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An ancient fragment of New Testament rescued from being sold


Greek new testament copy

An antique copy of Greek New Testament papyrus saved from being sold on eBay.

In line with details, lines from Saint John’s Gospel were written on this papyrus fragment. It has been speculated that this Greek New Testament fragment dates back to an era somewhere between 250 AD to AD 350. About six lines from the Gospel of John are written on one side, while mysterious text is written on the other side.

Reports have this that this ancient fragment was found in the personal collection of a scholar who passed away. After his death, a relative found it from his possessions. This fragment was put on sale on eBay; which came into notice of Dr. Geoffrey Smith from University of Texas.

Dr. Geoffrey Smith, who is a specialist in early Christianity; somehow managed to sway the seller from selling it on eBay. The seller had put this fragment on eBay with an opening bid of $99.

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While talking with the New York Times, Dr Geoffrey Smith said, “This can’t be allowed to sell on eBay. It will just disappear into a private collection.” Moreover at the conference of the Society of Biblical Literature in Atlanta; he delivered a paper on this fragment of papyrus.

Dr. Geoffrey Smith, while speaking with the New York Times further stated that, “The fact that this one came to light on the Internet speaks to the reality for all of us who deal with manuscripts and antiquities. We’re all trying to come to terms with these things we study, our prized scholarly possessions, are now coming up for sale online.”

This is worth mentioning here that papyrus copies of New Testament are exceptionally rare. Thus far, the German institute that registers New Testament manuscripts has recognized 130 fragments. What’s more, a fragment dating back to the third century, with lined from the Epistle of Romans on calf skin parchment was sold last year at Sotheby’s for almost $500,000.