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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Story of the Bodmer Papyri: From the First Monastery's Library in Upper Egypt to Geneva and Dublin
Robinson, James M.

Cambridge: James Clarke, 2013 pp. viii + 216. £20


Description: The Bodmer Papyri consist of some thirty-five books, in Coptic and in Greek, as well as various fragments, pagan and Christian, and have proved an invaluable resource for the study and interpretation of the New Testament.

James Robinson scrupulously traces the story of the Bodmer Papyri from the history of their discovery, their acquisition by various institutions and individuals, current locations and study. He examines the form of the cache of manuscripts which consist not only of papyri but also of codex and scrolls, most of which are located at the celebrated Bibliothèque Bodmer near Geneva. However a large number are at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, a circumstance to which the second chapter is devoted, and a few are widely dispersed in Mississippi, Cologne, and Barcelona. In Egypt the manuscripts are known as the Dishna papers, since that is the name of the large town where they were sold. Robinson reveals that the manuscripts are the last remnants of the library of the Pachomian monastic order of Egypt, the result of his commission by the United Nations Educational and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to track down the location of the Nag Hammadi Codices discovery.

Robinsons' sweeping work will fascinate bibliophiles and any individual seeking a physical history of the treasure trove of the Bodmer Papyri.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, New Testament, Early Christian Literature, Other Literature, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History

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Review by Tommy Wasserman
Published 9/8/2014
Citation: Tommy Wasserman, review of James M. Robinson, The Story of the Bodmer Papyri: From the First Monastery's Library in Upper Egypt to Geneva and Dublin, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2014).


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