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Chapter 9: Manuscript Publication Dates

    In the preceding chapters of this book, we have only referred to manuscripts by their probable date of origin. Because this book is concerned with new manuscript light which has become available since the work of the New World Bible Translation Committee was completed, we must now consider a distinctly different date. We must also determine the manuscript publication date. The manuscript publication date is important because it is the earliest date at which a particular Greek manuscript becomes available for Bible translation.

    This chapter is solely concerned with papyrus manuscripts. Generally speaking, the papyrus documents represent the oldest extant Greek Scripture documents available for study. Vellum (animal skin) documents of the Greek Scriptures are more recent.

    Before a manuscript has value in Scripture translation, its authenticity must be identified. We must show how a Greek manuscript goes from being an unknown scroll to becoming a credible biblical document.

Manuscripts are found

    The dry and arid regions of Palestine, the Sinai Peninsula, and North Africa have preserved countless ancient manuscripts. For simplicity's sake, we can characterize the discovery of biblical manuscripts in one of three ways.

Manuscripts found by untrained indigents. In the Overview, we told the story of the Bedouin shepherd who found the first scrolls in the Qumran caves. This story has been repeated many times in the history of manuscript discovery. In this first instance, a local resident of the area accidentally discovered an ancient document without understanding its significance. Documents discovered in this way are usually poorly handled or stored-many times merely hidden in a house-resulting in regrettable damage to the fragile pages. At some point, the documents may be speculatively sold for a small amount of money, passing into the hands of an antiquities dealer.

    The contents of such a document may be entirely unknown. The antiquities dealer, however, will vaguely ascertain the document's contents in order to enhance its value for sale. He may attempt to copy a portion of the writing to show to a language professor, or may actually display a portion of it by removing damaged pages. The antiquities dealer often acts covertly, because many governments forbid private ownership and sale of ancient documents.

    At some point, the antiquities dealer may sell the document to an intermediary who surreptitiously removes the document from the country of origin. Eventually, the document may become part of a foreign library or personal acquisition such as the Chester Beatty or Bodmer collections.

    Needless to say, by the time the document is ready for scholarly study, much of the history of its location and association with other parts of the archeological site has been lost. Nor can it be assumed that every document found in this way will prove to have value. Only a small number of manuscripts eventually attain recognition as authentic ancient documents which make a contribution to biblical studies. (Many such documents have proven to be inconsequential personal correspondence between unknown individuals or inventory lists of a long-forgotten villa.)

Manuscripts discovered by trained collectors. The story of the discovery of the important Codex Sinaiticus manuscript (Aleph) by Tischendorf in 1844 at the St. Catharine Monastery is an example of an independent collector making an important manuscript discovery. As we have already seen, some of the leaves of the Hebrew Scriptures were already in a wastebasket, destined to start fires. Because of the urgency expressed by Tischendorf for their preservation, the amount ultimately paid to the monastic order for the almost complete Bible was considerably higher than the price of paper used to start morning fires!

    In the past 150 years, many important biblical manuscripts have been discovered through the painstaking—and sometimes fortuitous—efforts of scholarly or wealthy collectors. In many instances, these finds have resulted in some preservation of the details surrounding the document's original location and association with other written materials or artifacts.

Manuscripts discovered by archaeologists. Not all manuscripts have been randomly discovered by untrained shepherds or townspeople. The Dead Sea Scrolls actually represent a significantly larger number of documents and artifacts which have been discovered by trained archaeologists than by the early fortune hunters. (The early finds, however, represented the important Isaiah Scroll and other major manuscripts.)

Figure 6. Hebrews 10:8-20 from P46, a manuscript dated about 200 C.E. Note the surrogates for
ihsou (i-h-u-) [Jesus] and kristou (k-r-u-) [Christ] at 10:10; qeou (q-u-) [God] at 10:13, and
krist~ (k-s-) [Christ] at 10:16 (Jehovah in the New World Translation).

    It has often been through the efforts of governments wanting to protect these manuscript and archaeological materials that trained personnel have been allowed to conduct archaeological explorations throughout the area in which ancient biblical documents are best preserved. Biblical archaeological sites such as Masada, the Qumran caves, and the environs of Jerusalem itself, have all been sources of biblical documents found by work crews under the supervision of professional archaeologists. (However, North Africa, rather than the three geographical areas just given, is the primary source of the papyrus manuscripts.) When trained archaeologists and manuscript experts are involved in the recovery process, optimum preservation of the contextual information surrounding a manuscript is maintained. This information may facilitate establishing the copy date of the manuscript itself.

Two interesting examples

    The papyrus document identified as P52 represents an interesting example of a scrap of papyrus which became a major Greek Scripture manuscript discovery.[1] The entire manuscript consists of a small and irregularly shaped fragment of the Gospel of John, measuring about 21/2 by 31/2 inches. It was acquired by Bernard P. Grenfell in Egypt in 1920. In 1934, C. H. Roberts of the Oxford University in England was sorting through hundreds of mixed unidentified Greek manuscripts which belonged to the John Rylands Library at Manchester. He recognized and identified this small scrap as coming from John 18:31-33 and 37-38. (Verses 31-33 are on the front of the scrap, verses 37-38 are on the back.) More importantly, after careful study of the script style, he identified the manuscript as coming from the first half of the second century. In 1935, Roberts published an important booklet entitled, An Unpublished Fragment of the Fourth Gospel in the John Rylands Library, in which he identified this portion as a copy from this early date. Pages 316-317 of "All Scripture Is Inspired of God and Beneficial" identify the date for this manuscript fragment as 125 C.E. (For a photo reproduction of the manuscript, see Insight On the Scriptures, Volume 1, page 323.)

[1] Unless otherwise noted, all information in this chapter regarding papyrus manuscripts comes from The Text of the New Testament by Bruce Metzger. The general information comes from pages 36-42. The tabulated information comes from pages 247-256.

    This small scrap is now the oldest known copy of the Christian Scriptures, dating to within 30 years of the original writing by the Apostle himself. By its early date, this small manuscript definitively disproves the higher criticism contention that the Gospel of John was written by an unknown author in 160 C.E. (See footnote 12 in Chapter 2.)

    In this chapter we are primarily concerned with new light on Greek manuscripts which have been published since 1950.[2] As we will see, P66 gives us this type of example.

[2] The 1985 edition of the Kingdom Interlinear Translation identifies p66, P74, and P75 in its footnote citations. However, this was not material available to the original translators, as these manuscripts were published in 1958, 1961, and 1961 respectively.

    A Genevan bibliophile by the name of M. Martin Bodmer acquired a number of important biblical manuscripts. Among them is the papyrus manuscript P66 which consists of six quires (a large page which is folded and slit to form what is today called a bindery stitch) measuring about 6 by 51/2 inches. It contains John 1:1-6:11 and 6:35b-14:15. In 1956, Victor Martin, Professor of Classical Philology at the University of Geneva, published his study of this manuscript identifying the date of its production as circa 200 C.E. Later, an additional 46 pages of this same manuscript was acquired by M. Bodmer and subsequently published by Martin in 1958.

The copy date and the publication date

    With the examples given above, we can now differentiate between copy date and publication date. By copy date, we mean the approximate time at which a particular manuscript was produced by a scribe or copyist. Thus, for example, P66 is judged to have been copied by a scribe about 200 C.E. This does not tell us, however, when this manuscript became available for scholarly study. This latter information we will express as the manuscript's publication date. From the example above, we see that the scholarly work done by Professor Martin to establish the date in which this manuscript was copied was made available (published) in 1956 and 1958.

    The difference between copy date and publication date is important to the work of the Bible translator. The textual critic works toward assembling the most exact reproduction possible of the apostolic authors' Greek writing. The translator works toward conveying the exact sense of the apostolic writers' words into understandable modern language. The final translation represents the combined efforts of both the textual critic and the modern Bible translator. However, the translator is dependent on the work of the textual critic because the translator has access to a Greek text only after the textual critic has completed his work. It is thus the published results of the textual critic which gives the translator the most reliable wording of the Greek text. (Some textual critics have also acted as translators. In the case of the New World Translation, however, the Translation Committee was primarily dependent on the work of the textual critics Westcott and Hort. The Committee availed itself of supplemental assistance from other textual critics as well.) Presumably, unless the translator is also working as a textual critic on unpublished documents, he will be unaware of new Greek manuscript discoveries until after their publication date.

    The papyrus identification system indicates the dissimilarity between copy date and publication date. Ostensibly, the first papyrus Greek Scripture manuscript which was identified was assigned the symbol P1 which stands for Papyrusclassification #1. The second papyrus was classified as P2, with each successive classification following.

    Needless to say, ancient documents are not discovered in their chronological order. The first papyrus placed in this classification system (P1) was from the third century C.E., the second (P2) was from the sixth century, the third (P3) was from either the sixth or seventh century, the fourth was an early copy from the third century, and so on for each of the classified papyri numbered through P76. In fact, some of the latest papyri to be classified are some of the earliest. P46, P64, P66, and P67 are all dated circa 200 C.E.

    Papyri publication dates roughly correspond with their individual discovery date. Consequently, papyrus manuscripts found early tend to have early publication dates, while later manuscripts carry more recent dates. However, there are exceptions. For one reason or another, a manuscript may not be classified immediately after it is found. As we will see in the following tabulated information, the dates of discovery represented by the superscript on the "P" symbol do not coincide with an exact sequence of publication dates. Classification often results from the presumed importance of the manuscript or the availability of individuals who are qualified to do the necessary research. In the example above, P52 was overlooked for many years merely because its insignificant size and mix with numerous other small manuscript portions obscured its great importance.

Papyrus manuscripts and the 237 Jehovah references

    In this chapter, we are primarily concerned with new light which has become available in Christian Greek Scripture studies since 1950. Specifically, we want to determine what bearing this new light has on the issue of whether Kyrios or the Tetragrammaton was used in the Greek Scriptures.

    In the following tabulation of papyrus manuscripts, information will be given for those manuscripts classified as P1 through P76 which contain one (or both) of two types of information.

I. Information will be given for any classified papyrus manuscript which was published after the completion of the Christian Scriptures portion of the New World Translation in 1950.

II. Information will be given for any classified papyrus manuscript which contains one or more of the 237 Jehovah passages cited in the Christian Scriptures of the New World Translation.

    Before evaluating the information tabulated from these 76 extant papyrus manuscripts in Table 5, a brief explanatory comment should be made regarding the information presented:

  1. The headings are as follows: No. identifies the individual papyrus by its classification number; Extant portions lists the passages found in the manuscript; Date Copied identifies the time period in which the ancient manuscript was produced; Published identifies the date at which the manuscript's contents and assigned date of copy was released to the scholarly community for study; "J" Ref. Κύριος identifies those passages from the 237 Jehovah references in the New World Translation in which a form of the Greek word Κύριοςwas used in the papyrus manuscript; Papyrus יהוה indicates the number of occurrences of the Tetragrammaton within these papyrus manuscripts for any of the 237 Jehovah passages; NWT Jehovah indicates the number of Jehovah references in the New World Translation found in the cited papyrus.

  2. Specialized information is included under the heading Extant portions.

  3. Information regarding the Greek word used in any papyrus manuscript is readily available from The Greek New Testament published by the United Bible Societies. For this study, the third edition was used. The verse was consulted in the UBS text for each of the 237 Jehovah references contained in any papyrus manuscript. These are the references identified within bold typeface parentheses. If there is a variant (changed wording) in any credible Greek manuscripts, the UBS apparatus (textual footnote) lists the manuscripts and their wording.[3] All Kyrios (Κύριος) entries were verified. All entries identifying any of the 76 papyrus manuscripts were noted. From this information, the two columns "J" Ref. Κύριος and Papyrus יהוה were derived. The discrepancies between the columns "J" Ref. Κύριος and NWT Jehovah are accounted for in the footnotes.

[3] 1 Corinthians 10:9 says "Neither let us put Jehovah to the test…." The UBS text uses neither the Tetragrammaton nor Kuvrio". Rather, it uses the word Cristovn [Christ] with a footnote reference to the textual apparatus. In the textual apparatus, we find that the word Cristovn [Christ] has a {C} rating which means that "there is a considerable degree of doubt whether the text…contains the…reading selected for the text." Subsequently, a large number of manuscripts (including P46), versions, lectionaries, and patristics using the word Cristovn are cited as the first choice of the editors. A second choice is the word kuvrion [Lord] which includes both A (Aleph) and B from the Westcott and Hort text. A third choice is qeovn [God] with two supporting manuscripts and one patristic. The final choice, with only a single supporting manuscript, eliminates the words to;n Cristovn [the Christ] altogether. The complete UBS footnote entry is as follows:

    {C} Cristovn P46 D G K Y 88 330 451 614 629 630 1241 1739 1881 1984 2492 2495 Byz Lect itar,d,dem,e,f,g,x,z vg syrp,h copsa,bo Marcion Theotecnus Irenaeuslat Clement Origen Ambrosiaster Ephraem Epiphanius Chrysostom3/4 Pelagius Augustine Ps-Oecumenius Theophylact // kuvrion a B C P 33 104 181 326 436 1877 2127 syrhmg arm eth Chrysostom 1/4 Theodoret Cassiodorus John-Damascus Sedulius-Scotus // qeovn A 81 Euthalius // omit to;n Cristovn 1985

    A simple summary of this information will be given in Table 6. The reader may wish to move ahead to that summary. For completeness, however, the information is given in full as follows:

 No.  Extant portions  Date Copied  Published  "J" Ref. Κύριος  Papyrus יהוה  NWT Jehovah
 P1  Mt 1:1-9, 12, 14-20 (20), 23.  3rd  1898  1  none  1
 P2  Jn 12:12-(13)-15.  6th  1906  1  none  1
 P3  Lk 7:36-45; 10:38-42.   6th or 7th  1882, 1885, 1963  none  none  none
 P4  Lk 1:58-(58)-59, 62-(66)-(68)-(76)-2:1 , 6-7; 3:8-38; 4:2, 29-32, 34-35; 5:3-8, 30-38; 6:1-16.  3rd  1938  3[4]  none  4
 P5  Jn 1:23-(23)-31, 33-41; 16:14-30; 20:11-17, 19-20, 22-25.  3rd  1898  1  none  1
 P7  Lk 4:1-2.  5th  1957  none  none  none
 P8  Act 4:31-37; 5:2-9 (9); 6:1-6, 8-15.  4th  ?  1  none  1
 P11  1 Co 1:17-23; 2:9-12, 14; 3:1-3, 5-6; 4:3-(4)-(19)- 5:5, 7-8; 6:5-7, 11-18; 7:3-6, 10-14.  7th  1868, 1957  2  none  2
 P13  He 2:14-5:5; 10:8-(16)-22, 29 - (30) - (12:5) - (12:6)-12:17.  3rd or 4th  1951  4  none  4
 P45  Mt 20:24-32; 21:13-19; 25:41-46; 26:1-39; Mk 4:36-40; 5:15-(19)-26, 38-6:3, 16-25, 36-50; 7:3-15, 25-8:1, 10-26, 34-9:8, 18-31; 11:27-33; 12:1, 5-8, 13-19, 24-28; Lk 6:31-41, 45-7:7; 9:26-41, 45-10:1, 6-22, 26-(27)-11:1, 6-25, 28-46, 50-12:12, 18-37, 42-13:1, 6-24, 29-14:10, 17-33; Jn 10:7-25, 31-11:10, 18-36, 43-57; Act 4:27-(29)-36; 5:10-(19)-20, 30-39; 6:7-7:2, 10-21, 32-(33)-41, 52-(60)-8:1, 14-(22)-(24)-25 (25), 34-(39)-9:6, 16-27, 35-10:23, 31-(33)-41; 11:2-14, 24-12:5, 13-(17)-22; 13:6-(10)-(11)-(12)-16, 25-36, 46-(47)-(48)[5]-(49)-14:3 (3), 15-23 (23); 15:2-7, 19-26, 38-(40)-16:4, 15-(15)-21, 32-(32)-40; 17:9-17.  3rd  1933  21  none  21
 P46  Rom 5:17-6:3, 5-14; 8:15-25, 27-35, 37-9:(28)- (29)-32; 10:1-(13)-(16)-11:(3)-22, 24-33, 35-(12:11)-(19)-14:(4)-(6), (6), (6)-8 (8), (8), (8), 9-(11)-15:9†, 11-(11)-33; 16:1-23, 25-27; 1 Co† (1:31), (2:16), (3:20), (4:4), (4:19), (7:17), (10:9)[6], (10:21), (10:21), (10:22), (10:26), (11:32), (14:21), (16:7), (16:10), 2 Cor† (3:16), (3:17), (3:17), (3:18), (3:18), (6:17), (6:18), (8:21), (10:17), (10:18), Ga† (3:6), Eh† (2:21), (5:17), (5:19), (6:4), (6:7), (6:8), Phil†, Col† (1:10), (3:13), (3:16)[7], (3:22), (3:23), (3:24), 1 Th 1:1, 9-10; 2:1-3; 5:5-9, 23-28; He. (2:13), (7:21), (8:2), (8:8), (8:9), (8:10), (8:11), (10:16), (10:30), (12:5), (12:6), (13:6).  c. 200  1934, 1936  64  none  64
 P47  Re 9:10-(11:17), (15:3), (15:4), (16:7)-17:2.†  end of 3rd  1934  4  none  4
 P49  Eph 4:16-29, 31-5:13.  end of 3rd  1958  none  none  none
 P50  Act 8:26-(26)-32; 10:26-31;  4th or 5th  1937  1  none  1
 P59  Jn 1:26, 28, 48, 51; 2:15-16; 11:40-52; 12:25, 29, 31, 35; 17:24-26; 18:1-2, 16-17, 22; 21:7, 12-13, 15, 17-20, 23.  7th  1950  none  none  none
 P60  Jn 16:29-19:26.†  7th  1950  none  none  none
 P61  Rom 16:23, 25-27; 1 Co 1:1-2, 4-6; 5:1-3, 5-6, 9-13; Ph 3:5-9, 12-16; Col 1:3-7, 9-(10)-13; 4:15; 1 Th 1:2-3; Tit 3:1-5, 8-11, 14-15; Phil 4-7.  c. 700  1950  1  none  1
 P63  Jn 3:14-18; 4:9-10.  c. 500  1953  none  none  none
 P64  Mt 26:7, 10, 14-15, 22-23, 31-33.  c. 200  1953  none  none  none
 P65  1 Th 1:3-(8)-10; 2:1, 6-13.  3rd  1957  1  none  1
 P66  Jn 1:1-(23)-6:11, 35-(45), (12:13), (38), (38)-14:26, 29-21:9.†  c. 200  1958  5  none  5
 P67  Mt 3:9, 15; 5:20-22, 25-28.  c. 200  1956  none  none  none
 P68  1 Co 4:12-17, 19-(19)-21; 5:1-3.  7th (?)  1957  1  none  1
 P72  1 Pt, (1:25), (3:12), (12), 2 Pt (2:9), (11), (3:8), (9), (10), (12); Jude (5)[8], (9), (14).  3rd or 4th  1959  12  none  12
 P74  Act 1:2-5, 7-11, 13-15, 18-19, 22-(24)-25; 2:2-4, 6-(20)-(21)-(25)-(34)-(39)-(47)-3:(19)-(22)-26; 4:2-6, 8-(26)-27, 29 (29)-(5:9)-(19)-(7:31)-(33)-(49)-(60)-(8:22)-(24)-(25)-(26)-(39) - (9:31) - (10:33)[9] - (13:44)[10] - (13:47) - (13:49) - (16:32)[11]-(18:21)[12]-(19:20)-(21:14)-27:25, 27-28:31; Jas 1:1-6, 8-19, 21-23, 25, 27-2:15, 18-22, 25-3:1, 5-6, 10-12, 14, 17-4:8, 11-14; 5:1-3, 7-9, 12-14, 19-20; 1 Pt 1:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 19-20, 25 (25); 2:7, 11-12, 18, 24; 3:4-5; 2 Pt 2:21; 3:4, 11, 16; 1 Jn 1:1, 6; 2:1-2, 7, 13-14, 18-19, 25-26; 3:1-2, 8, 14, 19-20; 4:1, 6-7, 12, 16-17; 5:3-4, 10, 17; 2 Jn 1, 6-7, 12-13; 3 Jn 6, 12; Jude 3, 7, 12, 18, 24-25.  7th  1961  30  none  32
 P75  Lk 3:18-22, 33-4:2, 34-5:10, 37-6:4, 10-7:32, 35-43, 46-(10:27)-(13:35)-18:18; 22:4-24:53; Jn 1:1-(23), (6:45), (12:13), (12:38), (12:38)-13:10; 14:8-15:8.†  beginning of 3rd  1961  7  none  7
 P76  Jn 4:9, 12.  6th  1959  none  none  none

[4] P4 omits Κύριος (Kyrios) at Luke 1:68.

[5] P45, P74, and A (Aleph) [Westcott and Hort] use Κύριος (Kyrios) whereas B (Vatican MS. No. 1209) [Westcott and Hort] uses qevo" (theos).

[6] P46 uses kristovn (Christ) whereas a (Aleph) [Westcott and Hort] uses kuvrion (Lord).

[7] P46, A (Aleph) [Westcott and Hort], B (Vatican MS. No. 1209) [Westcott and Hort] all use qevo" (theos).

[8] P72 uses qeo;" Cristov" (theos christos) [God Christ] whereas a (Aleph) [Westcott and Hort] uses Κύριος (Kyrios).

[9] P74 uses qevo" (theos) whereas P45 uses Κύριος (Kyrios).

[10] Both P74 and a (Aleph) [Westcott and Hort] use Κύριος (Kyrios) whereas B (Vatican MS. No. 1209) [Westcott and Hort] uses qevo" (theos).

[11] P45, P74 and a (Aleph) [Westcott and Hort] use Κύριος (Kyrios) whereas B (Vatican MS. No. 1209) [Westcott and Hort] uses qevo" (theos).

[12] All texts use qevo" (theos).

Table 5. A comprehensive list of papyrus manuscripts published since 1950 which give new light
on the Tetragrammaton in the Greek Scriptures. In no instance is יהוה represented.

    In addition to the above published papyrus manuscripts, there are a small number of manuscripts which have been assigned numbers but have either not been published, or have had incomplete work done oo116oo regarding their copy date. These include P73, P77, P78, P79, P80, and P81. There is one additional fourth century fragment from 1 Peter which has not been assigned a number.[13]

[13] The above information comes from Metzger (op. cit.). However, inasmuch as the book we are citing was published in 1968 (and reprinted in 1978), some of this publication work may now have been completed.

New manuscript light since 1950

    We can now summarize our findings. At the beginning of the book we asked, "Did the original apostolic writers use the Tetragrammaton in 237 instances while writing the Christian Greek Scriptures?" We then explored whether new light from studies of ancient Christian Scripture manuscripts would help answer this question.

    The summary information in Table 6 gives valuable new insights into the presence of the Tetragrammaton in some of the earliest Greek manuscripts. Eighteen of these manuscripts were unknown to the New World Bible Translation Committee when it completed its work in 1950. (However, both P3 and P11 had been published in some form at an earlier date.)

    These new manuscripts represent very early dates. Three manuscripts were actually copied circa 200 C.E. Another five manuscripts were copied within the first four centuries, three of which are clearly from the third century. However, of these eight very ancient manuscripts, not all contain passages among the 237 Jehovah references. Nonetheless, there are 29 occurrences of the Greek word Kyrios represented in these new documents from the third-to the latest-fourth century. If all newly published manuscripts are counted, there are a total of 63 occurrences of Kyrios in these same passages in which Jehovah has been inserted into the English text of the New World Translation Christian Scriptures.

    The most significant question we can ask, however, is this: "In these very old, yet recently published manuscripts, do we find the Tetragrammaton?" The answer is, "No, we do not." In these 18 manuscripts published since 1950, there are a total of 65 passages in which we would expect to find the Tetragrammaton in the earliest manuscripts. (These passages are identified in the following summary as the "Total number of NWT Jehovah passages since 1950.") Yet, there is not a single occurrence of the Tetragrammaton in any of these passages. If we evaluate the same information for all 237 passages of which we find 163 represented within these papyri (these 163 passages are identified as the "Total papyri passages where NWT inserts Jehovah") we again find the complete absence of any manuscript reference to יהוה.

    With a significant increase today in the new light on very early Greek manuscripts, we find overwhelming evidence that the Tetragrammaton is not used in any extant copies of the Greek Scriptures since 200 C.E.

 No.  Date Copied  Published  "J" Ref. Κύριος  Papyrus יהוה  NWT Jehovah
 P3  6th or 7th  1882, 1885, 1963  none  none  none
 P7  5th  1957  none  none  none
 P11  7th  1868, 1957  2  none  2
 P13  3rd or 4th  1951  4  none  4
 P49  End of 3rd  1958  none  none  none
 P59  7th  1950  none  none  none
 P60  7th  1950  none  none  none
 P61  c. 700  1950  1  none  1
 P63  c. 500  1953  none  none  none
 P64  c. 200  1953  none  none  none
 P65  3rd  1957  1  none  1
 P66  c. 200  1958  5  none  5
 P67  c. 200  1956  none  none  none
 P68  7th (?)  1957  1  none  1
 P72  3rd or 4th  1959  12  none  12
 P74  7th  1961  30  none  32
 P75  Beginning of 3rd  1961  7  none  7
 P76  6th  1959  none  none  none

 Total of all papyri published  75[14]
 Total papyri published since 1950  18
 Earliest papyrus date  c. 200
 Total papyri passages where NWT inserts Jehovah  163
 Total number of NWT Jehovah passages since 1950  65
 Total uses of Kyrios (Κύριος) in all papyri  160
 Total uses of Kyrios (Κύριος) since 1950  63
 Total uses of יהוה in all papyri  none

[14] The number of consecutively numbered papyri is 76. However, P73 has not yet been published.

Table 6. A summary of papyrus manuscripts published since 1950 which give new light on the Tetragrammaton in the Greek Scriptures. In no instance is יהוה represented.

Chapter Summary. In the time since the completion of the New World Translation Christian Scriptures, there has been a significant increase in new light and knowledge of biblical manuscripts. Of the total 75 earliest copies of the Scriptures represented in the papyri, 18 have been published for scholarly study since 1950.

  1. The new light we now possess includes some of the earliest known copies of the Greek Scriptures. Three of these new manuscripts were copied in approximately 200 C.E. Another three were copied by the end of the third century, and another two no later than the fourth century.

  2. Within this group of eight new manuscripts which were copied no later than the fourth century, there is not a single appearance of the Tetragrammaton. With only two exceptions, Kyrios is clearly used in the text. (The two exceptions are found in P74, and both use theos rather than the Tetragrammaton.)

  3. The evidence now available from the earliest Greek Scripture manuscripts (the papyri) gives a combined witness of 160 occurrences of Kyrios and two occurrences of theos in 163 of the 237 Jehovah passages. The remaining Jehovah references are not substantiated by these earliest papyri manuscripts, yet no later Greek manuscript evidence gives any indication of the use of the Tetragrammaton.

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