Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New Manuscripts Discovered?

Let me point you to an interesting website. One of my New Year's resolutions is to further my Greek studies and also seek to understand Textual Criticism (btw...I don't mean that I'm going to criticize the Bible!)...I came across this story and this site today that's very interesting.

The website is from the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts. The purpose of this organization is to do the following (taken from their website):

The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM), under the umbrella of The Center for the Research of Early Christian Documents (CRECD), exists for the following purposes:
  • To make digital photographs of extant Greek New Testament manuscripts so that such images can be preserved, duplicated without deterioration, and accessed by scholars doing textual research.

  • To utilize developing technologies (OCR, MSI, etc.) to read these manuscripts and create exhaustive collations.

  • To analyze individual scribal habits in order to better predict scribal tendencies in any given textual problem.

  • To publish on various facets of New Testament textual criticism
    To develop electronic tools for the examination and analysis of New Testament manuscripts.

  • To cooperate with other institutes in the great and noble task of determining the wording of the autographa of the New Testament.
Interesting! But what's even more interesting is what they found on a recent expedition to Albania. Let me encourage you to read the whole article, here is just one excerpt:

"This was not the only good news of the day, nor even the most momentous. The catalog revealed several other Greek New Testament manuscripts that had never been catalogued by western scholars. Simple arithmetic told us this: There were forty-seven Greek New Testament manuscripts listed in the National Archive catalog, while the K-Liste noted only thirty in Albania (and seventeen of these had been presumed lost). Thus, Tirana was housing at least seventeen manuscripts unknown to western scholarship and as many as thirty-four! Since the dawn of the 21st century, an average of two or three Greek New Testament manuscripts is brought to light each year. A cache of 17 to 34 manuscripts is a remarkable find, regardless of the age and pedigree of the manuscripts."

I would love to look at these manuscripts...Christians should not be afraid of new manuscript should encourage us. Our Bible, the Word of God, is the most attested to book in all ancient literature, it is so free of textual variation as well (contrary to what the atheists, islamic apologists and Mormons will tell you!).

The full article can be read at the following link:
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> posted by Jim Leavenworth at


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