In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The Gospel According to Saint John
Papyrus, Egypt, approx. 200 AD – PB II
The Papyrus Bodmer II (P66) is a remarkable document. It is a transcription of the oldest known example of the complete Gospel According to Saint John. The manuscript, which dates back to the end of the 2nd century, gives an insight into how Christian texts were written less than 100 years after the Gospel was drafted. It was written on small papyrus sheets bound into notebooks. The Gospel According to Saint John is also one of the first codices – precursors of the modern book, which would gradually replace traditional scrolls.
The Gospel According to Saint John focuses on the glory of the revelation of Christ. As the quintessential ‘spiritual Gospel’, it has contributed to the development of different forms of religion and stimulated theological and philosophical thinking. Written at the end of the 1st century in Syria or Asia Minor, it is probably the final version of successive drafts. The language of the text betrays its different religious origins: fundamentally rooted in primitive Christianity, there are also hints of heterodox Judaism and ancient syncretism.
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