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Artefact ID346
TM IDTM 63663
Findspot (DEChriM ID)28   (al-Bahnasā)
Writing mediumCodex
Text contentLiterary

P.Oxy. LX 4009

A tall and narrow fragment possibly containing text from the Gospel of Peter. The fragment is often (perhaps erroniously) attributed to the gospel attestation of the Akhmim Codex; see Blumell / Wayment 2015: 201. Three witnesses to the Gospel of Peter survive; P.Oxy. XLI 2949, P.Cairo 10759 (the Akhmim Codex) and this fragment (uncertain), all of which differ textually. 

Although details of the original format are uncertain, if the text indeed consisted of one column, the codex would qualify as a miniature.

The text seems to be sectioned and punctuated by a mix of blank spaces within the text and in line-ends, ekthesis (l. 10, verso) and mid-stops, and there is a correction in l. 8 made by the original scribe; see ed. pr. The text is frequently ligatured and sloping slightly to the left, and the style of the rather informal hand (comparable to a variety of 2nd c. texts) points to a composition in the 2nd c. according to ed. pr. 

The texts of the recto has been supplied and restored through synoptic parallels from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke (Matt 9:37-8, 10:16a, 10:28; Luke 10:2, 3 and 12:4;); see Blumell / Wayment 2015: 201. The recto also finds parallels in the dialogue between Peter and Jesus in 2 Clement 5:2-4, a text that does not explicitly claim any relation to a Gospel of Peter, with which it is restored in the ed. pr. The verso has no available restorations.

Selection criteriaLiterary genre (Non-canonical), Nomina sacra
Date from300
Date to350
Dating criteria

Palaeography. Dated to the 2nd c. by the ed. pr. For the most recent date, the Leuven database cites a letter from the palaeographer P. Orsini; see TM 63663 (linked).

Absolute/relative dateRelative date
Archaeological context-
Accession number

Oxford, Sackler Library, Papyrology Rooms, P. Oxy. 4009.


Editio princeps:

∙ Coles, R.A., M.W. Haslam, P.J. Parsons, et al., eds. 1994. The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, part LX. Published by the Egypt Exploration Society in Graeco-Roman Memoirs. London. 1-5, no. 4009 and plate no. 1 and 2.

Additional bibliography:

∙ Bagnall, R. 2009. Early christian books in Egypt. 16.

∙ Bernhard, Andrew E. 2006. Other Early Christian Gospels: A Critical Edition of the Surviving Greek Manuscripts. Library of New Testament studies 315. London. 54-55, plate 6-7. 

∙ Blumell, Lincoln H. and Thomas A. Wayment. 2015. Christian Oxyrynchus: Texts, Documents and Sources. Waco, Texas, no. 53.

∙ Crisci, Edoardo. 2005. "I più antichi manoscritti greci della Bibbia. Fattori materiali, bibliologici, gravici". Forme e modelli della tradizione manoscritta della bibbia. Cherubini, P., ed. 17.

∙ Foster, Paul. 2006. Are there any Early Fragments of the So-Called Gospel of Peter? New Testament Studies 52 (1). 1-28.

∙ ———. 2007a. "The Disputed Early Fragments of the So-Called "Gospel of Peter": Once Again". Novum Testamentum 49 (4). 402-406. 

∙ ———. 2007b. "The Discovery and Initial Reaction to the So-called Gospel of Peter". Das Evangelium nach Petrus: Text, Kontexte, Intertexte. Kraus, Thomas J. and Tobias Nicklas, eds. BerlinW. de Gruyter. 9-30.

∙ ———. 2010. The Gospel of Peter. Introduction, Critical Edition and Commentary. Leiden: Brill. 69-80, 207-208 (images on pp. 70 and 79).

∙ Head, Peter M. 1992. "On the Christology of the Gospel of Peter". Vigiliae Christianae 46 (3): 209-224.

∙ Kraus, Thomas J. and Tobias Nicklas. 2004. Das Petrusevangelium und die Petrusapokalypse: Die griechischen Fragmente mit deutscher und englischer Übersetzung (Neutestamentliche Apokryphen I). Berlin, New York: De Gruyter.  59-63.

∙ Lührmann, Dieter. 1993a. "Ein Neues Fragment Des Petrusevangeliums". The Synoptic Gospels. Source Criticism and the New Literary Criticism.  579-581.

 ∙ ———.  1993b. "POx 4009: Ein Neues Fragment Des Petrusevangeliums?". Novum Testamentum 35 (4). 390-410.

∙ ———. 2004. Die apokryph gewordenen Evangelien. Suppl. to Novum Testamentum 112. Leiden: Brill. 73-86.

∙ ———. 2006. "Kann es wirklich keine frühe Handschrift des Petrusevangeliums geben? Corrigenda zu einem Aufsatz von Paul Foster". NT 48. 379-383.

∙ Lührmann, Dieter and Egbert Schlarb, eds. 2000. Fragmente apokryph gewordener Evangelien. Marburger theologische Studien 59. Marburg. 73, 78-79.

∙ Myllykoski, Matti. 2009a. The Sinful Woman in the Gospel of Peter: Reconstructing the Other Side of P.Oxy. 4009. New Testament Studies 55 (1). 104-115.

∙ ———. 2009b. Tears of Repentance or Tears of Gratitude? P.Oxy. 4009, the Gospel of Peter and the Western Text of Luke 7.45–49. New Testament Studies 55 (3). 380-389. 

∙ Neirynck, Frans. 1989. "The Apocryphal Gospels and the Gospel of Mark". The New Testament in Early Christianity. Severin, J.-M., ed. 140-157, 171-175.

∙ Nongbri, Brent. 2018. God's library: the archaeology of the earliest Christian manuscripts. Yale. 243, 275, and 343 n. 48.

∙ Treat, Jay C. 1990. "The Two Manuscripts Witnesses to the Gospel of Peter." Seminar Papers 126 (29). Loll, D. J., ed. Atlanta. 191-199.

∙ Wayment, Thomas A. 2013. The text of the New Testament apocrypha (100-400 CE). New York. 49-50, 253-254.

Sofia Heim, 2021
Suggested citation
Sofia Heim, 2021, "Artefact ID 346", 4CARE database - Fourth-Century Christian Archaeological Record of Egypt,