What are the churchgoers, the Bible college students, and seminary students to do when one Bible scholar says one thing and another Bible scholar says something entirely different, or worse still, as is the case with P52, several Bible scholars are saying other dates for the time when the Greek New Testament fragment P52 was written? P = Papyrus (a plant in Egypt), the material used to make sheets of papyrus paper written on by scribes to make copies of Bible books. 52 = the number assigned to that discovered manuscript. What makes it even more alarming is when one is not an expert in the field of study, only having basic knowledge. How can they possibly know who is correct? Worse still, the Christian is put in the embarrassing position on social media of telling an atheist that P52 is dated to 100-150 C.E., and then the atheist responds to the Christian with, ‘no your evidence from 1935 is outdated, as recent research points to a date of 200 C.E. or later.’ What is the Christian to do?
The Egerton Gospel (British Library Egerton Papyrus 2) refers to a collection of three papyrus fragments of a codex of a previously unknown gospel, found in Egypt and sold to the British Museum in 1934; the physical fragments are to be dated to about 150 C.E. What does the nomina sacra tell us? And how has a simple hooked apostrophe impacted two of our earliest manuscripts for many new textual scholars?