I am super excited because for my birthday my wife is taking me to the University of Michigan this weekend, where a papyrus collection of Paul’s epistles is on display! At the Parsons Papyrology Exhibit Case, located in the Audubon Room of the first floor of the Hatcher Graduate Library, there is a set of leaves from a papyrus codex containing portions from Paul’s letter to the Galatians. The codex, generally referred to as P46, is dated to about 150 C.E. to 200 C.E. There are a total of 86 leaves extant: 30 are at University of Michigan and 56 are in the Chester Beatty Collection of Dublin, Ireland.
The discovery of the codex in 1931 provided a text at least a century older than the Vatican and Sinaitic codices, the oldest authorities on which the text had previously rested.
I am so excited to see these in person! It is amazing to think that the scribe who copied these manuscripts could have been the great grandson of someone who had known and read the apostle’s original letters (assuming that Paul was writing in the 50’s). These are only a few generations removed from the autographs!
This is the best birthday present ever!