A New Testamentpapyrus is a copy of a portion of the New Testament made on papyrus. To date, over 130 such papyri are known. In general, they are considered the earliest witnesses to the original text of the New Testament. This elite status among New Testament manuscripts only began in the 20th century. The grouping was first introduced by Caspar René Gregory, who assigned papyri texts the Blackletter character followed by a superscript number. This number refers not to the age of the papyrus, but to the order in which it was registered. Before 1900, only 9 papyri manuscripts were known, and only one had been cited in a critical apparatus. These 9 papyri were just single fragments, except for, which consisted of a single whole leaf. The discoveries of the twentieth century brought about the earliest known New Testament manuscript fragments. Kenyon in 1912 knew 14 papyri, Aland in his first edition of Kurzgefasste... in 1963 enumerated 76 papyri, in 1989 were known 96 papyri, and in 2008 124 papyri. As of 2019, a total of 140 papyri are known. Among the most important are the Chester Beatty Papyri:, which contains the Gospels and Acts;, which contains the Pauline epistles; and, which contains the Book of Revelation. All of these date from sometime in the third century. Also significant are the Bodmer Papyri:, which contains the Gospel of John; and, which contains the Gospels of Luke and John. These early manuscripts are more complete, allowing scholars to better examine their textual character. Not all of the manuscripts are simply New Testament texts:,,, are texts with commentaries;,, and are lectionaries;,, and are talismans; and, ,,,, and belong to other miscellaneous texts, such as writing scraps, glossaries, or songs. Every papyrus is cited in Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece.
Content is given to the nearest chapter; verses are sometimes listed. Thus, many of the papyri are small fragments, not whole chapters. For instance, contains 5 verses out of the 40 verses in John chapter 18.
Digital images are referenced with direct links to the hosting web pages. The quality and accessibility of the images is as follows:
Distribution based on content
Note: "Early" manuscripts are manuscripts dated firmly from the fourth century or earlier. Roughly half of the papyri are "early". Some manuscripts contain content from more than one New Testament book, so the numbers above do not directly correspond to the total number of manuscripts.