Psalms Fragment (P.Oxy. 1779; Rahlfs 2073)

Psalms Fragment (P.Oxy. 1779; Rahlfs 2073)

Collection ID

PAP.000445

Type

Papyrus

Date

ca. 200–400 CE

Geography

Oxyrhynchus, now al-Bahnasā, (Egypt)

Language

Greek

Medium

Papyrus, ink

Dimensions

4.5 × 3 in. (11.4 × 7.6 cm)

Exhibit Location

On view in The History of the Bible, The Written Tradition


This papyrus contains almost all of Psalm 1:4–6, written in an informal hand that Grenfell and Hunt dated to the 4th century CE. Some later scholars have suggested a 3rd century date for it. The leaf came from a small papyrus codex of the Psalms. The presence of the abbreviated nomen sacrum (kappa sigma with a line over it, an abbreviation for kyrios, “Lord”) in the seventh line of the text on the reverse of the fragment suggests that this codex was intended for Christian use.

Created in the 3rd or 4th century CE in Egypt. Excavated in the early 1900s by Bernard Grenfell (1869–1926) and Arthur Hunt (1871–1934);[1] Acquired by the Egypt Exploration Fund until 1915–1922; Ownership assumed between 1915–1922 by Bonebrake Theological Seminary, later renamed United Theological Seminary, Dayton, Ohio;[2] Acquired in 2009–2010 by Dirk Obbink, Oxford, England; Privately purchased in 2010 by the Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Gifted in 2014 to Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.

Notes: [1] Bernard P. Grenfell and Arthur S. Hunt, The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, v. XV (Egypt Exploration Society, 1922), 6. [2] Bernard P. Grenfell and Arthur S. Hunt, The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, v. XVI (Egypt Exploration Society, 1924), 279. The Egypt Exploration Fund, which sponsored Grenfell and Hunt’s work, began distributing papyri as gifts to supporting institutions in 1900. By 1922, it had gifted approximately three thousand items to 103 institutions, including United Theological Seminary. See Roberta Mazza, “Papyri Ethics, and Economics: A Biography of P.Oxy. 15.1780 (P39),” Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 52 (2015): 113–142.

Selected References:

Michael P. Theophilos, “Recently Discovered Greek Papyri and Parchment of the Psalter from the Oxford Oxyrhynchus Manuscripts: Implications for Scribal Practice and Textual Transmission,” Paradosis v. 2 (Melbourne School of Theology, 2015). Accessed at http://www.mst.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Theophilos-Michael-P.-Recently-Discovered-Papyri-and-Parchment-of-the-Psalter.pdf

Kurt Aland, Biblische Papyri, Altes Testament, Neues Testament, Varia, Apokryphen, vol. 1, Repertorium der griechischen christlichen Papyri (Walter de Gruyter, 1976).

Bernard P. Grenfell and Arthur S. Hunt, The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, v. XV (Egypt Exploration Society, 1922).

Museum of the Bible Publications:

Bethany Jensen and A. Josiah Chappell, The Legacy of Christian Egypt: 11th International Congress of Coptic Studies (Museum of the Bible, 2016).

Jennifer Atwood and Stacey L. Douglas, eds. Passages: Exploring the Bible in Four Movements—An Exhibition Guide (Museum of the Bible, 2015).

Description

This papyrus contains almost all of Psalm 1:4–6, written in an informal hand that Grenfell and Hunt dated to the 4th century CE. Some later scholars have suggested a 3rd century date for it. The leaf came from a small papyrus codex of the Psalms. The presence of the abbreviated nomen sacrum (kappa sigma with a line over it, an abbreviation for kyrios, “Lord”) in the seventh line of the text on the reverse of the fragment suggests that this codex was intended for Christian use.


Provenance

Created in the 3rd or 4th century CE in Egypt. Excavated in the early 1900s by Bernard Grenfell (1869–1926) and Arthur Hunt (1871–1934);[1] Acquired by the Egypt Exploration Fund until 1915–1922; Ownership assumed between 1915–1922 by Bonebrake Theological Seminary, later renamed United Theological Seminary, Dayton, Ohio;[2] Acquired in 2009–2010 by Dirk Obbink, Oxford, England; Privately purchased in 2010 by the Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Gifted in 2014 to Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.

Notes: [1] Bernard P. Grenfell and Arthur S. Hunt, The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, v. XV (Egypt Exploration Society, 1922), 6. [2] Bernard P. Grenfell and Arthur S. Hunt, The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, v. XVI (Egypt Exploration Society, 1924), 279. The Egypt Exploration Fund, which sponsored Grenfell and Hunt’s work, began distributing papyri as gifts to supporting institutions in 1900. By 1922, it had gifted approximately three thousand items to 103 institutions, including United Theological Seminary. See Roberta Mazza, “Papyri Ethics, and Economics: A Biography of P.Oxy. 15.1780 (P39),” Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 52 (2015): 113–142.

Selected References:

Michael P. Theophilos, “Recently Discovered Greek Papyri and Parchment of the Psalter from the Oxford Oxyrhynchus Manuscripts: Implications for Scribal Practice and Textual Transmission,” Paradosis v. 2 (Melbourne School of Theology, 2015). Accessed at http://www.mst.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Theophilos-Michael-P.-Recently-Discovered-Papyri-and-Parchment-of-the-Psalter.pdf

Kurt Aland, Biblische Papyri, Altes Testament, Neues Testament, Varia, Apokryphen, vol. 1, Repertorium der griechischen christlichen Papyri (Walter de Gruyter, 1976).

Bernard P. Grenfell and Arthur S. Hunt, The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, v. XV (Egypt Exploration Society, 1922).

Museum of the Bible Publications:

Bethany Jensen and A. Josiah Chappell, The Legacy of Christian Egypt: 11th International Congress of Coptic Studies (Museum of the Bible, 2016).

Jennifer Atwood and Stacey L. Douglas, eds. Passages: Exploring the Bible in Four Movements—An Exhibition Guide (Museum of the Bible, 2015).


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