Papyrus Egerton 2
The fragments come from a papyrus codex (like P. Oxy. 1), not from a roll (like P. Oxy. 654, 655). The manuscript dates from c.150. The gospel it contains may have been written at the turn of the century, thus making it and P52 (of the Gospel of John) the earliest Christian writing extant.
P. Egerton 2 contains two leaves and the remains of a third. The contents that show parallels with synoptic Gospel material are not verbally exact, but may represent reproduction of the synoptic stories from memory. The rewriting of stories taken from the canonical Gospels, or developed from the oral tradition behind the written Gospels, is a characteristic of much of the apocryphal material. The contents are not heretical. There is no need to connect this papyrus with other gospels known from antiquity (e.g. The Gospel according to the Hebrews, The Gospel of the Egyptians).
The translation is of the Greek text as printed by de Santos Otero.
H. I. Bell and T. C. Skeat, Fragments of an Unknown Gospel and other early Christian Papyri (London, 1935) (editio princeps); and a more popular version: id., The New Gospel Fragments (London, 1935; repr. 1951, 1955). 1 Reviews in Rev. Bib. 45 (1936), 272 (Benoit); ZNW (1935), 285–93 (Lietzmann).
NB additional fragment published by M. Gronewald, ‘Unbekanntes Evangelium oder Evangelienharmonie (Fragment aus dem “Evangelium Egerton”)’, in Papyrologica Coloniensia, vii. Kölner Papyri 6 (ed. M. Gronewald et al. Westdeutscher Verlag, 1987), 136–45 and plate V. Cf. D. Lührmann, ‘Das neue Fragment des P. Egerton 2 (P. Köln 255)’ in F. Van Segbroeck et al. (eds.), The Four Gospels 1992 III (Leuven, 1992) 2239–55 (= BETL 100).
Aland13, 584; Huck–Greeven13, 285; Boismard, 415.
Hennecke3, i. 94–7. Hennecke5, i. 96–9.
James, Appendix 1 (5th imp. onwards), 569–70.
Hennecke3, i. 58–60 (J. Jeremias).
Hennecke5, i. 82–5 (J. Jeremias and W. Schneemelcher).
Bonaccorsi, i. 42–8. Erbetta, i. 1, 102–6. Moraldi, i. 444–6.
de Santos Otero, 95–100.
L. Cerfaux, ‘Un nouvel évangile apocryphe’, ETL 12 (1935), 579–81.
—‘Parallèles canoniques et extracanoniques de l’Évangile Inconnu’, Le Muséon 49 (1939), 55–78.
M.‐J. Lagrange, ‘Deux nouveaux texts relatifs à l’Évangile’, Rev. Bib. 44 (1935), 321–43 (P. Egerton 2 = pp. 327–43).
H. Lietzmann, ‘Neue Evangelienpapyri’, ZNW 34 (1935), 285–93.
M. Goguel, ‘Les nouveaux fragments évangeliques de Londres’, RHR 113 (1936), 42–87 (with French translation of text).
C. H. Dodd, ‘A New Gospel’, BJRL 20 (1936), 56–92. (repr. in id., New Testament Studies (Manchester, 1953), 12–52).
J. Jeremias and K. F. W. Schmidt, ‘Ein bisher unbekanntes Evangelienfragment’, Th. Blätt. 15 (1936), cols. 34–45 (cf. I. Bell, ibid. cols. 72–4).
G. Mayeda, Das Leben‐Jesu‐Fragment Papyrus Egerton 2 und seine Stellung in der urchristlichen Literaturgeschichte (Berne, 1946). 2 Reviews in Rev. Bib. 55 (1948), 472–4 (P. Benoit); Vig. Chr. 2 (1948), 120 (W. C. van Unnik); HTR 42 (1949), 53–63 (I. Bell); HTR 43 (1950), 103 (I. Bell). [Gives the alternative reconstructions of lines 68–73 as proposed by Cerfaux, Dodd, and Lagrange.]
U. Gallizia, ‘Il P. Egerton 2’, Aegyptus 36 (1956), 29–72, 178–234.
F. Neirynck, ‘Papyrus Egerton 2 and the Healing of the Leper’, ETL 61 (1985), 153–160.
D. F. Wright, ‘Apocryphal Gospels (Pap. Egerton 2) and the Gospel of Peter’, in D. Wenham (ed.), The Jesus Tradition Outside the Gospels (Sheffield, 1985), 207–32 (= Gospel Perspectives 5).
J. D. Crossan, Four other Gospels: Shadows on the Contours of Canon (Minneapolis, Chicago, New York, 1985).
D. F. Wright, ‘Papyrus Egerton 2 (The Unknown Gospel)—Part of the Gospel of Peter?’, Second Century 5 (1985–6), 129–50.
F. Neirynck, ‘The Apocryphal Gospels and the Gospel of Mark’, in J.‐M. Sevrin (ed.), The New Testament in Early Christianity (Leuven, 1989), 123–75, esp. 161–7 (= BETL 86).
Fragment 1 verso, lines 1–20, with additional lines from P. Köln 255 (inv. 608) verso:
[And Jesus said] to the lawyers, ‘[Punish] every wrong‐doer and transgressor, and not me . . . what he does as he does it.’ Then, turning to the rulers of the people, he spoke this word, ‘Search the scriptures, in which you think you have life; it is they which bear witness to me. 1 John 5: 39 . Do not think that I have come to accuse you to my Father; your accuser is Moses, on whom you have set your hope.’ 2 John 5: 45 . When they said, ‘We know well that God spoke to Moses; but as for you, we do not know where you come from’ 3 John 9: 29 . Jesus said in reply, ‘Now your unbelief is accused to the ones who were witnessed to by him. If you had believed [in Moses] you would have believed me, because he wrote to your fathers about me . . . ’ 4 John 5: 46 .Fragment 1 recto, lines 22–41, with additional lines from P. Köln 255 (inv. 608) recto:
. . . collect stones and stone him. The rulers sought to lay their hands on him in order to arrest him and hand him over to the crowd; but they could not arrest him, because the hour of his betrayal had not yet come. 5 John 7: 30 . The Lord himself, passing out through their midst, escaped from them. 6 John 10: 39 .
And behold, a leper approached him and said, ‘Teacher Jesus, while journeying with lepers and eating with them in the inn, I myself also became a leper. If, therefore, you are willing, I am cleansed.’ The Lord said to him, ‘I am willing: be cleansed.’ And immediately the leprosy departed from him, and the Lord said, ‘Go, show yourself to the priests and make an offering for your cleansing as Moses commanded, and sin no more . . . ’ 7 Cf. Matt. 8: 2–4; Mark 1: 40–4; Luke 5: 12–14, 17: 14 .Fragment 2 recto, lines 43–59:
. . . came to him to tempt him, saying, ‘Teacher Jesus, we know that you have come from God, 8 John 3: 2 . for the things which you do bear witness beyond all the prophets. Tell us then: Is it lawful to render to kings what pertains to their rule? Shall we render it to them or not?’ 9 Cf. Matt. 22: 15–18; Mark 12: 13–15; Luke 20: 20–23; John 5: 14 . But Jesus, knowing their mind, said to them in indignation, ‘Why do you call me teacher with your mouth, when you do not do what I say? Well did Isaiah prophesy of you when he said: This people honours me with its lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, (teaching as doctrines merely human) commandments.’ 10 Isa. 29: 13 (LXX); cf. Matt. 15: 7–8; Mark 7: 6–7 .Fragment 2 verso, lines 60–75:
‘ . . . enclosed in its place, . . . placed below invisibly, . . . its weight immeasurable’ . . . And when they were perplexed at his strange question, Jesus, as he walked, stood on the bank of Jordan and, stretching out his right hand, filled it [with seed] and sowed it on the river. Then . . . the water which had been sown [with seed] . . . in their presence and it produced much fruit . . . to their joy’ . . .Fragment 3 contains only a few isolated words.
1 Reviews in Rev. Bib. 45 (1936), 272 (Benoit); ZNW (1935), 285–93 (Lietzmann).
2 Reviews in Rev. Bib. 55 (1948), 472–4 (P. Benoit); Vig. Chr. 2 (1948), 120 (W. C. van Unnik); HTR 42 (1949), 53–63 (I. Bell); HTR 43 (1950), 103 (I. Bell).