In my last post, I mentioned I was watching a set of DVDs that documented the series of lectures that accompanied the “Passages” exhibition of the Green Collection. One of the Green Collection papyri that is mentioned in the lectures in these DVDs is perhaps the same papyrus that is mentioned as number 22 in a 2013 lecture by Scott Carroll:
Item number 22 is described as “Gospel of Mt c. 140.” A papyrus with a somewhat similar description comes up during the “Passages” lectures in Oklahoma City in 2011. In his closing remarks after a talk by the British Library’s Scot McKendrick, Scott Carroll announced the discovery of a new manuscript:
“I had a great afternoon. I was looking at papyri, and, discovered . . . a second century text of the Sermon on the Mount in the Green Collection. Hallelujah! I love studying ancient texts!”
Carroll was apparently not the only one talking about this papyrus in 2011. During his talk in the “Passages” series, Jerry Pattengale nonchalantly pulled a papyrus of a very similar description out of his coat pocket:
Pattengale described the papyrus:
“Scott [Carroll] in a research, recently–this is the end of Matthew 6. It’s the twenty-sixth known. And it’s verses 25-27. You know what that says? That your life’s gonna be okay. Don’t worry. God’s gonna take care of you. . . . My friends, this is 200 years earlier than a lot of the texts that are much in the sensational news today. This is part of that list that supports the canon. When you talk about accuracy and authenticity–this has been dated to about 140 to 160. It’s early. And you have in the room a couple people, um, that can do that. And then Dr. Obbink as well.”
It is interesting to see Dirk Obbink invoked as one of the authorities for dating the papyrus. And it is also interesting that the papyrus, like so many others in the Green Collection, just happens to be assigned to the second century. But again, no further information is given on the provenance of this papyrus, and it is not clear whether it remains in the Green Collection or has been “donated” to the Museum of the Bible. Nor have I read or heard anything else about this papyrus in other venues. I am curious to see if it ever resurfaces.