Friday, July 17, 2020

The Three Important Information we can see in Papyrus 75 but are not seen in other Greek Manuscripts

Papyrus 75 or P75 is one of the most vital Greek manuscripts for New Testament scholars especially those who value textual criticism.  For Catholic and Protestant scholars, Codex Vaticanus, a 4th century manuscript is very important. 

Bear in mind that Vaticanus is very close to P75. Their closeness is deemed regarded very close to the "sibling" relationship and the "parent-child" relationship.

Papyrus 75 is included in the Alexandrian-text type, and for Bruce Metzger, one of the best New Testament scholars, it is considered superior by most critics. 

Papyrus 75 like Codex Vaticanus is found at the Vatican library and the website of Vatican library with 75,000 manuscripts. This manuscript was written in the 3rd century. At the Vatican Library, all types of manuscripts are kept like theological works from the early church and Middle Ages, secular documents, sermons and biblical manuscripts written in Hebrew, Syriac, Greek and Latin. Some are complete. Others are incomplete. If you can read ancient manuscripts and look at Papyrus 75, you will notice something different in some Greek manuscripts.

1. Staurogram

In this part of P75, we can read the Greek word, bastazei ton stauron meaning “carry the cross.” 

This manuscript is shaped like a cross. 

It looks like this: 
2. The Name of Rich man 

In some Greek manuscripts, we cannot find the name of the Richman in Luke 16:19 and even today’s translations in the Bible. But in this manuscript, we can see the name of Rich man and it is Neues.

3. Sacred Names or Nomina Sacra

In Papyrus 75, the scribe who wrote this manuscript used Nomina Sacra. For the sacred names, they don’t write the complete Greek words but just the first letter and last letter. One is the word, Theos meaning “God.” The scribe wrote Theta and Sigma which we will notice in John 1:18 of this manuscript. P75 confirms the ancient “Monogenis Theos” or “God the only Son” and not “Ho Monogenis Huios” or “The only begotten Son.” 

Although “Ho Monogenis Huios” is found in Codex Alexandrinus, a 5th century manuscript, P75 supported Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus, both 4th century manuscripts. Even textual criticism scholars like Daniel Wallace (Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament, p. 74) and Comfort (Encountering the Manuscripts, p. 336) believe that “Monogenis theos” is original. For Larry Hurtado, the early manuscripts are better (The Earliest Christian Artifacts, p. 15). Even Bart Ehrman who doesn’t believe that Christ is God admit that the first reading is the one found in the manuscripts that are the oldest and generally considered to be the best—those of the Alexandrian textual family (Misquoting Jesus, pp. 161-162)

Note: Images in the manuscripts of this post are owned by Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts.

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