Reconsidering the place of Papyrus Bodmer xiv-xv (p75) in the textual criticism of the New Testament

Brent Nongbri*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Papyrus Bodmer XIV-XV (p75), a well-preserved Greek papyrus codex containing the Gospels of Luke and John, has been called the most significant New Testament papyrus so far discovered. The reason for this high estimation is the combination of the early date assigned to the manuscript on the basis of paleography (ca. 175-225 CE) and its close agreement with the text of Codex Vaticanus, which is thought to provide evidence that the "B text" of Vaticanus was produced as early as the second century and was very carefully transmitted. The evidence gathered in the present essay calls these conclusions into question by showing that both paleographically and codicologically, P.Bodm. XIV-XV fits comfortably in a fourth-century context, along with the bulk of the other "Bodmer papyri" with which it was apparently discovered. These observations, combined with the fact that the text of P.Bodm. XIV-XV so closely matches that of Vaticanus-a codex widely acknowledged to be a product of the fourth century- suggest that P.Bodm. XIV-XV was also itself produced in the fourth century. Thus, a number of previous arguments that relied on a second- or early-thirdcentury date for P.Bodm. XIV-XV will need to be reconsidered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-437
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Biblical Literature
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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