Bodmer VIII Papyrus - Epistles of St. Peter

Bodmer VIII Papyrus - Epistles of St. Peter – Testimonio Compañía Editorial – Ex Papyro Bodmeriana VIII Transcriptae P72 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)

Egypt — 3rd century

Epistles of Peter, the apocryphal correspondence of 3 Corinthians and the birth of Mary: a fascinating insight into the origins of the Bible in a nearly 1,800-year-old papyrus

  1. Nearly 1,800-year-old texts on brittle papyrus

  2. The contents include Biblical texts and works penned by the church fathers, but also antique plays

  3. Includes the oldest fragments of the Gospel of Luke, the Lord’s Prayer, 1st and 2nd Epistles of Peter inter alia

Bodmer VIII Papyrus - Epistles of St. Peter

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  1. Description
  2. Single Page
  3. Facsimile Editions (3)
Description
Bodmer VIII Papyrus - Epistles of St. Peter

A true sensation: in the year 1956, Swiss citizen Martin Bodmer bought a bundle of papyri from the 2nd-4th centuries after Christ. The pieces of writing discovered in Egypt represent significant textual witnesses for the text of the Bible. One papyrus, titled Bodmer 72, contains among others a copy of the Epistles of Peter, Jude’s Epistle, and individual Psalms, but also poems by Melito of Sardis. In the year 1969, a part of the papyrus – comprising the 1st and 2nd Epistles of Peter – reached the Vatican Library as a gift for the pope. The 3rd century papyrus with ancient Greek text is comprised of 36 pages altogether. The nearly 1,800-year-old piece of writing of incomprehensible worth offers a fascinating glimpse of the formative period of the text of the Bible.

Bodmer VIII Papyrus - Epistles of St. Peter

A true sensation: in the year 1956, Swiss citizen Martin Bodmer bought a bundle of papyri from the 2nd-4th centuries after Christ. The pieces of writing discovered in Egypt represent significant textual witnesses for the text of the Bible. One papyrus, titled Bodmer 72, contains among others a copy of the Epistles of Peter, Jude’s Epistle, and individual Psalms, but also poems by Melito of Sardis. In the year 1969, a part of the papyrus – comprising the 1st and 2nd Epistles of Peter – reached the Vatican Library as a gift for the pope. The 3rd century papyrus with ancient Greek text is comprised of 36 pages altogether. The nearly 1,800-year-old piece of writing of incomprehensible worth offers a fascinating glimpse of the formative period of the text of the Bible.

A True Treasure Chest of World History

Martin Bodmer, a well-moneyed independent Swiss scholar, obtained this treasure in 1956. Bodmer collected countless historically significant pieces of writing, especially the oldest surviving specimens. His library contained 150,000 pieces, “one of the most beautiful manuscript collections in the world.” The papyri probably represented the most important gem in this collection. The bundle of papers impresses through it significant content, the Biblical texts and texts of the church fathers, but also contained antique plays. “It is believed that the Bodmer Papyrus contains the oldest textual fragments of the Gospel of Luke, the oldest Lord’s Prayer, and one of the oldest fragments from the Gospel of John.”

The Torturous Paths of a Special Papyrus

The papyri were discovered in middle Egypt in 1952. The bundle likely came into Bodmers collection of Martin Bodmer under some dubious circumstances in 1956. The pieces of writing were named the Bodmer Papyri after their original owner. Since 2003, they have been appointed to the Bibliotheca Bodmeriana in Cologny, near Genf. In 1969, a piece of this collection was gifted to Pope Paul VI in the Vatican: the Bodmer VIII Papyrus.

The Oldest Surviving Copy of the 1st and 2nd Epistles of Peter

The Papyrus VIII Bodmer is a part of Papyrus 72, a piece of writing from the 3rd century, that was completed by various scribes. P72, as the Papyrus is referred to in research for short, contains the oldest surviving copy of the 1st and 2nd Epistles of Peter, together with the first transcript of Jude’s Epistle and some individual Psalms. Aside from that, an apocryphal text about the life of Mary and the childhood of Jesus is to be found in Papyrus 72, in addition to songs and poems by Melito. The Bodmer VIII Papyrus hence contains the part with both of Peter’s Epistles.

Very Close to the Original

This Bodmer VIII Papyrus, which is housed today in the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana and is guarded as a treasure of inestimable worth, represents the oldest surviving manuscript to this New Testament text. The copy of the 1st and 2nd Epistles of Peter from the 3rd century is a significant textual witness of early Christianity. The papyrus grants a fascinating glimpse into this time of the Bible’s creation!

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Papiro Bodmer VIII - P72
Beati Petri Apostoli Epistulae
Epístolas de san Pedro
Size / Format
36 pages / 15.5 × 14.2 cm
Origin
Egypt
Date
3rd century
Epochs
Language
Script
Greek uncial
Illustrations
The end of the first letter is highlighted by pen and ink drawings
Content
1st and 2nd Epistles of Peter
Previous Owners
Martin Bodmer

Available facsimile editions:
Bodmer VIII Papyrus - Epistles of St. Peter – Testimonio Compañía Editorial – Ex Papyro Bodmeriana VIII Transcriptae P72 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Testimonio Compañía Editorial – Madrid, 2007
Limited Edition: 980 copies

Bodmer VIII Papyrus - Epistles of St. Peter – Vicent Garcia Editores – Ex Papyro Bodmeriana VIII Transcriptae P72 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
Vicent Garcia Editores – Valencia, 1986
Limited Edition: 1000 copies

Single Page

Bodmer VIII Papyrus

1 Peter 5:12–14

This page shows the end of the First Epistle of Peter, which is addressed to the “chosen pilgrims of the diaspora” who were being persecuted in Asia Minor. Despite the ragged and tattered appearance of the papyrus itself, the neat margins and even spacing of the text indicates a skilled, albeit somewhat rushed, scribe copied this page and added the decorative funnel-shaped elements at the bottom.

The text on the page reads: “By Silvanus, our faithful brother as I consider him, I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand. She who is in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you; and so does Mark my son. Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.”

Papiro Bodmer VIII
Facsimile Editions

#1 Papiro Bodmer VIII

Publisher: Testimonio Compañía Editorial – Madrid, 2007
Limited Edition: 980 copies
Binding: Velvet lined case stamped in gold with two interior compartments: an upper with a transparent cover for containing facsimiles and a lower that contains the commentary
Commentary: 1 volume by Pope Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger (Introduction), Carlo M. Martini and Ambrogio M. Piazzoni
Languages: English, Spanish, Greek
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
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#2 Epístolas de san Pedro (Papiro Bodmer VIII)

Vicent Garcia Editores – Valencia, 1986

Publisher: Vicent Garcia Editores – Valencia, 1986
Limited Edition: 1000 copies
Binding: Handbound under wooden boards with open spine.
Commentary: 1 volume (104 pages) by María Antonia Corbera Lloberas and Jean Guitton
Languages: French, English, Latin
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Printed on facsimile of papyrus. Limited and numbered edition.
Price Category: €€ (1,000€ - 3,000€)
Edition available
Price: Log in here!

#3 Beati Petri Apostoli Epistulae (Papiro Bodmer VIII) - Luxury Edition

Limited Edition: 950 copies
Binding: Handbound under wooden boards with open spine.
Commentary: 1 volume
Languages: French, German, Latin, Greek
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: €€ (1,000€ - 3,000€)
Edition available
Price: Login here!
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