Old Testament Authentication – Nash Papyrus

In 1903, Walter Llewelyn Nash acquired four strips of papyrus in Egypt that dated to 150 BC. The four strips (pictured) contained the Decalogue (i.e., the Ten Commandments as found in Exodus 20: 1-17 and the Hebrew Shema of Deuteronomy 6: 4-9). Nash was the secretary of the Society of Biblical Archaeology. He presented them to Cambridge University Library. They comprise a single sheet and are not part of a scroll.

The Comparison

Nash Papyrus compared with the Masoretic Text:

  • Nash consists of 4 fragments with 24 lines of Hebrew text
  • All 24 lines are incomplete in that they each lack a character or word at beginning or end of each line
  • Each of these is because the fragment is frayed. A portion has been lost