Papyrus 1 (p1) -- The first papyrus NT manuscript ever discovered

In ancient Egypt there was a city called Per-Medjed, which was the capital of the 19th Upper Egyptian Nome.  After the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great in 332 BC, the city was reestablished as a Greek town, called Oxyrhynchou Polis (“town of the sharp-snouted fish”).  In Hellenistic times, Oxyrhynchus was 3rd largest city in Egypt.  Outside the city was a series of garbage dump sites, at which the inhabitants of Oxyrhynchus would dump their garbage.  They dumped their garbage there for more than 1,000 years.

Beginning in 1896 archaeologists discovered 500,000 papyri buried in these dump sites.  Ten percent of the texts were literary documents.  The rest consisted of public and private documents: codes, edicts, registers, official correspondence, census-returns, tax-assessments, petitions, court-records, sales, leases, wills, bills, accounts, inventories, horoscopes, and private letters.  Some of literary texts were Christian documents: (more…)