The first volume of the new series “Papyri and the New Testament” introduces students, teachers, and scholars to the value of the study of papyrological documentsand their impact on the understanding of early Christ groups.Papyri, ostraca, and tablets document social, economic, political, and multilingualcircumstances of the Greco-Roman period and are one of the best sources for understandingNew Testament times. Compared to the first studies devoted to papyri andthe New Testament some hundred years ago, the amount of available material hasincreased twentyfold. In addition, the days have passed when papyri were foundexclusively in Egypt: a significant number of texts from Israel, Syria, North Africa,Britain, Switzerland, and other Greco-Roman regions demonstrate that these sourcesshed light on general conditions throughout the Roman Empire. The volumeboth introduces the main issues of comparing papyri with New Testament texts andpresents a great variety of comprehensive examples.
Peter Arzt-Grabner is Associate Professor and head of the Papyrology Research Unit at the University of Salzburg. John S. Kloppenborg has the rank of University Professor at the University of Toronto and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Christina M. Kreinecker is a Research Professor at KU Leuven and an Associate Member of ITSEE (University of Birmingham).