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Journal Article

Reconsidering the Place of Papyrus Bodmer XIV–XV (𝔓75) in the Textual Criticism of the New Testament

Brent Nongbri
Journal of Biblical Literature
Vol. 135, No. 2 (Summer 2016), pp. 405-437
DOI: 10.15699/jbl.1352.2016.2803
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.15699/jbl.1352.2016.2803
Page Count: 34
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Reconsidering the Place of Papyrus Bodmer XIV–XV (𝔓75) in the Textual Criticism of the New Testament
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Abstract

Papyrus Bodmer XIV–XV (𝔭75), a well-preserved Greek papyrus codex containing the Gospels of Luke and John, has been called the most significant New Testament papyrus so far discovered. The reason for this high estimation is the combination of the early date assigned to the manuscript on the basis of paleography (ca. 175–225 CE) and its close agreement with the text of Codex Vaticanus, which is thought to provide evidence that the “B text” of Vaticanus was produced as early as the second century and was very carefully transmitted. The evidence gathered in the present essay calls these conclusions into question by showing that both paleographically and codicologically, P.Bodm. XIV–XV fits comfortably in a fourth-century context, along with the bulk of the other “Bodmer papyri” with which it was apparently discovered. These observations, combined with the fact that the text of P.Bodm. XIV–XV so closely matches that of Vaticanus—a codex widely acknowledged to be a product of the fourth century—suggest that P.Bodm. XIV–XV was also itself produced in the fourth century. Thus, a number of previous arguments that relied on a second- or early-thirdcentury date for P.Bodm. XIV–XV will need to be reconsidered.

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