P52 (P. Rylands Gk. 457) and the Nomina Sacra: Method and Probability
Hurtado, Larry W
This article responds to the recent proposal (by Chris Tuckett) that space considerations suggest that P52, our earliest NT manuscript, would have written out the name of Jesus in full. This would have implications for the study of the nomina sacra, abbreviations used for divine names (and some other terms) in all our other NT manuscripts. The main emphasis of this article is the importance of taking account of all scribal features of manuscripts in attempting to establish probabilities for lacunae. Careful attention to method and to all the scribal features of P52 suggests that the use of an abbreviated form of the name 'Jesus' is more probable than not, and that P52 is not an early exception to the rule that all NT manuscripts use nomina sacra.