Variant Readings

Among the Christian papyri from Oxyrhynchus is an interesting piece now in the British Library (Pap. 2053) that contains the final verses of Exodus in Greek with an end title (P.Oxy. 8.1075) and on the reverse, in a different script, the opening verses of Revelation (P.Oxy. 8.1079):

British Library Papyrus 2053 British Library Papyrus 2053, showing P.Oxy. 8.1075 (Exodus) on the horizontal fibers (left) and P.Oxy. 8.1079 (Revelation) on the vertical fibers (right); image source: The British Library

The original editor (Arthur S. Hunt) published the texts separately and believed that the piece was a roll of Exodus that was later (but not much later) reused by copying the text of Revelation on the back of the roll. A few years ago, I suggested that this piece was equally likely (if not more likely) to be a leaf of a codex. The abstract of that article in Novum Testamentum laid out the lines of…

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