More of Scott Carroll’s Papyri?

carroll 2018 talk stones and scriptures

Thanks to David Bradnick for uncovering this relatively recent video of Scott Carroll that was recorded February 23, 2018 (Update: Thanks to Peter Gurry and Susanna Kinzig for pointing out the website for the original event). In this talk, “Stones and Scriptures,” Carroll presents slides with images of several of the same manuscripts that he discussed in a 2016 talk, as well as images of several other manuscripts. At about the 11:05 mark, Carroll begins going through some slides of the manuscripts that he describes in the following way:

“These texts are just a couple of examples of things recently that we have, ah, discovered or identified.”

In fact, a number of the pieces he discusses are quite well known. I have mostly skipped over these to focus on pieces that have been associated with the Green Collection or the Museum of the Bible. So, once again, here are images of the manuscripts that Carroll presents with his identifications below the images. [My comments are included in brackets.] The time markers from which the screen shots were made are visible in the lower part of the images.

carroll iliad and aesop

Papyrus fragment containing Iliad 1, opening lines (left) [This papyrus featured in promotional material for a talk Carroll gave in 2014.]; papyrus fragment containing the Iliad (middle); papyrus fragment containing what Carroll calls “the earliest known document of Aesop’s fables” (right).

carroll mummy mask

Mummy mask (left) [The papyri on the right look quite similar to the framed papyri that Carroll has on another occasion identified as fragments of Menander.]

carroll papyrus cartonnage

Carroll’s only identification of these items is as follows: “These things were used as plates” [These appear to be compressed layers of used papyrus, similar to the clump of papyrus leaves that contained 1 Samuel.]

carroll genesis papyri

Two fragments of papyrus containing portions of Genesis.

carroll exodus psalms leviticus

A papyrus containing Exodus, according to Carroll: “something I worked on a few months ago” (left); recto and verso of a codex leaf containing Psalms (middle and lower right); “an early text of Leviticus” (upper right) [The Leviticus text is P.Oxy. 11.1351, one of the so-called “distribution papyri” given by the Egypt Exploration Society to Crozer Theological Seminary and eventually sold (so I thought) to the Museum of the Bible. In any event, it is not a “recent discovery.]

carroll 1 samuel

A “round thing” (left) [This appears to be another object made of compressed leaves of papyrus]; a leaf of 1 Samuel extracted from the “round thing.”

carroll exodus isaiah eccl 1 kings

A fragment of a papyrus leaf of Exodus [from the Tchacos-Ferrini Exodus codex] (left); a papyrus fragment of Isaiah; papyrus fragment of Ecclesiastes (upper right); parchment fragment of 1 Kings (lower right).

carroll john papyri

P.Ryl. 3.457 (P52) [Definitely not owned by Carroll or the Greens!] (left); the papyrus on the right is what Carroll describes as “a very early text of John” [Update 27 January 2018: In another video, Carroll identifies this fragment as belonging to a leaf containing Romans 4.]

carroll matthew and luke

Two papyri of Matthew (left) and two papyri of Luke (right). According to Carroll, “None of these are documented. . . None of these are known at all by anyone.” [The three papyri on the right were displayed in one of Carroll’s earlier talks. The papyrus on the far left may be the manuscript of Matthew 6 displayed by Jerry Pattengale in a talk in 2011.]

carroll romans papyri

A papyrus leaf of Romans [As Carroll notes, despite the difference in color, the upper fragment and the lower fragment are part of the same manuscript. The lower fragments appear to be mislabeled. The upper fragment would basically join to the lower right fragment to yield a partial text of Romans 9:18-21, the lower left fragment has Romans 10:2-3. These contents match reasonably well with the entry on the INTF Liste for P131, although that piece is described as consisting of a single fragment. The upper fragment was displayed in Steve Green’s early 2012 CNN interview and described as having just been discovered.]

carroll 1 corinthians

Fragments of a papyrus manuscript of 1 Corinthians. According to Carroll, “This might be, um, the second earliest papyrus of the New Testament in the world. It’s just not published yet.” [Again, Carroll notes that despite the different colors in the images, these are parts of the same manuscript. The portion on the left showed up (already framed in glass) during Scott Carroll’s mummy mask dismantling at Baylor in January 2012. The papyrus was identified by Mike Holmes as a piece that he had edited for a yet-to-be-published Brill volume.]

carroll ephesians and hebrews

According to Carroll, “The one on the left came from a family in Switzerland. It’s of Ephesians. They didn’t know what it was. They came to us.” [The papyrus on left does not seem to be Ephesians; it quite clearly has the text of Galatians 5, and Carroll identified a very similar looking leaf as coming from Galatians during a different talk.]; a papyrus fragment of Hebrews (middle) [This piece featured in a 2011 talk by Carroll; it is presumably P130 on the INTF Liste.]; another papyrus fragment of Hebrews (right).

At the page hosting this video, there is a second video in which Carroll displays facsimiles of several manuscripts, including P.Ryl. 3.457 (P52) and the Nash Papyrus. But the video also includes an incredibly awkward question-and-answer session with Carroll. Watch at your own risk.

So, what is the takeaway from all this? In light of Scott Carroll’s claim to be the owner of several classical papyri, the fact that he was as recently as 2018 displaying images of a number of pieces that had (to my mind, at least) been associated with the Green Collection / Museum of the Bible raises the following question: Which of the pieces displayed in this talk belong to the Green Collection / Museum of the Bible and which belong to Carroll himself? (Or have some been sold to some unknown party?) Carroll has claimed to be the owner of the Menander fragments displayed here. Is he also the owner of any of the Christian manuscripts shown here? And (as always): Where did these papyri come from? There are still many questions surrounding these manuscripts.

This entry was posted in Antiquities Dealers and Collectors, Antiquities Market, Bruce Ferrini, Green Collection, Green Collection 1 Samuel, Green Collection Greek Genesis, Green Collection Hebrews, Green Collection Romans, Mummies, Mummy cartonnage, Scott Carroll. Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to More of Scott Carroll’s Papyri?

  1. Pattycake says:

    Wow. Several years ago, Carroll was in a video saying something along the lines of how there was even more exciting news than First Century Mark. I’m wondering if it has anything to do with his own collection of papyri.

    • Yes, in the “Stones and Scriptures” video here, Carroll mentions “first century Mark,” but before he does so, he says (at about the 40:15 mark) that P52 used to be considered the earliest manuscript of the New Testament, “but, um, there’s one in the spring I worked on that’s earlier than this that I can’t tell you about, um ‘cuz it’s not published. And there’s another that I can tell you about, but it’s not published either. Um, it’s actually a fragment of the Gospel of Mark . . .” and so on.

  2. Pete Head says:

    “It has to do with um … with writing”

  3. D. Bradnick says:

    Here are a few things that I found interesting in the video. When speaking of the Romans fragment (P131), Carroll says:

    “This is a papyrus of Romans…Hey Denise…So this is the papyrus of Romans that was cut and see how they fit together. And that’s the backside. She knows what I’m talking about. . . . O.k., so this is 1 Corinthians. Alright. They’re not the same color but the exact same papyrus. Same thing as Romans, Denise. Front side, backside.”

    This seems to insinuate that Carroll himself extracted these papyri from some sort of cartonnage. He talks about other papyri being extracted from mummy cartonnage but not these. He remains tight-lipped on their source. Obviously, the lingering question is: What is the “thing” from which they come?

    It’s also interesting that many of these texts are intermingled with Oxyrhynchus texts in his slide show.

    Any chance that the Hebrews papyrus (right) is the Hebrews 11 homily from Verbum Domini (2012)?

    • Yes, the Hebrews papyrus on the right does look like it contains Heb. 11:38 and surrounding verses. I’m not sure about the Romans piece. There was something close to a claim that it come from cartonnage in Steve Green’s 2012 CNN interview. For the 1 Cor. piece, there is the entry in Carroll’s catalogue for the first Verbum Domini exhibit: “I Corinthians 8:10; 9:3 In Greek on Papyrus, Fayoum, Mid to Late Second Century CE This is a fascinating papyrus containing 1 Corinthians 8:10 and 9:3 that was extracted from mummy cartonnage. . . . This is the earliest of the eight known papyri of 1 Corinthians and the earliest-known papyrus of St. Paul’s writings.”

      • D. Bradnick says:

        I’m guessing that Carroll regularly uses the term “mummy cartonnage” as a catch-all for all types of cartonnage, perhaps to avoid complications for his audience and also for dramatic effect (which I think is more likely the case, given Carroll’s penchant for dramatic appeal). Case in point, he sometimes discusses the 1 Sam. papyri as coming from mummy cartonnage but elsewhere says that it came from domestic cartonnage.

      • Yes, in some of these talks he dives right in to talking about “cartonnage” in a way that would probably leave most non-specialist audiences baffled. When he does shift to Obbink’s preferred terminology “domestic” or “industrial” cartonnage, it’s never quite clear that he actually has any sense of what the objects were (thus his workaround terms “plates” and “thingamajigs”).

  4. Tommy Wasserman says:

    I think I have found some more information about one of the Iliad manuscript. I tried to send you an e-mail about a week ago (gmail), but I am not sure if you got it. Perhaps you can send me a message.

  5. Pingback: Still More Greek and Coptic Papyri from Scott Carroll | Variant Readings

  6. Pingback: Sources and Destinations of Scott Carroll’s Papyri? | Variant Readings

  7. Pingback: P129: Some Questions about a Papyrus of 1 Corinthians | Variant Readings

  8. Pingback: One of the “Other” Oxyrhynchus Gospels for Sale and a Pattern in the Green Collection | Variant Readings

  9. At 24:23 there is also a new Dead Sea Scrolls-like fragment with text from Exodus 12:3–5.

  10. Pingback: Recently Emerged Papyri of Dubious Origins: A Working List | Variant Readings

  11. Pingback: A Couple More Manuscripts of Questionable Origins | Variant Readings

  12. Susanna Kinzig says:

    For people just reading this now: The archive-link for the original event is

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