John Rylands Library, Manchester, UK

The oldest gospels. Dating to about 140 A.D., this tiny fragment from the Gospel of John (both sides, shown here) and five fragments from the noncanonical Egerton Gospel (one leaf is shown in the previous photo) are two of the three oldest extant Christian texts. (The third is the fragmentary Coptic Gospel of Thomas, not shown.)

Measuring only 3.4-inches tall, the canonical fragment above includes Greek text from John 18:31–33 (left) and 18:37–38 (right), in which Pilate is questioning Jesus.