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Artefact ID278
TM IDTM 61862
Findspot (DEChriM ID)28   (al-Bahnasā)
Writing mediumCodex
Text contentLiterary

P.Oxy. VIII 1078; Gregory-Aland P17; Gregory-Aland 𝔓17; NT17

Fragment containing Paul, Letter to the Hebrews 9:12-19.

The fragment presents a folio of a papyrus codex containing 21 lines of text (written in one column). The original size of the folio is estimated to have been 25 x 19 cm with approx. 16 lines of text per page. 

The text has been palaeographically compared to P.Oxy. VI 850 (containing the Acts of John), and it was suggested that these fragments were produced by the same scribe; see ed. pr. The fragment has later been assessed as having closer parallels in P80 and P86; see Comfort/ Barrett 1999: 91-92.

Diacritic marks are used sporadically (elisions as well as an apostrophe after xi in l. 2 and spiritus asper in l. 15), and punctuation is marked by double-dots (l. 3 and 12), which can also be found in e.g. P.Oxy. IV 657 (3/4 c., containing Paul Letter to the Hebrews). A variant (αἰωνίου for ἁγίου) appears in Heb. 9:14, which differs from the MSS ℵc and D.

Nomina sacra are restored in the lacunae. 

Selection criteriaLiterary genre (Biblical)
Date from300
Date to399
Dating criteria


Dated to the 4th c. by the ed. pr. and Clarysse / Orsini 2012: 469. An earlier date (250-300) has been suggested; see Jaroš 2006: 4392-4399.

Absolute/relative dateRelative date
Archaeological context

The fragment was found in al-Bahnasā (Oxyrhynchos) during the excavations of Bernard Grenfell and Arthur S. Hunt.

Accession number

Cambridge, University Library, Add. Ms. 5893.


Editio princeps:

· Hunt, Arthur S. 1911. The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, part VIII. Published by the Egypt Exploration Society in Graeco-Roman Memoirs. London. 11-13, no. 1078.

Additional bilbiography:

· Aland, Kurt. 1976. Repertorium der griechischen christlichen Papyri: 1. Biblische Papyri: Altes Testament, Neues Testament, Varia, Apokryphen. Neues Testament 17.

· Blumell, Lincoln H. and Thomas A. Wayment. 2015. Christian Oxyrynchus: Texts, Documents and Sources. Waco, Texas. 132-134, papyrus no. 33.

· Clarysse, Willy and Pasquale Orsini. 2012. "Early new testament manuscripts and their dates: A critique of theological palaeography". Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses 88. 443-474.

· Comfort, Philip W. and David P. Barrett. 1999. The complete text of the earliest New Testament manuscripts. Grand Rapids, Michigan. 91-92.

· Jaroš, Karl. 2006. Das Neue Testament nach den ältesten griechischen Handschriften (CD-Rom). 4392-4399, no. 2.51.

· van Haelst, Joseph. 1976. Catalogue des papyrus littéraires juifs et chrétiens. Paris. Description no. 539.

· Wessely, C. 1924. Les plus anciens monuments du christianisme écrits sur papyrus. Vol. 2. Paris. 461-462.

Sofia Heim, 2021
Suggested citation
Sofia Heim, 2021, "Artefact ID 278", 4CARE database - Fourth-Century Christian Archaeological Record of Egypt,