Papyrus 4

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Papyrus 4
New Testament manuscript
Luke 6:4-16
Luke 6:4-16
Sign 4
Text Luke 1-6 (extensive parts of,)
Date Late 2nd/3rd century
Script Greek
Found Coptos, Egypt
Now at Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, Suppl. Gr. 1120
Type Alexandrian text-type
Category I

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


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 66 and 75).

It is one of the earliest manuscripts (along with 75)[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 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]

4 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 4 came from the same codex as 64+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 4 and 64+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 4 ... may have been written late in the 2nd century...'.[9] Most recently Charlesworth has concluded 'that 64+67 and 4, though written by the same scribe, are not from the same ... codex.'[11]

See also


  1. ^ Gregory (2003) p.28
  2. ^ a b c Willker
  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. ^ Comfort (2001) pp. 50-53, see also Comfort (1999)
  8. ^ i.e. P. Oxy. 224, 661, 2334, 2404 2750, P. Ryl. 16, 547, and P. Vindob G 29784
  9. ^ a b Gregory (2003), p.30
  10. ^ Stanton (1997) p. 327
  11. ^ Charlesworth (2007), p.604


  • 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, doi: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.
  • Comfort, Philip W.; David P. Barrett (2001). The Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts. Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers. pp. 46–71. ISBN 978-0-8423-5265-9. 
  • Gregory, A. The Reception of Luke and Acts in the Period Before Irenaeus, Mohr Siebeck, (2003) ISBN 3-16-148086-4, p. 28
  • C. R. Gregory, Die griechischen Handschriften des Neuen Testament, 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, doi: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)
  • "Handschriftenliste". Münster: Institute for New Testament Textual Research. Retrieved 13 August 2011. 
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