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Rare Christian papyrus was on eBay for $99


You never know what you’ll find on eBay — like a rare New Testament papyrus fragment dating to around 300 AD. Opening bid? Just $99. “I thought, this can’t be allowed to sell on eBay,”Christianity scholar Geoffrey Smith tells The New York Times of the January listing. “It will just disappear into a private collection.” So Smith reached out to the seller, got him to suspend the auction, and studied the so-called “Willoughby Papyrus.” What Smith found: a few lines in Greek from the Gospel of John (possibly John 1: 50-51) and unidentified Christian writing on the other side. Smith presented his findings at a biblical-literature conference in Atlanta, and an abstract of the talk said he planned to “entertain the possibility that [the secondary text] belongs to an otherwise unknown Christian apocryphal text.” What’s interesting: Smith believes the fragment comes from a scroll, not a codex, unlike every other known sample of Greek New Testament papyrus.

Read more at USA Today. 

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