P.Oxy. VIII 1151 is an elaborate Christian amulet, designed to ward off evil and sickness. It was found “tightly folded, and tied with a string” (ed. princ., 251). It is no. 21 in de Bruyn and Dijkstra’s checklist (BASP 48, 2011) under Table 1 (“Certain Amulets and Formularies”). See the transcription here. The amulet is historically significant for a number of reasons: the reference to “intercession of our lady [=Mary] the theotokos,” a list of saints, prosopography (the papyrus mentions Anastasia, Euphemia, Joannia), reference to John as θεόλογος, and a citation of John 1:1-3. The designation of Mary as θεοτόκος occurs also in P.Köln VIII 340, another amulet quoting John 1:1-11. P.Oxy. VIII 1151 closes awkwardly with an infinitive in ll. 38-39, which prompted the editor to treat it (rightly) as an imperative. The editor does not mention that it is of course possible that εὔχεσθε is the intended reading, since αι and ε often are merged in the papyri. The phrase εὔχεσθαι πρεσβίαις τῆς δεσποίνης ἡμῶν was subsequently translated for the PGM by Karl Preisendanz (see PGM 5b) as “pray for the intercession of our lady,” thereby understanding differently to whom the prayer is directed.
The amulet is written on a long, narrow piece of papyrus that is virtually complete; the only lacunae occur toward the bottom of the papyrus, but the text can be confidently restored. Nomina sacra occur with supralinear strokes. Both organic and inorganic tremata are used. Καί-compendium is written in ll. 20, 35, 43, 44-50, and nu is written as a raised horizontal stroke (nu ἐφελκυστικόν) at the end of l. 22. There are four, small cross-like symbols as seen in the transcript at ll. 1, 15, 23, 56; crosses and Christograms are very common in amulets (cf. the crosses in P.Duke inv. 778).
I have made one necessary revision to the transcript in the ed. princ.: in l. 39, the theta of εὔχεσ | θαι is not visible on the papyrus. In fact, the following alpha is only barely visible from a blob of ink. Therefore, theta should be placed in brackets.
The handwriting is an informal majuscule, roughly bilinear, and mostly detached. The letters become gradually more compressed and the ductus becomes more fluid as the writing moves forward. Sigma’s cap extends well past its lower counterpart, and αι tends toward cursive when written as a diphthong. In an attempt to avoid word division, the scribe creates line-fillers by extending the width of letters to the end of the line.
The quotation of John 1:1, 3 runs from line 15 to 22; v. 2 is omitted. In v. 3, P.Oxy. VIII 1151 reads οὐδὲ ἓν with the majority of witnesses against οὐδέν, read by P66 01* D f1. There has been, given the theological implications, decades of debate over whether v. 3 should be punctuated after οὐδὲ ἓν or after ὅ γέγονεν. The absence of punctuation in most Greek manuscripts prevents us often from attributing a manuscript to either of the two possibilities. Our papyrus, however, is clear: by cutting off the citation at ὅ γέγονεν, it provides further evidence for taking ὅ γέγονεν with what comes before, namely, οὐδὲ ἓν.
Other than the insignificant spelling error χωρεὶς (for χωρὶς) in l. 20, the text of John 1:1 and 3 in this amulet agrees exactly with the NA28. Using the Aland's system of classification, we may tentatively categorize both the text and transmission as “strict.” P.Oxy. VIII 1151, a non-continuous manuscript, merits inclusion in the apparatus of the Greek New Testament (first it must be assigned a GA number!) since 1) it agrees with the printed text, 2) contains a variant reading supported by most manuscripts, 3) offers precise evidence that (presumably) the Christian owner of this amulet punctuated his or her text with a full stop after ὅ γέγονεν.
 Eleanor Dickey, “The Greek and Latin Languages in the Papyri,” Oxford Handbook of Papyrology, 149-169. “[T]he short diphthong αι merged with ε, so that, for example, the verb endings –εσθαι (infinitive) and –εσθε (second-person plural) became confusable” (152).
 See Dieter Hagedorn, “Bemerkungen zu Urkunden,” ZPE 145 (2003): 224-227, at 226.
 See the discussion in Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, 2nd ed. (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1994), 167-168.
Reuben Swanson's popular New Testament Greek Manuscripts: Variant Readings Arranged in Horizontal Lines Against Codex Vaticanus (Sheffield, 1995) has several errors, one of which is a page reduplication in the volume on Mark. Page 135 is reduplicated on page 159. The errata sheet – the correct page 159 – that should be inserted or taped onto page 159 in the Mark volume can be downloaded here.
On March 14, Guido Bastianini and Rosario Pintaudi of the Instituto Papirologico G. Vitelli, Florence, Italy circulated the following e-mail (in Italian) through the Papy-List:
"Sottoponiamo ai Colleghi, in allegato, la protesta documentata che è stata presentata, dal responsabile per la Missione Archeologica dell'Istituto Papirologico G. Vitelli, al Ministro per le Antichità Egiziane, dr Mohamed Ibrahim, il giorno 7 marzo 2013 nel suo ufficio al Cairo. Si avvertono i Colleghi che molto materiale archeologico (papiri, iscrizioni, oggetti, vetri dipinti, stoffe, monete) recuperato illegalmente, a partire dal 2011, è adesso sul mercato antiquario egiziano, da Mallawi al Cairo, e forse in parte già trasmigrato."
Since that time, Bastianini and Pintaudi have posted a detailed PDF file with pictures and annotations illustrating the damage that has been done to the ancient site by the local villagers of el Sheikh Abada since the January 2011 revolution. The document can be found on the Vitelli Institute's website here. The images are disturbing: graves have been dug illegally, erected columns have been knocked over, children have been systematically looting the site, excavation work has been completely destroyed on purpose, building and tombs have been built illegally over portions of the ancient site, ancient walls and structures have been demolished. Also disturbing is the following report:
"The villagers said that many papyrus pieces were found in these holes and have now been sold on the black market. Nearby this large area during the same period many smaller looting holes have been made in the mounds of archaeological remains of the city."
I hope the Ministry of State for Antiquities (MSA) will listen and stop this madness. It is unfortunate that there is such a lack of security and regulation at ancient sites such as Antinoupolis. Of course the implementation of such measures would surely require resources both financial and personnel, but the hope is that the higher powers will take serious considerations of ways in which this illegal activity can be brought to an end.
Today, the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM), directed by Professor Daniel B. Wallace, announced the addition of new images of 28 Greek New Testament manuscripts from all four categories in the GA system of classification. Here is the message from their site:
19 March 2013
Robert D. Marcello
In November of 2011 CSNTM traveled to the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (BML) in Florence Italy. This is a phenomenal library founded by the Medici family. Here, the old library, which was designed by none other than Michelangelo himself, can be seen in all of its glory. It now holds over 2500 papyri, 11,000 manuscripts, and 128,000 printed texts. Because of this trip, CSNTM is proud to announce the addition of new images of 28 manuscripts from the BML. This excellent collection contains papyri, majuscules, minuscules, and lectionaries. Among the many treasures we digitized was an eleventh-century lectionary, written entirely in gold letters (GA Lect 117). Another manuscript had Paul’s epistles after the book of Revelation—a very rare phenomenon GA 620). And we photographed a complete Greek New Testament manuscript—one of only sixty known to exist (GA 367). We thank the library and their staff for their graciousness and willingness to digitally preserve these manuscripts. The following manuscripts may now be found HERE:
P35 P36 P48 P89 P95 GA 0171 GA 0172 GA 0173 GA 0175 GA 0176 GA 0207 GA 198 GA 199 GA 200 GA 362 GA 365 GA 366 GA 367 GA 619 GA 620 GA 1979 GA Lect 112
GA Lect 117 GA Lect 118 GA Lect 291 GA Lect 510 GA Lect 604 GA Lect 2210