|Title||Psalm 88 fragment|
Christian Askeland, a specialist in Coptic versions of the New Testament and a PhD student of Peter Williams at Tyndale House, Cambridge. identified the vellum fragment as part of a miniature codex containing Psalm 88:31-5 (Psalm 89 in Hebrew) in Sahidic Coptic. Though the date is uncertain, the fragment probably dates betweeen the third and fifth centuries.
The Bible was being translated into Coptic as early as the second century. Coptic was the last stage of the Egyptian language dialect before the Isalmic conquest. Though the word Coptic originally referered to Egyptians in general, after the Islamic conquest, the term came to refer specifically to Egyptian Christians, a minority in Egypt who often suffer persecution today. Donald Brake speculates that the fragment might have originated in Oxyrhynchus, Egypt, where many biblical vellum manusucripts have been found.