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 puzzlebut 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...  

Michael Peppard is associate professor of theology at Fordham University and on the staff of its Curran Center for American Catholic Studies. He is the author of The World's Oldest Church and The Son of God in the Roman World, and on Twitter @MichaelPeppard. He is a contributing editor to Commonweal.

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