The new Coptic papyrus: another puzzle piece
A couple days ago, I posted my initial thoughts on the new Coptic papyrus from an unknown early Christian text. I did some media interviews yesterday — it turns out there aren’t enough Coptic papyrologists to go around! — and further honed my thoughts about what the new fragmentary papyrus does and does not tell us. I put those thoughts together for the “On Faith” section of the Washington Post today. That piece is here, and here’s the lede:
Trying to do ancient history is like assembling an enormous jigsaw puzzle—but we only have a small percentage of the pieces, these are mostly middle pieces, and there is no box lid to provide a model of the completed puzzle. Every once in a while, a new piece comes along with such a clear, vivid picture that we are able to reorient the puzzle and gain a new perspective on the whole.
This is not one of those moments.
It’s been a really fun week. Sorry I didn’t join in the combox of the previous post, but things have been unusually busy. Back to normal now, until the next discovery…