Bodmer Papyri of John
BODMER PAPYRI OF JOHN. A group of early Christian papyri from the collection of M. Martin Bodmer of Geneva began to be published in 1954, and other texts stemming from the same find are at the University of Mississippi, and in one case in the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin. Two texts are classical; the rest are Christian in both Gr. and Coptic. These include Biblical documents and also apoc. such as the Nativity of Mary, the apocryphal correspondence of Paul with the Corinthians, and the eleventh Ode of Solomon together with a second copy of Melito On the Passover (see Chester Beatty papyri). Among the Biblical documents in Gr. are two MSS containing the gospel of John (Papyrus Bodmer II and XV).
Papyrus II was originally published in 1956 as containing only the first fourteen chs. of the gospel. Two years later the remaining part also appeared, in some instances much more fragmentarily preserved. The whole was later made available in photographic reproduction. It consists of seventy-five leaves in all, and is to be dated, on grounds of its paleography, about the year a.d. 200. It presents a number of features of binding which add to the knowledge of this aspect of early papyrus codices.
Divisions of the text into chs. or sections are indicated by projecting the first letter into the mg. while leaving the latter part of the previous line blank. This feature is also paralleled in the other Bodmer papyrus. In both cases the system of division is akin to the more developed systems found in D and the Freer Codex of the gospels preserved in Washington. The text of the gospel in Bodmer Papyrus II presents the experts in this field with a number of hitherto unparalleled problems which do not yet have a complete explanation, but which may well open up new advances in tracing the complicated history of the text of the gospels. In the gospel of John there are two main ancient text-types to be discerned in Gr. MSS: one similar to B, and one similar to the text of D and Aleph. Recently M-E. Boismard has claimed to identify a third type discernible in the witnesses to the Diatessaron, and the ancient VSS influenced by it, and also in. This third is notable for its short readings. In previous papyrus discoveries it has seemed reasonable to identify the new text with one of the two MSS attested types. Bodmer Papyrus II, however, does not reveal itself as an ally of either, but in different sections is related first to one then to the other. It also attests readings previously known only in the Tatianic and versional tradition. Besides this, it also attests a number of attempts to polish the style according to current views of propriety in Gr. literary works.
Papyrus Bodmer XV was published in 1961. It forms one document with Papyrus Bodmer XIV. Together they contain
Among readings in which the two documents agree the following are of some interest:
Papyrus Bodmer II. Evangile de Jean, chs. 1-14 (1956); M. E. Boismard, “Le Papyrus Bodmer II.” RB LXIV (1957), 363-398; Papyrus Bodmer II. Supplement. Evangile de Jean, chs. 14-21 (1958); J. N. Birdsall, The Bodmer Papyrus of the