Chester Beatty Gospels - early 3rd century. (John x.7-25)
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Chester Beatty Papyrus I. This consists of portions of thirty leaves of a codex which originally consisted of about 220 leaves, & contained all four Gospels & the Acts. In direct contrast with P5 & P46 it is formed of a succession of quires of only 2 leaves. It seems that these two methods of forming papyrus codices represent early experiments, which were eventually abandoned in favour of quires of 8, 10, or 12 leaves, such as we find in late papyrus codices, & universally in vellum & paper books. The leaves are wide, & the writing is small, in a single broad column. Consequently a full page contains a large amount of text, & even small fragments may have enough of value. The extant remains consist of portions of 2 leaves of Matthew, 6 of Mark, 7 of Luke, 2 of John & 13 of Acts. Those of Luke & John consist of the major part of the leaves, those of Mark & Acts are smaller but sufficient for the character of the text & the readings of many important passages to be clear, those of Matthew so small as to be negligible. For the details of the passages preserved, reference must be made to the publication of the papyrus by the writer (Chester Beatty Biblical Papyri, fasc.ii.1933), or The Text of the Greek Bible (1937). The interest of the papyrus lies in the fact that it cannot be assigned to any of the families of text described in the previous chapter. In Mark it is nearer to the Caesarean family than to either Neutral or Western. In Luke & John (where the Caesarean text has not yet been determined) all that can be said is that it is intermediate between Neutral & Western; in Acts it is distinctly nearer to the Neutral & has none of the major variants characteristic of the Western text in this book, though it has some of the minor ones. It therefore adds to the proof that the Neutral text has no exclusive predominance in Egypt, but that rather there was, by the beginning of the third century, a welter of various readings which were only gradually crystallising into distinct families, & that the Caesarean text may well have had its growth in Egypt, before Origen took it to Caesarea.

Description & picture from 'Our Bible & the Ancient Manuscripts' by Sir Frederick Kenyon (1895 - 4th Ed. 1939) Pg 65 & Plate VII. (Page fragment illustrated: 27.5 x 12.5cm.) 

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