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Stateside: An app for that ancient manuscript

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[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

There is now an app for reading an ancient text.

The Papyrus App “Picture it: EP” allows one to browse the pages of the oldest existing manuscript of the letters of St. Paul.

Professor Arthur Verhoogt, Associate Professor of Papyrology and Greek at the University of Michigan helped design the app.

“The text is the most ancient manuscript of the letters of Saint Paul that exist. It dates to about [the year] 200,” said Verhoogt.

The texts are kept in a secure vault.

According to Verhoogt, however, there was a growing demand to see the texts and this spurred the creation of an app that includes the book and its translations.

“The translation was made especially for the app….It’s a very literal translation,” said Verhoogt.

“There are more than 100 spots in this Papyrus where there is a different reading than what made it into the standard version of the New Testament. That’s what we also explain in the annotations.”

The app created a unique accessibility to the texts.

“I think it is very rewarding for non-scholars to be able to see this and touch it. In museums, you’re not allowed to touch the objects. But this is really how the text looks….”

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