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Papyrus 45

Return to: Ancient Biblical Manuscripts

Papyrus 45 is an early New Testament manuscript which is a part of the Chester Beatty Papyri. It has been paleographically dated to the late 2nd or early 3rd century. It contains the texts of Matthew 20-21 and Matthew 25-26; Mark 4-9 and Mark 11-12; Luke 6-7 and Luke 9-14; John 4-5 and John 10-11; and Acts 4-17. The manuscript is currently housed at the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, Ireland, except for one leaf containing Matt. 25:41-26:39 which is at the Austrian National Library, Vienna

P 45 is a very fascinating manuscript. It’s the only manuscript we have that contains portions of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts. All the other gospel manuscripts were just Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. They didn’t have Acts, you know, it sort of had to do its own thing. And here in P 45, you have Acts. This is from John Chapter 10. But, P 45 is some of the earliest material we have from the Gospel of Mark. Isn’t it fascinating. Mark is the first gospel written, some scholarship will tell you. Most of us just go, we don’t know. But the common theory is that Mark was the first, Matthew and Luke edited him, and John was off doing his own thing, long, long down the road. But what is interesting, of the four gospels, the gospel that we have the most early manuscripts of is John, and the one we have the least early manuscripts of is Mark.

Return to: Ancient Biblical Manuscripts

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