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{{New Testament manuscript infobox
form = Papyrus
number = 45
image = P. Chester Beatty I, folio 13-14, recto.jpg
isize =
caption= Folois 13-14 with part of the Gospel of Luke
name = P. Chester Beatty I
sign = \mathfrak{P}45
text = Gospels, Acts
script = Greek
date = c. 250
found = Egyptmarker
now at = Chester Beatty Librarymarker
cite = F.G. Kenyon, The Chester Beatty Biblical Papyri (London: E. Walker), 1933
size = 30 leaves; 10 in x 8 in
type = eclectic text-type
cat = I
hand =
note =}}Papyrus 45 (\mathfrak{P}45 or P. Chester Beatty I' ) is an early New Testament manuscript which is a part of the Chester Beatty Papyri. It was probably created around 250 in Egyptmarker. It contains the texts of Matthew 20-21 and 25-26; Mark 4-9 and 11-12; Luke 6-7 and 9-14; John 4-5 and 10-11; and Acts 4-17. The manuscript is currently housed at the Chester Beatty Librarymarker, Dublinmarker, Irelandmarker, except for one leaf containing Matt. 25:41-26:39 which is at the Austrian National Librarymarker, Viennamarker (Pap. Vindob. G. 31974).

Condition of the manuscript

The manuscript is heavily damaged and fragmented. The papyrus was bound in a codex, which may have consisted of 220 pages, however only 30 survive (two of Matthew, six of Mark, seven of Luke, two of John, and 13 of Acts). All of the pages have lacunae, with very few lines complete. The leaves of Matthew and John are the smallest. The original pages were roughly 10 inches by 8 inches. Unlike many of the other surviving manuscripts from the 3rd century which usually contained just the Gospels, or just the Catholic letters, or just the Pauline epistles, this manuscript possibly contained more than one grouping of New Testament texts. This hypothesis is attributed to the use of gatherings of two leaves, a single-quire that most other codices had.

Textual character

Because of the extent of the damage, determining the text's type has been difficult for scholars. The manuscript was obtained by Alfred Chester Beatty in the first half of the 20th century, and published in The Chester Beatty Biblical Papyri, Descriptions and Texts of Twelve Manuscripts on Papyrus of the Greek Bible by Frederic G. Kenyon in 1933. In this work, Kenyon identified the text type as Caesarean, following the definition of Burnett Hillman Streeter. Hollis Huston criticized Kenyon's transcription of various partially surviving words, and concluded that chapters 6 and 11 of Mark in P45 could not neatly fit into one text-type, especially not Caesarean, because the manuscript predates the distinctive texts for each type from the 4th and 5th centuries.

Text-type

P45 has a relatively close statistical relationship with Codex Washingtonianus, and to a lesser extent Family 13. Eldon Jaw Epp has put forth that this loose grouping suggests that there is no connection to a Caesarean or pre-Caesarean text, although there is even less of a connection to the Neutral text of Codex Vaticanus, the Western text of Codex Bezae, and the Byzantine text of the textus receptus. Another hypothesis is that "P45 comes from the Alexandrian tradition, but has been so heavily edited that it begins to appear 'Westernized.'" While still difficult to place historically in a category of texts, most scholars today agree that the text is not Caesarean, as Kenyon first suggested. The textual character of the manuscript varies between each book: Mark is the closest to Caesarean, while Acts is closest to Alexandrian, while the other books fall somewhere midway between Western and Alexandrian.

It is calculated that the codex omitted the Pericope Adulterae (John 7:53-8:11).

Textual features

Mark 8:15
των Ηρωδιανων — p45, W, Θ, f1, f13, 28, 565, 1365, iti, itk, copsa, arm, geo
Ηρωδου — majority of mss


See also



Notes and references

  1. Kurt und Barbara Aland, Der Text des Neuen Testaments. Einführung in die wissenschaftlichen Ausgaben sowie in Theorie und Praxis der modernen Textkritik. Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart 1989, S. 109. ISBN 3-438-06011-6
  2. Bruce M. Metzger, Bart D. Ehrman, The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption and Restoration, Oxford University Press (New York - Oxford, 2005), p. 54.
  3. Huston 1955, p. 262
  4. Huston 1955, pp. 265, 268, 270-271
  5. Epp 1974, p. 395
  6. NT Manuscripts - Papyri
  7. T. C. Skeat, A Codicological Analysis of the Chester Beatty Papyrus Codex of Gospels and Acts (P 45), in: T. C. Skeat and J. K. Elliott, The collected biblical writings of T. C. Skeat, Brill 2004, p. 147.


Further reading

  • Frederic G. Kenyon, Chester Beatty Biblical Papyri II/1: The Gospels and Acts, Text, London 1933.
  • Epp, Eldon Jay. "The Twentieth Century Interlude in New Testament Textual Criticism". Journal of Biblical Literature. vol. 93, No. 3 (Sep., 1974), pp. 386-414
  • Huston, Hollis W. "Mark 6 and 11 in P45 and in the Caesarean Text." Journal of Biblical Literature. vol. 64, No. 4 (Dec., 1955) pp. 262-271
  • Metzger, Bruce M. The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption and Restoration, Oxford University Press, 2005, p. 54.
  • " P45" The Encyclopedia of New Testament Textual Criticism. Retrieved June 18, 2007
  • Ayuso, El texto cesariense del papiro de Chester Beatty en ela Evangelio de San Marcos, EB. IV (1934), 268-281.
  • T. C. Skeat, A Codicological Analysis of the Chester Beatty Papyrus Codex of Gospels and Acts (P 45), in: T. C. Skeat and J. K. Elliott, The collected biblical writings of T. C. Skeat, Brill 2004.


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