alexandrian family had removed material from the New Testament. Well, this was debunked when the 20th century arrived because of all the 144 Papyrus Greek NT manuscripts and all of those dating to the first three centuries after the first century, none are of the Byzantine family, and the rest are Alexandrian, with a couple being Western. The argument from the Alexandrian supporters that the Byzantine was later, and their scribes added to the Bible, was true. The general rule, the earlier the manuscript, the more accurate. So, the early papyri can validate the original reading for almost all of our textual variants.
- PHILIP W. COMFORT; DAVID P. BARRETT (2019). THE TEXT OF THE EARLIEST NEW TESTAMENT GREEK MANUSCRIPTS. VOL. 1 GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN: KREGEL ACADEMICS. P. 110.
- B. P. Grenfell & A. S. Hunt, Oxyrhynchus Papyri XIII, (London 1919), p. 10.
- Edward D. Andrews (2020) FROM SPOKEN WORDS TO SACRED TEXTS: Introduction-Intermediate New Testament Textual Studies, Cambridge, Ohio, Christian Publishing House.
- KURT ALAND; BARBARA ALAND (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. 97.
- David Alan Black, New Testament Textual Criticism, Baker Books, 2006, p. 65.
- “LISTE HANDSCHRIFTEN” MÜNSTER: INSTITUTE FOR NEW TESTAMENT TEXTUAL RESEARCH.
- Attribution: This article incorporates some text from the public domain: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, and Edward D. Andrews
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