During a recent visit to the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Saint Charles seminarians came face-to-face with an important piece of Christian history, a 1,800-year-old fragment from the Gospel According to Saint Matthew!
Students in Father Giuffre’s Critical Introduction to the Sacred Scriptures class were offered an explanation of the archaeological discipline by Dr. Jennifer Wegner, Research Scientist in Penn Museum's Egyptian Section and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Wegner also showed them “Papyrus 1,” or “P1,” which resides in the museum’s collection. P1 dates from the third century and contains Matthew 1:1-9, 12 and 13, 14-20, which give the genealogy of Jesus. Discovered in Oxyrhynchus, Egypt in 1897, P1 was at the time of its discovery the oldest known New Testament manuscript. It remains among the very oldest manuscripts of the Gospel of Matthew.