Adventures in Papyri: P.Berol. 21124


Rick Brannan

P.Berol.21124-verso-proper.pngP.Berol. 21224 Recto, properly oriented

There I was, working through Kurt Treu’s 1986 Archiv für Papyrusforschung article “Varia Christiana II.” In it he presents six different ostensibly Christian papryi. The first one I’m interested in is his first listed, P.Berol. 21124, “1. Hymnus auf die Höllenfahrt Christi (?),” (“Hymn to Christ’s Descent to Hades (?)” if my hacktastic German is anywhere near correct), a fourth century papyrus reportedly from the Fayum area. It’s early, it’s short, it might have something to do with the Acts of Pilate and Descent of Christ to Hades … it hits a lot of buttons for me.

So I look at Treu’s transcription and bang it out, and begin checking it against an image of the papyrus (available here; click on thumbnails). I work through the recto, all is well. then comes the verso. The ink is fairly faded on the verso…

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