Fascinating and a great reminder of the way God has preserved His Word throughout the ages . . .
Carefully encased within a climate-controlled cabinet in the John Rylands Library is Rylands Library Papyrus P52, the St. John’s fragment. Measuring only 8.9 by 6 centimeters at its widest points (3.5 by 2.5 inches), this is just the smallest fragment of a long-lost codex. But why would 53 square centimeters of papyrus merit such a display and a position in this list of 25 objects?
P52 may not be the most important of the ancient manuscripts, and certainly it is not the one most critical to assembling the original text of the Bible. Yet it is a significant link to the past, an object we can look at and as we look, see the providence of God in preserving his words. If faith comes through hearing and hearing through the Word of God (Romans 10:17), you and I are Christians today only because God has preserved his Word, the Bible. He has preserved his Word through even small fragments of papyrus like this one.