The Reply of Jesus to King Abgar: A Coptic New Testament Apocryphon Reconsidered (P. Mich. inv. 6213)

Publication Date

January 2005


The Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists is published by The American Society of Papyrologists,


P.Mich. inv. 6213, a Coptic papyrus in the University of Michigan collection, is a copy of the apocryphal letter by Jesus to king Abgar that is mentioned both in Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History and the Syriac Doctrine of Addai. This papyrus is distinctive among the many extant copies of the letter because it mimics the appearance of a documentary letter. The present article is intended to present a new edition of this papyrus, to argue for its use as a protective amulet, and to situate this papyrus and the larger Abgar legend in their early Christian context.


Biblical Studies | History of Christianity | Religion