Why is this fragment of John’s Gospel so valuable to those who love the Bible today? What did the experts conclude about it?
The latest calculations have all known Greek manuscripts at about 5,898, written from as early as 110 C.E. to as late as the end of the fifteenth-century. P52 although a fragment is one of the most important.
The oldest manuscript of the New Testament known today is P52, a small fragment from John’s Gospel, dated to the first half of the second century (110-150 C.E.).
Why should every Christian buy THE P52 PROJECT book? There is a course of action in the dating and redating of the earliest Greek New Testament papyri that will lead inevitably from one action or result to the unintended consequence of undermining the actual trustworthiness of the New Testament. Christians need to be able to defend against this trend. Much effort was put into THE P52 PROJECT book so that we could understand it and the issues at hand.
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.
Interesting;y, the text of 𝔓118 runs straight through Romans 15:33 to 16:1, so it differs from 𝔓46, which has the doxology (usually printed at 16:25-27) immediately following 15:33.
The INTF has paleographically assigned the manuscript to the early 3rd century CE. [200-225 A.D.] Papyrologist Philip Comfort dates the manuscript to the middle-late 2nd century C.E. 150-200 A.D.].
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.