Gospel fragments dating to 50ad
To the left is a menu of the earliest and oldest copies of the New Testament—the New Testament Papyri.
Many of these papyri show signs of being part of what is known as a codex, especially Papyrus 46.
The unknown Gospel of Egerton 2 was discovered in Egypt in 1935 exiting in two different manuscripts.
The original editors found that the handwriting was that of a type from the late first early second century.
The fragments of John, Thomas and the Egerton Gospel share the distinction of being the earliest extant pieces of Christian writing known.
And although the existing manuscript evidence for Thomas dates to the mid-second century, the scholars who first published the Greek fragments held open the possibility that it was actually composed in the first century, which would put it around the time John was composed.
"This lost gospel presents us with more primary evidence that the origins of early Christianity were far more diverse than medieval church historians would tell us," Mirecki said.
Mirecki and I are not the first scholars to find a new ancient gospel.The newly discovered gospel is written in Coptic, the ancient Egyptian language using Greek letters.Mirecki said the gospel was probably the product of a Christian minority group called Gnostics, or "knowers." Mirecki said the discussion between Jesus and his disciples probably takes place after the resurrection, since the text is in the same literary genre as other post-resurrection dialogues, though the condition of the manuscript makes the time element difficult to determine.In fact scholars now have copies of 19 gospels (either complete, in fragments or in quotations), written in the first and second centuries A.D nine of which were discovered in the 20th century.
Search for gospel fragments dating to 50ad:
In 1946 Goro Mayeda published a dissertation which argues for the independence of the readings from the canonical tradition.