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.
NEW TESTAMENT TEXTUAL STUDIES: Important Papyrus Manuscripts
Papyrus is a tall, aquatic reed, the pith of which is cut into strips, laid in a crosswork pattern, and glued together to make a page for writing. The papyrus rolls of Egypt have been used as a writing surface since the early third millennium BC.
OXYRHYNCHUS PAPYRI: The Most Numerous Subgroup of the Earliest Copies of the New Testament
In the year 1898, Bernard P. Grenfell and Arthur S. Hunt discovered thousands of papyri fragments just outside the ruins of the ancient city of Oxyrhynchus. These fragments turned out to be one of the most important papyri discoveries of all time.
FRAGMENTS OF TRUTH: 500 Thousand Papyrus Texts Were Accidentally Discovered in Egypt
One could argue that many of the manuscripts have been looked at over the past 140 years. However, many in comparison to hundreds of thousands mean nothing really. Let's look a little deeper as to how they have helped and why some may have been reluctant to invest time into working their way through this treasure.
PAPYRUS 5 (P5; P. Oxy. 208 + 1781) WESTERN TEXT TYPE (225 C.E.)
Initially, P5 was discovered by Grenfell and Hunt at the end of the 19th century in two separate portions at Oxyrhynchus. The first portion that was discovered contains John 1:23–31, 33–40 on one page (front and back), as well as John 20:11–17, 19–20, 22–25 on another page (front and back).