PGM P13 consists of a long invocation to Jesus and a request for protection against all possible evils, and can be dated to the early fifth century. Although its reference to Charon and description of the descent of Jesus to the underworld makes it one of the most exciting pieces in Preisendanz's collection of Christian magical texts, it has not been treated in detail since its publication in 1900 by Adolf Jacoby. This article presents some corrections to the previous editions on the basis of a black-and-white image of the papyrus available online. The text is followed by a detailed line-by-line commentary, which aims at situating the text in the context of the literature read and produced in the period in Egypt, as well as of the Christian ritual texts. The article finishes with a discussion of the salient features of this remarkable text, as the creedal formulas, the reference to the descent, and the mention of Charon, which allows us to catch a glimpse of the author, a Christian intellectual in search of ritual efficacy.
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Symbolae Osloenses on 12 Jan 2016.