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Artefact ID476
TM IDTM 851632
Findspot (DEChriM ID)-   ()
Writing mediumSheet/roll, Uncertain
Text contentLiterary

Willoughby Papyrus; Gregory-Aland P134; Gregory-Aland 𝔓134; JBL 137 (2018): 935-958.

A small papyrus fragment containing the second Gospel of John 1.49-2.1. This fragment is interesting due to its use of an unabbreviated form of θεός "God" in l. 5 recto (usually abbreviated as a nomen sacrum), its format (written along the fibres of a book-roll) and the addition of an unknown Christian text on the verso.

The fragment is comprised of 3 parts (the largest of which measures 7 x 4.5 cm) that preserve 6 lines of text on both recto and verso. It appears to have been folded, with the recto containing the NT passage on the outside; see ed. pr.

The ed. pr. describes the hand as slightly slanting and informal, and that it belongs to Pasquale Orsini and Willy Clarysse’s group 2b as a style that deveoped from bureaucratic and chancery writing. Both texts seem to have been written by the same hand, but at different times, as is indicated by differences in the thickness of the strokes, colour of the ink, etc. 

The text contains accentuation and breathings (see lines 2, 4 and 5, recto) and a diastole (l. 6, verso). There are no lectional aides in the unknown Christian text of the verso. Both sides contain various (and at times inconsequent) nomina sacra. Most notable is the unabbreviated θεός in l. 5, recto.

The passage from the Gospel of John appears to have been copied onto a sheet from an unused book-roll, and was then rotated 180 degrees and used to inscribe the unknown Christian text; see ed. pr.

Selection criteriaLiterary genre (Biblical), Literary genre (Non-canonical), Nomina sacra
Date from250
Date to349
Dating criteria

Palaeography. The ed. pr. compares the hand with inter alia P103 (NT text from the 3rd c., Oxyrhynchus), and suggests a date in the 3/4 c. also on the basis of the diastole in l. 6 verso. 

Absolute/relative dateRelative date
Archaeological context

Findspot and provenance are unknown. The fragment had at one point been acquired by Harold R. Willoughby, and was stored in his private collection (as MS 4) before it was passed on to one of his descendants; see ed. pr.

The fragment remains in private ownership.

Accession number

Chicago, Private collection of Harold Willoughby, inventory number unknown.
Now in private ownership.


Editio princeps:

∙ Smith, Geoffrey. 2018. "The Willoughby Papyrus: A New Fragment of John 1:49–2:1 (P134) and an Unidentified Christian Text." Journal of Biblical Literature 137 (4). 935-958.

Sofia Heim, 2021
Suggested citation
Sofia Heim, 2021, "Artefact ID 476", 4CARE database - Fourth-Century Christian Archaeological Record of Egypt,