Egerton Gospel


The Egerton Gospel is a set of papyri that are now in the British Museum. The papyri have been dated to the second century. The text they contain may have been written 50-100 AD. It is one of the oldest known fragments of any gospel, or any codex. Soon after the British Museum acquired it in the summer of 1934, it was printed in 1935. It is also called the Unknown Gospel, as no ancient source makes reference to it, in addition to being entirely unknown before its publication.[1]

Part of the papyrus

The surviving fragments include four stories:

  1. a controversy similar to John 5:39-47 and 10:31-39;
  2. curing a leper similar to Matt 8:1-4, Mark 1:40-45, Luke 5:12-16 and Luke 17:11-14;
  3. a controversy about paying tribute to Caesar analogous to Matt 22:15-22, Mark 12:13-17, Luke 20:20-26;
  4. an incomplete account of a miracle on the Jordan River bank, perhaps carried out to illustrate the parable about seeds growing miraculously.[1]

The last story has no equivalent in canonical Gospels:[1]

Jesus walked and stood on the bank of the Jordan river; he reached out his right hand, and filled it.... And he sowed it on the... And then...water...and...before their eyes; and it brought forth fruit...many...for joy...


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ehrman, Bart (2003). Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament. Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN 0-19-514182-2.

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