Papyrus 4

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Papyrus 4
New Testament manuscript
Luke 6:4-16
Luke 6:4-16
TextLuke 1-6 (extensive parts of,)
DateLate 2nd/3rd century
FoundCoptos, Egypt
Now atParis, Bibliothèque Nationale, Suppl. Gr. 1120
TypeAlexandrian text-type

Papyrus 4 (𝔓4, part of Suppl. Gr. 1120) is an early New Testament papyrus of the Gospel of Luke in Greek. Opinions differ as to its age. It has been dated anywhere from the late second century to the fourth century.


Fragment of a flyleaf with the title of the Gospel of Matthew, ευαγγελιον κ̣ατ̣α μαθ᾽θαιον (euangelion kata Maththaion). Dated to late 2nd or early 3rd century, it is the earliest manuscript title for Matthew and one of the earliest manuscript titles for any gospel (alongside with John's 𝔓66 and 𝔓75).

It is one of 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 𝔓75 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]

Some early accounts stated that 𝔓4 was used as stuffing for the binding of a codex of Philo, written in the late third century and found walled up in a house at Coptos.[6] Apparently this account was incorrect, however, as the fragments were actually found stashed between pages of the codex of Philo, not in the binding.[7]

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.[8] 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 𝔓4 and 𝔓64+67 have affinities with a number of late 2nd century papyri.[9] Roberts (1979), Skeat (1997),[10] Willker[2] and Stanton[11] 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...'.[10] Frederic Kenyon dated 𝔓4 to the fourth century. In 2018, Brent Nongbri argued that it was not possible with current knowledge to date 𝔓4 to a specific century, and that any dates from the 2nd to 4th centuries were equally reasonable.[12] Charlesworth has concluded 'that 𝔓64+67 and 𝔓4, though written by the same scribe, are not from the same ... codex.'[13]

See also


  1. Gregory (2003) p.28
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Wieland
  3. 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. 96. ISBN 978-0-8028-4098-1.
  4. Philip W. Comfort, David P. Barrett, The Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton 1999, s. 43.
  5. NA26, p. 170.
  6. Roberts (1979) p. 8
  7. Nongbri, Brent (August 21, 2018). God's Library: The Archaeology of the Earliest Christian Manuscripts. Yale University Press. p. 256–260. ISBN 978-0300215410.
  8. Comfort (2001) pp. 50-53, see also Comfort (1999)
  9. i.e. P. Oxy. 224, 661, 2334, 2404 2750, P. Ryl. 16, 547, and P. Vindob G 29784
  10. 10.0 10.1 Gregory (2003), p.30
  11. Stanton (1997) p. 327
  12. Nongbri, Brent (August 21, 2018). God's Library: The Archaeology of the Earliest Christian Manuscripts. Yale University Press. p. 263–268. ISBN 978-0300215410.
  13. Charlesworth (2007), p.604


External links