Blind UT Austin student part of ancient papyri study

Daniel Smith, a UT Austin religious studies doctoral student who became blind later in life, is now working with the UT Austin student disability services to interact with and study an ancient papyri fragment from an apocryphal Gospel.

 

The fragment itself is very old and is one of many that was discovered in an ancient trash heap in the Egyptian city of Oxyrhynuchs. It’s interesting in that it may preserve early traditions about Jesus ministry that do not depend upon the canonical accounts. If it in fact dates to 175-225 as has been argued, it is one of our earliest Gospel fragments, canonical or otherwise. Here are some images of the manuscript. The university’s disability services has helped create tactile images of this fragment and others like it, so that Dan is able to feel the handwriting he is studying.

 

poxy-v0076-n5072-a-01-hires

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