π(αρὰ) τοῦ πρυτάνεως
κωμάρχαις καὶ ἐπιστάταις εἰρήνης
κώμης Μερμέρθων. ἐξαυτῆς ἀνα-
πέμψατε Πετοσορᾶπιν Ὥρου χρησ<τ>ι-
ανὸν, ἢ ὑμεῖς αὐτοὶ ἀνέλθατε.
(ἔτους) γ Οὐαλεριανοῦ καὶ Γαλλιηνοῦ Σεβαστῶν
"From the prytanis,
to the comarchs and overseers of peace
of the Mermertha village. At once send
up Petosorapis, son of Horus, Christian,
or you yourselves come up.
Year 3 of Valerian and Gallienus Augusti
Phamenoth 3 (=28 February 256 C.E.)"
P.Oxy. 42.3035 is a third century papyrus from Oxyrhynchus that explicitly identifies a certain Petosorapis as a Christian. It is thus the earliest reference to a Christian from Egypt in documentary papyri. Petosorapis is wanted at trial for some reason that is not mentioned. According to AnneMarie Luijendijk, "This papyrus, P.Oxy. 42.3035, introduced the first Christian from the Oxyrhynchite nome known by name and patronym in a dated text. It summons 'Petosorapis, son of Horus, Christian" to appear before the president of the Oxyrhynchus city council [=prytanis]. The fact that it describes him as Christian may indicate his profession as a clergy; in any case, it presumes that Petosorapis had a distinction as a Christian. The reason for his being wanted remains unclear. Does the involvement of the prytanis lead to the suspicion that Petosorapis had problems paying his taxes or that he was implicated by an imperial edict against Christians? In any case, the note constitutes important evidence for Christians at the Oxyrhynchite countryside in the mid-third century" (Greetings in the Lord: Early Christians and the Oxyrhynchus Papyri [Cambridge: HUP, 2008], 184).