The Rylands Library Papyrus P52, also known as the St. John’s fragment, is a fragment from a Greek papyrus codex, which was a sewn and folded book. It has the accession reference Papyrus Rylands Greek 457.
About Rylands Library Papyrus P52
The Papyrus measures 3.5 by 2.5 inches at its widest
The Rylands Library Papyrus P52 is located with the Rylands Papyri at the John Rylands University Library in Manchester, UK. The papyrus has been on permanent display in the library’s Deansgate building since 2007.
The front (recto) contains parts of seven lines from John 18:31–33, and the back (verso) contains parts of seven lines from John 18:37–38.
Below, the bold sections are what can be seen on the Rylands Library Papyrus P52.
Front – John 18:31-33
Back – John 18:37-38
There is debate concerning the date of ”Rylands Library Papyrus P52”, but there is general agreement that it was written during the first half of the second century (between AD 100–150).
Significance of Rylands Library Papyrus P52
The Rylands Library Papyrus P52 is significant because it helps establish an early date for the writing of the gospels. From this papyrus, we know that the book of John was written no later than the first half of the second century and that the other gospels were written even earlier than this.
Because the papyrus has such an early date, it gives us greater confidence in the reliable transmission of the Bible throughout history.