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Artefact ID648
TM IDTM 61697
Findspot (DEChriM ID)30   (al-Ašmūnayn)
Writing mediumCodex
Text contentLiterary

Gregory-Aland 0189; Uncial 0189

Parchment folio containing Luke, Acts of the Apostles 5:23-21. 

The folio could possibly be the oldest parchment fragment containing a text from the New Testament, if the date given by C. H. Roberts (2/3rd c.; see Aland 1962: 92) is accepted.

The fragment measures 18 x 11.5 cm, and the text is written in one column with 32 lines per page. There pagination is visible above the text, marking the folio as pages "15" (iota-epsilon) and "16" (iota-stigma), suggesting that the Acts presented the first (or only) part of the parchment codex. There is a decoration drawn into the upper margin of page "15".

For punctuation, the scribe employed high dots. The text also contains apostrophes and nomina sacra, and there are no occurrences of diaereses, accentuatio or breathings.

The hand is described by the ed. pr. as a beautiful majuscule, and is placed in the (early) 4th c. For more details, see the dating criteria.

Selection criteriaLiterary genre (Biblical), Nomina sacra
Date from300
Date to399
Dating criteria

Palaeography. Placed by the ed. pr. in the beginning of the 4th c. It was also dated much earlier, in the 2nd or 3rd c., by C. H. Roberts; see Aland (1962): 92.

The fragment has since been dated to the 4th c. in Orsini and Clarysse 2012: 457 and 472.

Absolute/relative dateRelative date
Archaeological context

Excavations in al-Ašmūnayn (description of the Berlin Museum inventory).

Accession number

Berlin, SMPK Egyptian Museum, P.Berol.inv. 11765.


Editio princeps:

∙ Salonius, A. H. 1927. "Die griechischen Handschriftenfragmente des Neuen Testaments in den Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin". Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 26. 116-119.

Additional bibliography:

Aland, Kurt. 1967. Studien zur Überlieferung des Neuen Testaments und seines Textes. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. 92.

∙ 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. 642-645.

∙ Crisci, Eduardo. 2005a. "I più antichi manoscritti greci della Bibbia. Fattori materiali, bibliologici, gravici". Forme e modelli della tradizione manoscritta della bibbia. Cherubini, P., ed. Città del Vaticano. 27.

∙ ———. 2005b. "Note sulla piú antica produzione di libri cristiani nell’Oriente greco". Signo e Testo 3. 139–141 and plate no. 23.

∙ Jaroš, Karl. 2006. Das Neue Testament nach den ältesten griechischen Handschriften (CD-Rom). Wien-Würzburg: Echter. 4001-4012, no. 2.31.

∙ van Haelst, Joseph. 1976. Catalogue des papyrus littéraires juifs et chrétiens. Paris. Description no. 479.

Sofia Heim, 2021
Suggested citation
Sofia Heim, 2021, "Artefact ID 648", 4CARE database - Fourth-Century Christian Archaeological Record of Egypt,