A folio from 46 containing 2 Corinthians 11:33-12:9. As with other folios of the manuscript, text is lacunose at the bottom.
|Name||P. Chester Beatty II; Ann Arbor, Univ. of Michigan, Inv. 6238|
|Now at||Dublin, University of Michigan|
|Cite||Sanders, A Third Century Papyrus Codex of the Epistles of Paul|
|Size||28 cm by 16 cm|
|Note||Affinity with Minuscule 1739|
Papyrus 46 (in the Gregory-Aland numbering), designated by siglum 46, is one of the oldest extant New Testament manuscripts in Greek, written on papyrus, with its 'most probable date' between 175-225. Some leaves are part of the Chester Beatty Biblical Papyri, and others are in the University of Michigan Papyrus Collection.
46 contains most of the Pauline epistles, though with some folios missing. It contains (in 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."
|18 (fragment)||Rom 14:9-15:11||CB|
|19-28||Rom 15:11-Hebrews 8:8||Mich.|
|31-39||Heb 9:26-1 Corinthians 2:3||CB|
|40||1 Cor 2:3-3:5||Mich.|
|41-69||1 Cor 3:6-2 Corinthians 9:7||CB|
|70-85||2 Cor 9:7-end, Ephesians, Galatians 1:1-6:10||Mich.|
|86-94||Gal 6:10-end, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians 1:1-2:3||CB|
|95-96||1 Thess 2:3-5:5||Missing|
|97 (fragment)||1 Thess 5:5, 23-28||CB|
|98-104||Thought to be 1 Thess 5:28-2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon (see below)||Missing|
Folio size is approximately 28x16 cm with a single column of text averaging 11.5 cm. There are between 26 and 32 lines (rows) of text per page, although both the width of the rows and the number of rows per page increase progressively. Rows of text at the bottom of each page are damaged (lacunose), with between 1-2 lines lacunose in the first quarter of the MS, 2-3 lines lacunose in the central half, and up to seven lines lacunose in the final quarter.
Missing contents 
The seven leaves missing from the papyrus' beginning unquestionably contained the first half of Romans. However, the contents of the seven missing leaves from the papyrus' end is uncertain. There would be enough space for 2 Thessalonians and possibly Philemon, but not for the Pastoral epistles. Kenyon calculates that 2 Thessalonians would require two leaves, leaving only five remaining leaves (10 pages) for the remaining canonical Pauline literature — 1 Timothy (estimated 8.25 pages), 2 Timothy (6 pages), Titus (3.5 pages) and Philemon (1.5 pages) — totaling ten required leaves (19.25 pages).
Throughout Romans, Hebrews and the latter chapters of 1 Corinthians are found small and thick strokes or dots, usually agreed to be from the hand of a reader rather than the producer of the manuscript since the ink is always much paler than that of the text itself. They appear to mark sense divisions (similar to verse numbering found in Bibles) and are also found in portions of 45, possibly evidence of reading in the community which held both codices.
Nomina Sacra 
46 uses an extensive and well-developed system of nomina sacra. Griffin argued against Kim, in part, that such an extensive usage of the nomina sacra system nearly eliminates any possibility of the manuscript dating to the 1st century. He admitted, however, that Kim's dating cannot be ruled out on this basis alone, since the exact provenance of the nomina sacra system itself is not well-established.
In Romans 16:15 it has singular reading Βηρεα και Αουλιαν for Ιουλιαν, Νηρεα.
In 1 Corinthians 7:5 it reads τη προσευχη (prayer) along with 11, א*, A, B, C, D, F, G, P, Ψ, 6, 33, 81, 104, 181, 629, 630, 1739, 1877, 1881, 1962, it vg, cop, arm, eth. Other manuscripts read τη νηστεια και τη προσευχη (fasting and prayer) τη προσευχη και νηστεια (prayer and fasting).
In 1 Corinthians 12:9 it reads εν τω πνευματι for εν τω ενι πνευματι.
In 1 Corinthians 15:47 it has singular reading reads δευτερος ανθρωπος πνευματικος for δευτερος ανθρωπος (א*, B, C, D, F, G, 0243, 33, 1739, it, vg, copbo eth); or δευτερος ανθρωπος ο κυριος (אc, A, Dc, K, P, Ψ, 81, 104, 181, 326, 330, 436, 451, 614, 629, 1241, 1739mg, 1877, 1881, 1984, 1985, 2127, 2492, 2495, Byz, Lect).
In 2 Corinthians 1:10 it reads τηλικουτων θανατων, along with 630, 1739c, itd,e, syrp,h, goth; majority reads τηλικουτου θανατου.
Galatians 6:2 — αναπληρωσατε ] αποπληρωσετε
Ephesians 4:16 — κατ ενεργειας ] και ενεργειας.
Ephesians 6:12 — αρχας προς τας εξουσιας ] μεθοδιας
The provenance of the papyrus is unknown, although it was probably originally discovered in the ruins of an early Christian church or monastery. Following the discovery in Cairo, the manuscript was broken up by the dealer. Ten leaves were purchased by Chester Beatty in 1930; the University of Michigan acquired six in 1931 and 24 in 1933. Beatty purchased 46 more in 1935, and his acquisitions now form part of the Chester Beatty Biblical Papyri, eleven codices of biblical material.
As with all manuscripts dated solely by palaeography, the dating of 46 is uncertain. The first editor of parts of the papyrus, H. A. Sanders, proposed a date possibly as late as the second half of the 3rd century. F. G. Kenyon, editor of the complete editio princeps, preferred a date in the first half of the 3rd century. The manuscript is now sometimes dated to about 200. Young Kyu Kim has argued for an exceptionally early date of c. 80. Griffin critiqued and disputed Kim's dating, placing the 'most probable date' between 175-225, with a '95% confidence interval' for a date between 150-250.
Comfort and Barrett have claimed that 46 shares affinities with the following:
- P. Oxy. 8 (assigned late 1st or early 2nd century),
- P. Oxy. 841 (the second hand, which cannot be dated later than 125–150),
- P. Oxy. 1622 (dated with confidence to pre-148, probably during the reign of Hadrian (117–138), because of the documentary text on the verso),
- P. Oxy. 2337 (assigned to the late 1st century),
- P. Oxy. 3721 (assigned to the second half of the 2nd century),
- P. Rylands III 550 (assigned to the 2nd century), and
- P. Berol. 9810 (early 2nd century).
This, they conclude, points to a date during the middle of the 2nd century for 46.
See also 
- List of New Testament papyri
- Collections of papyri
- Chester Beatty Papyri
- University of Michigan Papyrus Collection
- Griffin, Bruce W. (1996), "The Paleographical Dating of P-46"
- Aland, Kurt; Barbara Aland; Erroll F. Rhodes (trans.) (1995). The Text of the New Testament: An Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. p. 98. ISBN 978-0-8028-4098-1.
- Michael Marlowe, Papyrus 46
- F. G. Kenyon, The Chester Beatty Biblical Papyri. III.1 Pauline Epistles and Revelation. Text, London: E. Walker, 1934
- H. A. Sanders, A Third Century Papyrus Codex of the Epistles of Paul, (Ann Arbor, 1935), 17
- UBS3, p. 575.
- UBS3, p. 581.
- NA26, p. 450.
- UBS3, p. 591.
- UBS3, p. 605.
- UBS3, p. 616.
- UBS3, p. 622.
- UBS3, p. 661.
- NA26, p. 509.
- NA26, p. 513.
- F. G. Kenyon, The Chester Beatty Biblical Papyri: I. General Introduction, (London: E. Walker), 1933, 5
- C.H. Roberts, Manuscript, Society and Belief in Early Christian Egypt, p. 7
- H. A. Sanders, A Third-Century Papyrus Codex of the Epistles of Paul (Ann Arbor, 1935), pp. 13-15.
- F. G. Kenyon, The Chester Beatty Biblical Papyri, part 3 (London, 1936), xiv-xv.
- Willker, Wieland "Complete List of Greek NT Papyri" Last Update: 17.04.2008. Retrieved 26/08/08.
- Kim, YK (1988), "Palaeographical Dating of P46 to the Later First Century," Biblica, 69, p. 248
- See email from Griffin added in 2005 to Griffin's 1996 paper.
- Comfort, Philip W. and Barrett, David P (2001) 'The Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts', Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers Incorporated, pp. 204-206.
Further reading 
- Comfort, Philip W.; David P. Barrett (2001). The Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts. Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers. pp. 203–354. ISBN 978-0-8423-5265-9.
- Official WWW of Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, concerning P46
- Robert B. Waltz. 'NT Manuscripts: Papyri, Papyri 46.'
- Leaves of 46 at the University of Michigan (with images in TIFF)
- Reading the Papyri: 46 from the University of Michigan Papyrus Collection
- Transcription and 172 images of 46
- At Evangelical Textual Criticism
- Klaus Wachtel, Klaus Witte, Das Neue Testament auf Papyrus: Gal., Eph., Phil., Kol., 1. u. 2. Thess., 1. u. 2 Tim., Tit., Phlm., Hebr, Walter de Gruyter, 1994, pp. L-LII.
- "Liste Handschriften". Münster: Institute for New Testament Textual Research. Retrieved 26 August 2011.