Hello my friends!
How are all you fine folks? Very well I hope. I have been busy this past week at a home school conference selling wonderful books on creation science and of course had my books there as well. Many people showed up and purchased the materials and I am always so blessed when that happens. I get to see the faces of those who first are learning about the physical facts that support the Bible. And how joyous are those faces!
Speaking about learning, I have recently discovered anotherfascinating piece of evidence that proves Jesus is a historical person…
In 1920 a small fragment of Greek papyrus was found on the Egyptian market. One of many others for sale. Fortunately archeologist Bernard Grenfell, recognized the antiquity and value of this palm sized piece of writing. The original translation and transcribing however, didn’t happen until 1934, and in 1935 it was dated (by C.H. Roberts) to be as old as 100-125 AD. Since then, debates have been going on at both ends trying to date it as much as 50 years earlier and 100 years later. It is thought that this manuscript, known at papyrus 52 (p 52), may originally have come from the famous site of Oxyrhynchus (Behnesa), the ruined city of Upper Egypt.
So what is so important about this tiny, less than nine centimeters high, fragment of papyri? Stunningly it contains part of verses 31-33 of the Gospel of St. John’s on one side, on the other of verses 37-38 of chapter 18; the trial of Jesus. The inscription translates to:
Now put it all together. The bolded words are from the translation above put to scripture:
And the back of the page fragment put to scripture reads:
“The importance of this fragment is quite out of proportion to its size, since it may with some confidence be dated in the first half of the second century A.D., and thus ranks as the earliest known fragment of the New Testament in any language. It provides us with invaluable evidence of the spread of Christianity in areas distant from the land of its origin; it is particularly interesting to know that among the books read by the early Christians in Upper Egypt was St. John's Gospel, commonly regarded as one of the latest of the books of the New Testament. Like other early Christianworks which have been found in Egypt, this Gospel was written in the form of a codex, i.e. book (written on both sides), not of a scroll—the common vehicle for pagan literature of that time.”1
Currently this small papyrus fragment of the gospel of John is housed in the John Rylands University library in Manchester, England as our oldest surviving New Testament inscription. Can you imagine? This could have been written by the very hands of the apostle John. Staggering!
Take care and God bless,