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Papyrus 66

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Papyrus 𝔓66
New Testament manuscript
The Gospel of John
The Gospel of John
NameP. Bodmer II
TextJohn 1:1–6:11; 6:35–14:26,29–30; 15:2–26; 16:2–4,6-7; 16:10–20:20,22–23; 20:25–21:9,12,17
Dateabout AD 200 (Martin), AD 100-150 (Hunger), "early or middle fourth century" (Nongbri)
FoundJabal Abu Mana, Egypt
Now atBodmer Library, Geneva
CiteMartin, Victor, ed. (1956). Papyrus Bodmer II: Évangile de Jean, chap. 1-14. Cologny-Genève: Bibliotheca Bodmeriana.

Martin, Victor, ed. (1958). Papyrus Bodmer II, Supplément: Évangile de Jean, chap. 14-21. Cologny-Genève: Bibliotheca Bodmeriana. Martin, Victor; Barns, J.W.B., eds. (1962). Papyrus Bodmer II, Supplément: Évangile de Jean, chap. 14-21. Cologny-Genève: Bibliotheca Bodmeriana.

Zumstein, Jean, ed. (2008). L'Évangile selon Jean: Introduction et traduction. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.
Size39 folios; 14.2×16.2 cm; 15-25 lines per page
TypeFree; scribe+major&minor editors
Notevery close to P75, B, 0162

Papyrus 66 (also referred to as 𝔓66) is a near complete codex of the Gospel of John, and part of the collection known as the Bodmer Papyri.


The first page of the papyrus, showing John 1:1-13 and the opening words of v.14

The manuscript contains John 1:1–6:11, 6:35b–14:26, 29–30; 15:2–26; 16:2–4, 6–7; 16:10–20:20, 22–23; 20:25–21:9, 12, 17. It is one of the oldest well-preserved New Testament manuscripts known to exist. Its original editor assigned the codex to the early third century, or around AD 200, on the basis of its style of handwriting.[1] Herbert Hunger later claimed that the handwriting should be dated to an earlier period in the middle or early part of the second century.[2] More recently, Brent Nongbri has produced a broader study of the codex and argued that when one takes into consideration the format, construction techniques, and provenance of the codex along with the handwriting, it is more reasonable to conclude that the codex was produced "in the early or middle part of the fourth century."[3] In common with both the other surviving early papyri of John's Gospel – P45 (apparently), P75, and most New Testament uncials – Papyrus 66 does not include the pericope of the adulteress (7:53-8:11),[4] demonstrating the absence of this passage in all the surviving early witnesses of the Gospel of John. The manuscript also contains, consistently, the use of Nomina Sacra.

Studies done by Karyn Berner[5] and Philip Comfort[6] contended that 𝔓66 had the work of three individuals on it: the original, professional scribe; a thoroughgoing corrector; and a minor corrector. But more recently James Royse argues that, with the possible exception of John 13:19, the corrections are all by the hand of the original copyist.[7]

The staurogram appears in at least ten places in the papyrus (corresponding to chapter 19 of the Gospel).[8]


The Greek text of this codex is a representative of the Alexandrian text-type. Aland ascribed it as "Free text" and placed it in I Category.[9]

A transcription of every single page of 𝔓66 is contained in Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek manuscripts.[4]

In John 1:15 ο οπισω ] ο πισω, the reading is supported by Codex Sangallensis 48 and Minuscule 1646.[10]

In John 13:5 it has unique textual variant ποδονιπτηρα (podoniptēra, "foot-basin") instead of νιπτηρα (niptēra, "basin").

In John 13:7 it has αρ (error) instead of αρτι (now).


The manuscript was found in 1952 at Jabal Abu Mana near Dishna (Egypt).[11] The preservation level of 𝔓66 surprised scholars because the first 26 leaves were basically fully intact, and even the stitching of the binding remained.

It was published in 1956 and it was the most important New Testament manuscript publication since the Chester Beatty Papyri in 1933–1934.[12]

It is currently housed at the Cologny-Geneva, Switzerland: Bibliotheca Bodmeriana. The Papyrus contains 39 folios – that is 78 leaves, 156 pages – at a size of 14.2 cm x 16.2 cm for each leaf with roughly 15-25 lines per page.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Victor Martin, Papyrus Bodmer II: Evangile de Jean chap. 1–14 (Cologny-Geneva: Bibliotheca Bodmeriana, 1956), 15-18.
  2. ^ Herbert Hunger. "Zur Datierung des Papyrus Bodmer II (P66)", Anzeiger der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften philosophisch-historische Klasse 97 (1961) 12–23.
  3. ^ Nongbri, Brent (2014). "The Limits of Palaeographic Dating of Literary Papyri: Some Observations on the Date and Provenance of P.Bodmer II (P66)". Museum Helveticum. 71: 1–35.
  4. ^ a b Philip Comfort and David Barrett. Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek manuscripts (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1999.) p. 376.
  5. ^ Karyn Berner. Papyrus Bodmer II, 𝔓66: A re-evaluation of the Correctors and corrections (MA thesis, 1993)
  6. ^ Philip W. Comfort. The Scribe as Interpreter: A new Look at New Testament Textual Criticism according to Reader-Reception Theory (1996)
  7. ^ Royse, pp. 409–21.
  8. ^ Hurtado, Larry W., in New Testament Manuscripts: Their Text and Their World, ed. Thomas J. Kraus and Tobias Nicklas, Leiden: Brill 2006, pp. 207–226 at p. 212
  9. ^ Aland, Kurt; Aland, Barbara (1995). The Text of the New Testament: An Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism. Erroll F. Rhodes (trans.). Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. p. 101. ISBN 978-0-8028-4098-1.
  10. ^ UBS3, p. 321
  11. ^ Comfort, Philip W.; David P. Barrett (2001). The Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts. Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers. p. 376. ISBN 978-0-8423-5265-9.
  12. ^ Floyd V. Filson, A New Papyrus Manuscript of the Gospel of John, The Biblical Archeologist (Vol. XX), p. 54.

Further reading[edit]

  • Karyn L. Berner, Papyrus Bodmer II, P66: A re-evaluation of the Correctors and corrections, M.A. thesis, Wheaton College, Ill. (1993).
  • Victor Martin, Papyrus Bodmer II: Evangile de Jean 1-14, Bibliotheca Bodmeriana 5. Cologny-Geneva, Bibliothèque Bodmer, 1956.
  • Victor Martin, Papyrus Bodmer II: Evangile de Jean 14-21, Cologny-Geneva, Bibliothèque Bodmer, 1958.
  • Victor Martin, J. W. B. Barns, Papyrus Bodmer II. Supplement. Évangile de Jean chap. 14-21. New edition augmented and corrected with the photographic reproduction of the complete manuscript (chap. 1-21), Cologny-Geneva, Bibliothèque Bodmer, 1962.
  • James R. Royse, Scribal Habits in Early Greek New Testament Papyri, Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2008.
  • Comfort, Philip W.; David P. Barrett (2001). The Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts. Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers. pp. 376–468. ISBN 978-0-8423-5265-9.

External links[edit]