FoxNews – Researchers unveiled a rare 1,700-year-old letter that they said sheds new light into how early Christian believers lived.
The letter, which is at least 40 to 50 years older than all other known Christian documentary letters outside the Bible, is written by a man named “Arrianus.” It was addressed to his brother, “Paulus,” likely named after the Apostle Paul who recorded much of the New Testament, and dates back to the 230s AD.
In the letter, Arrianus discusses their faith, local politics, and food under the Roman Empire.
“The earliest Christians in the Roman Empire are usually portrayed as eccentrics who withdrew from the world and were threatened by persecution. This is countered by the contents of the Basel papyrus letter,” said Sabine Huebner, professor of Ancient History at the University of Basel in Switzerland, where the letter is housed. “The letter contains indications that in the early third century, Christians were living outside the cities in the Egyptian hinterland, where they held political leadership positions and did not differ from their pagan environment in their everyday lives.”