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Papyrus 4


Papyrus 4

Papyrus 4 (\mathfrak{P}4, part of Suppl. Gr. 1120) is an early New Testament papyri of the Gospel of Luke in Greek. It is dated as being a late 2nd/early 3rd century manuscript.


It is one the earliest manuscripts (along with P75)[1] of the Gospel of Luke and contains extensive sections of its first six chapters.[2] It is currently housed in the Bibliothèque nationale de France (Suppl. Gr. 1120) in Paris.

It contains texts of Luke: 1:58-59; 1:62-2:1; 2:6-7; 3:8-4:2; 4:29-32, 34-35; 5:3-8; 5:30-6:16

The Greek text-type of this codex is a representative of the Alexandrian. Aland placed it in Category I.[3] There is agreement with Papyrus 75 in 93%.[4]

Notable readings

In Luke 6:2 — οὐκ ἔξεστιν (not lawful) for οὐκ ἔξεστιν ποιεῖν (not lawful to do); the reading is supported only by Codex Vaticanus Graecus 1209, (Codex Bezae), Codex Nitriensis, 700, lat, copsa, copbo, arm, geo;[5]

P4 was used as stuffing for the binding of "a codex of Philo, written in the later third century and found in a jar which had been walled up in a house at Coptos [in 250]."[6]

Philip Comfort and David Barret in their book Text of the Earliest NT Greek Manuscripts argue that P4 came from the same codex as P64/67, the Magdalen papyrus, and date the texts to 150-175.[7] Willker tentatively agrees stating 'The [3rd century] dating given is that of NA. Some date it into the 2nd CE (e.g. Roberts and Comfort). This is quite probable considering the use as binding material for a 3rd CE codex'.[2] Comfort and Barret also show that \mathfrak{P}4 and P64+67 have affinities with a number of late 2nd century papyri.[8] Roberts (1979), Skeat (1997),[9] Willker[2] and Stanton[10] also date the text to the late 2nd century, leading Gregory to conclude that '[t]here is good reason to believe that P4 ... may have been written late in the 2nd century...'.[9] Most recently Charlesworth has concluded 'that P64+67 and P4, though written by the same scribe, are not from the same ... codex.'[11]

See also



  • Charlesworth, SD (2007) T. C. Skeat, P64+67 and P4, and the Problem of Fibre Orientation in Codicological Reconstruction, New Test. Stud. Vol.53, pp. 582–604, 10.1017/S002868850700029X
  • Comfort, Philip W. "New Reconstructions and Identifications of New Testament Papyri," Novum Testamentum, Vol. 41, Fasc. 3., (Jul., 1999) pp. 214–230.
  • Gregory, A. The Reception of Luke and Acts in the Period Before Irenaeus, Mohr Siebeck, (2003) ISBN 3-16-148086-4, p. 28
  • , Hinrichs, p. 45.
  • Head, P. M. (2005), Is P4, P64 and P67 the Oldest Manuscript of the Four Gospels? A Response to T. C. Skeat, New Test. Stud. 51, pp. 450–457, 10.1017/S0028688505000238
  • Roberts, Colin. Manuscript, Society, and Belief in Early Christian Egypt Longwood (June 1979) ISBN 0-85672-710-5 pp. 8+23
  • Skeat, T. C. (1997), The Oldest Manuscript of the Four Gospels?, New Test. Stud. 43, p. 1-34
  • Stanton, G. N. (1997), The Fourfold Gospel, New Test. Stud. 43, p. 327

External links

  • Willker, Wieland. A Textual Commentary on the Greek Gospels, (undated+unfinished)
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