Now *here* is a recorded saying of Jesus I bet you haven’t heard before. Unless you’ve been reading the blog for years. It’s one of my favorites from outside the NT and it has an odd connection to a question I raised yesterday about the Gospel of Peter. As I pointed out then, the “Gospel of Peter” that we have today, which was discovered in 1886, is, unfortunately, only a portion – the only surviving portion – of what was once a complete Gospel. But was it a complete Gospel? Or was it a passion Gospel (like the later Gospel of Nicodemus) that gave an account only of the trial, death, and resurrection of Jesus? That has long been debated.
The weird saying of Jesus I’m talking about is NOT found in that fragment of the Gospel of Peter, but it may help decide whether Peter was a complete Gospel or not.
In recent years a German scholar named Dieter Luhrmann has argued that other portions of the Gospel of Peter have shown up, in very small fragments of papyrus discovered in Egypt. It is a controversial claim. The most interesting possibility, for me, is a papyrus fragment that Luhrmann published called Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 4009 (it is the 4009th papyrus published from the huge find of papyri in the trash heap of ancient Oxyrhynchus, Egypt).
To understand why this *might* be a fragment of the Gospel of Peter requires a bit of tricky background. (I hope it’s not too hard to follow. But look, it ain’t quantum physics. So stay with me here!). The papyrus is…
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