This is one of the oldest lost Gospel manuscripts found to date. It is also called the 'Egerton Gospel' due to its being part of the Egerton collection at the British Library.
The Gospel parchment has been carbon dated several times, with dates that range from the end of the first century to the mid second century.
However, the contents of the document indicate that it is not a canonical document, as this single Gospel describes events documented separately among the four Gospels. It also describes an event not included in either of the four Gospels.
The parchment manuscript has been fragmented with age with many areas of missing text. Nevertheless, there is enough text here to put together four events/teachings of Jesus ministry.
1. [text missing] Then Jesus said to the scribes: “Penalize all criminals and thieves, but not me, because a criminal doesn’t know how and what he is doing. Why would he do this?”
2. Then he turned to the leaders of the people and spoke this teaching: “Examine the Scriptures that you believe give you life. They will bear witness to me. Don’t assume I came to denounce you to my LORD. The one who denounces you is Moses – in whom you have put your faith.”
3. Then they said: “We know that God spoke to Moses. But regarding you, we don’t know where you come from.”
4. Jesus replied, telling them, “Now denounce your distrust of those who have been authorized by Him. For if you had trusted Moses, you would have trusted me. Because he wrote your teachers about me [text missing].”
5. [text missing] and together picked up stones to stone him. Then the leaders put their hands on him to capture him to turn him over to the crowd. But they couldn’t capture him, for the time of his arrest had yet to come. So the Master slipped away from their grasp and departed from them.
6. Just then a leper came to him and said, “Master Jesus, when I was traveling with lepers and ate together with them at the inn, I also became a leper. Therefore, if you are willing, please cleanse me.”
7. Then the Master told him, “I am willing – be cleansed.”
8. Then suddenly the leprosy was gone from him. Then Jesus told him, “Go and show yourself to the priests and make an offering in thanks for your cleansing, as Moses instructed, and stop sinning [text missing]”
9. They came to him and tested him specifically, and said, “Rabbi Jesus, we know you came from God, because above all, you bear witness to the Prophets. Thus, please tell us – is it right to pay the rulers that which helps them rule? Should we pay them – or not?”
10. But Jesus perceived their purpose and was offended. He told them, “Why do you address me as teacher with your lips, yet not follow my instructions?
11. “Isaiah was right when it was spoken through him about you. He said, ‘These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. And in vain will they worship Me, [teaching the doctrines of men] as their precepts.’”
[much text missing - fragments]
12. [He asked them,] “… how does a small seed buried in a hidden place become abundant?”
13. Then as they were confused by the strange question, Jesus walked up to the bank of the River Jordan. He stopped and planted a seed on the shoreline and sprinkled water on it. A plant grew right in front of them and produced fruit with joy.