NEW TESTAMENT STUDIES AND DOCUMENTARY PAPYRI. INTERACTIONS AND NEW PERSPECTIVES

Giovanni Battista Bazzana

Abstract


The present contribution offers a few exemplifications of the directions in which the study of documentary papyri may interact with and assist the study of the New Testament.
The papyrological record provides the opportunity to analyze the lexical phenomena occurring in the earliest Christian texts in the most appropriate context of contemporary koine uses. However, papyrological evidence constitutes also the most fruitful venue to observe the socio-cultural dynamics that are the background of many New Testament passages, but are often left implicit as it is usual for all literary texts.
Hopefully, a more sustained attention to documentary papyri will allow to overcome the methodological and ideological problems generated by traditional treatments of the New Testament as “unique” or secluded from the remnant of the ancient intellectual
experience and literary production.

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