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Bruce F. Harris

The Chester Beatty Papyri

"The Chester Beatty Papyri is the name of a group of biblical manuscripts acquired mainly in 1930 by A. Chester Beatty, an American collector. The had been discovered at Aphroditopolis, N. of Memphis in Egypt, probably originating from the library of a Christian church. 

The manuscripts are substantial portions of papyrus codices: (1) seven from the OT, including large parts of Genesis, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Esther, and Ecclesiastes; (2) three from the NT, containing the Gospels with Acts, the Pauline Epistles, and Revelation; (3) one with part of the pseudepigraphical Book of Enoch and a second century homily of the passion. 

The number of surviving leaves in these codices varies greatly, the most remarkable being P46 (Pauline Epistles and Hebrews) with 86 nearly complete leaves out of a total of 104. After Beatty acquired the original 10, the University of Michigan acquired another 30, and Beatty another 46, all from the same codex. This collection of papyri, dated to the second and third centuries A.D., provides important textual evidence for OT and especially NT prior to the great vellum codices of the fourth century and later."

Bruce F. Harris, Contributor "Dictionary of Biblical Archaeology" (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan 1983) p. 127