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Papyrus 46

Approximate Reading Time, 1 minutes.

Return to: Ancient Biblical Manuscripts


P46 consists of eighty-six leaves, measuring originally about 11 by 6½ inches. This is a page from the book of Philippians from the earliest collection of Paul’s writings.

What is amazing about the nomina sacra is that they appear in all the earliest New Testament manuscripts and Christian Old Testament manuscripts, no matter if the manuscripts were produced by professional scribes, documentary scribes, or those barely able to write in Greek.



P46 consists of eighty-six leaves, measuring originally about 11 by 6½ inches. It is thought originally to have contained 104 leaves, with eighteen leaves now missing from the front and back. The existing leaves contain (in this order) the last eight chapters of Romans; all of Hebrews; virtually all of 1–2 Corinthians; all of Ephesians, Galatians, Philippians, Colossians; and two chapters of 1 Thessalonians. All of the leaves have lost some lines at the bottom through deterioration.

Leaves of the manuscript first came to light in 1930 among the wares of a native antiquities vendor in Cairo, and these were immediately purchased by a private collector, Mr. Chester Beatty of London. Soon afterwards the rest of the manuscript was acquired from the same dealer by Beatty and by representatives of the University of Michigan. 30 of the leaves are now at the University of Michigan and 56 are in the Chester Beatty Collection in Dublin, Ireland.


Return to: Ancient Biblical Manuscripts


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