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In the Footsteps of Saint Paul

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The Letters of St. Paul

The Permanent display of the Pauline Letters, Chester Beatty Library, Dublin.

This significant New Testament papyrus in the Chester Beatty collection contains the texts of the letters of St. Paul, dating from around the years AD 180-200. It is one of the great treasures to survive from the early Christian church.

Paul's letters are among the earliest surviving Christian texts and are a unique witness to the spread of Christianity and the Gospels. Only four other known papyri contain portions of more than one of Paul's letters, and of these four, two are of a much later date. The early date of the Chester Beatty codex and the fact that it contains almost the complete text of the letters of Paul, makes this codex extremely important for the study of the text of Paul's letters.

The pages of this book were numbered in the upper margin, and sufficient page numbers have been preserved to establish the original formation of the volume. The entire codex would have consisted of nearly 208 pages, of which only 172 survive; 112 in Dublin and 60 in the library of the University of Michigan.