Reading through the Greek New Testament

Students of the Greek New Testament are often at a loss on how to begin reading the text. After a year of Koine Greek, they may decide to tackle Hebrews, and promptly get discouraged at the prospect of ever being able to read the NT in the original tongue. This Reading List is designed to help students coming out of first-year Greek especially, but may be useful for more advanced students as well.

This list is organized along two lines: (1) easiest to most difficult, and (2) approximately ten chapter segments which bear some semblance of unity (e.g., either literary [pastorals] or historical [James-Galatians]). These two principles are sometimes in conflict.

The best way to read through the NT so as to increase your reading proficiency is to translate each chapter three times. As a rule of thumb, you should translate no less than one whole chapter and no more than about ten chapters at a time (the longer chapters in the Gospels may require breaking them up into more manageable sizes). Every time you translate, employ the “revolving door” principle. That is, rotate some chapters in and rotate some out. Thus, for example, if you try to translate through the NT in one year, you could translate one new chapter a day, but a total of three chapters a day. (See end of this list for how to get through the NT in one month!)

For example: Day 1: Matthew 1. Day 2: Matthew 1–2. Day 3: Matt 1–3. Day 4: Matt 2–4. Day 5: Matt 3–5, etc. Each chapter would get translated three times in the year and two would be near-immediate reinforcements.

One approach to mark your progress is to do this: underline a chapter the first time you go through it, circle it then second time, and cross it out (‘X’) when you’ve translated it three times.

1.            JOHN                    1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9   10  11 [Group 1]

12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21 [Group 2]

2.            1 JOHN                  1    2    3    4    5

3.            2 JOHN                  1

4.            3 JOHN                  1

5.            PHILEMON            1 [Group 3]

6.            REVELATION         1    2     3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10   11 [Group 4]

 12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19   20   21  22 [Group 5]

7.            1 THESS                 1    2    3    4    5

8.            2 THESS                 1    2    3 [Group 6]

9.            PHILIPPIANS           1    2    3    4

10.            MARK                    1    2    3    4    5    6 [Group 7]

  7    8    9   10  11  12   13   14   15   16 [Group 8]

11.            MATTHEW             1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9     10 [Group 9]

  11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20  [Group 10]

   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28 [Group 11]

12.            ROMANS                1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8 [Group 12]

   9   10  11  12  13  14   15  16 [Group 13]

13.            EPHESIANS            1    2    3    4    5    6

14.            COLOSSIANS         1    2    3    4 [Group 14]

15.            GALATIANS            1    2    3    4    5    6

16.            JAMES                    1    2    3    4    5 [Group 15]

17.            1 COR                     1    2     3     4     5     6    7   8    9    10 [Group 16]

   11  12  13   14   15   16

18.            2 COR                      1    2    3    4 [Group 17]

     5    6    7    8    9    10   11   12   13 [Group 18]

19.            1 TIMOTHY              1    2    3    4    5    6

20.            2 TIMOTHY              1    2    3    4

21.            TITUS                       1    2    3 [Group 19]

22.            1 PETER                   1    2    3    4    5

23.            2 PETER                   1    2    3

24.            JUDE                        1 [Group 20]

25.            LUKE                        1     2     3     4     5     6    7     8 [Group 21]

     9    10   11   12   13   14   15   16 [Group 22]

     17  18   19   20   21   22   23   24 [Group 23]

26.            ACTS                        1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9    10 [Group 24]

     11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19 [Group 25]

     20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28 [Group 26]

27.            HEBREWS                1    2     3     4     5     6     7 [Group 27]

      8    9    10   11   12   13 [Group 28]

N.B. The reading assignments are broken up into twenty-eight segments of approximately ten chapters each (some as short as 6–8 chapters, one as long as 13). If one were to translate one group of chapters a day, he/she could get through the entire NT in one month. (This of course is not for the faint-hearted; doctoral students getting ready for comps may wish to do this though.) For the rest of us mortals, translating one new chapter a day, with two review chapters, will take 260 days to translate the whole NT. Taking weekends off, you can get through the whole NT in a year. A suggested way to attack the reading is DAILY to read one segment with the help of Burer and Miller’s New Reader’s Lexicon, marking with a blue highlighter any words whose glosses you are not familiar with, AND review the previous segment without Burer-Miller (as much as possible). Any words that are still forgettable should be highlighted with yellow (the result will be green). (Alternatively, you could simply check off those words that you know; any words without a check are the ones to concentrate on.) By the time you get through each chapter a third time, most of the vocabulary should be fairly familiar with only occasional glances as Burer-Miller. For those with some expertise in reading, the time it should take to get through each segment (i.e., approximately 10 chapters) should be between two and five hours daily.

This document is also attached as a PDF, allowing you to have a hard copy that you could check off as you go through each chapter.

For the hard copy click the link below:

NT Greek Reading List

An Awesome Help for Reading New Testament Greek

In 1975 giant Christian publishing house, Zondervan, released a revolutionary reader’s lexicon. Written by Sakae Kubo and titled A Reader’s Greek-English Lexicon of the Greek New Testament, this book was to have a huge influence on the reading of New Testament Greek and the learning of its vocabulary. It was called a reader’s lexicon because it was indexed to the text of the New Testament in canonical order. All the words that occurred fifty times or less were listed in the lexicon, as it marched from Matthew 1.1 through Revelation 22.20. It listed the words in their lexical form, verse by verse, and it gave the glosses found in the Greek-English Lexicon by Bauer, Arndt, and Gingrich (BAG). It also gave a very helpful word-count after each entry, listing the frequency of words in both the New Testament as a whole and the particular book that the entry was in. Thus, at a glance one could see how important such a word was in said book just by noting its frequency. For example, μονογενής occurs in the New Testament nine times, four of which are in John’s Gospel. Many theological institutes began changing the amount of vocabulary words that students needed to learn because of Kubo. Dallas Seminary was among them: instead of learning all the words that occurred ten times or more (about 1100 words), the school evolved into requiring students to learn only 50+ words (a little more than 300 words altogether).

Four years after Kubo was published, BAG was updated by Fred Danker (BAGD); Kubo was not. The third edition of BAG came out in 2000, with Danker’s name deservedly moving up the ladder (BDAG). Kubo remained unchanged. And there were still numerous errors in it—including many incorrect word-counts, omissions of words, and contextually-inappropriate glosses.

Burer_Miller

It was time for a new reader’s lexicon. Enter Michael Burer and Jeff Miller, two former students of mine. In 2008 Kregel published their A New Reader’s Lexicon of the Greek New Testament. It was a significant improvement over Kubo. Not only is it indexed to the glosses in BDAG, it also is keyed especially to the contextually-sensitive glosses. Further, it gives a threefold word-count for the entries: book, author, and NT. For a long time I wanted to see at a glance the favored lexical stock of a particular author, not only in terms of the book I was studying but also his other contributions to the canon. As well, issues related to authorship (as far as vocabulary can give us insights) have needed a ready table of information. The New Reader’s Lexicon supplies this information at a glance by listing the frequency of words according to the traditional authorship of New Testament books. Thus, for example, the corpus Paulinum includes all thirteen letters to which his name is attached.

Any tool that can simultaneously function well on multiple levels—pedagogical, reference, translation, and exegesis—is rare indeed. What Kubo did for one generation, Burer and Miller’s New Reader’s Lexicon should do for the next.

However, I have been tracking both Kubo and Burer-Miller on Amazon recently and noticed that Kubo continues to outsell Burer-Miller, even five years after the latter’s publication. Perhaps it is because it is only 2/3 the price, perhaps because Kregel is a small publishing house compared to Zondervan. But even with the higher price of Burer-Miller it is well worth the cost. It is long past the time to bid Kubo a fond farewell for the years of service it has given students of the New Testament, and say hello to Burer-Miller.

Postscript

When Burer-Miller was in the press, Kregel asked me to write the Foreword, which I was happy to do. And they asked me to be the senior editor of a new series of reader’s lexica. After nearly six years of work, the second volume in this series was published (earlier this month). The design of Burer-Miller was so good that Brittany Burnette, Terri Moore (both former interns of mine), and I adopted it when we edited the second reader’s lexicon in the series (A Reader’s Lexicon of the Apostolic Fathers). We even included word-frequencies for Ignatius’s seven letters so that one could see at a glance what words were important to that church father. We are now wrestling with what the third volume should be. Contenders are the Septuagint (four volumes—the Law, the Psalms [including all poetic and other books], the Prophets, and the Apocrypha [or, for my Roman Catholic friends, the Deutero-canonical books]), the Apologists, Philo, and Josephus. Have a suggestion? I’m all ears.

Evangelical Textual Criticism Blog Dinner

This year at the Society of Biblical Literature, the Evangelical Textual Criticism folks from Tyndale House, Cambridge University hosted a dinner at Baltimore’s Hard Rock Café. The dinner was on Sunday, Nov 24, shortly after the last session on New Testament textual criticism at SBL. It seemed strange to have a dinner for Greek geeks at a restaurant that is intentionally loud (even if the music is awesome!), since all of us would rather debate, “Is it an and or an or?” than discuss human trafficking, world peace, or the central message of the New Testament. Greek geeks—who know how to dot every ‘i’ and cross every ‘t.’ In other words, anal people.

That’s what made the printed menu so ironic. Each one of us had a little card at each place setting. Here’s a picture of the card:

menu

Notice the spelling of ‘Criticism’: the ‘ic’ is missing! A case of haplography due to parablepsis.

The evening was great. Peter Head of Tyndale House spoke about the blogs on the ETC website and the impact the ETC is making on the discipline. The ETC is the best place to go to get up-to-date news on biblical textual criticism.

ETC group

Peter Head speaking at ETC Dinner, Hard Rock Café, Baltimore

A good number of evangelical textual critics were there, along with students, interested parties, and other textual critics. I didn’t do a head count but it seemed like over fifty people were present. There were stimulating conversations taking place at every table (“Is it an and or an or?” and even a few more significant than that). Jerry Pattengale of the Green Scholars Initiative announced at the beginning of the evening that the Greens had offered to buy everyone’s dinner. Thank you, Greens, for your generosity!

I look forward to next year’s dinner and the update on the discipline that the boys at Tyndale House have a bead on.

A Bibliology Grounded in Christology

The center of all theology, of the entirety of the Christian faith, is Christ himself. The Christ-event—in particular his death and resurrection—is the center of time: everything before it leads up to it; everything after it is shaped by it. If Christ were not God in the flesh, he would not have been raised from the dead. And if he were not raised from the dead, none of us would have any hope. My theology grows out from Christ, is based on Christ, and focuses on Christ.

Years ago, I would have naïvely believed that all Christians could give their hearty amens to the previous paragraph. This is no longer the case; perhaps it never was. There are many whose starting point and foundation for Christian theology is bibliology. They begin with the assumption that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God. I can understand that. Starting one’s doctrinal statement with the Bible gives one assurances that the primary source of theology, the scriptures, is both true and trustworthy. I don’t start there, however. I have come to believe that the incarnation is both more central than inspiration and provides a methodological imperative for historical investigation of the claims of the Bible.

Sometimes the reason why doctrinal statements begin with scripture is because the framers believe that without an inerrant Bible we can’t know anything about Jesus Christ. They often ask the question, “How can we be sure that anything in the Bible is true? How can we be sure that Jesus Christ is who he said he was, or even that he existed, if the Bible is not inerrant?”

Inductive vs. Deductive Approaches to Inerrancy

My response to the above question is twofold. First, before the New Testament was written, how did people come to faith in Christ? To assume that having a complete Bible is necessary before we can know anything about Christ is both anachronistic and counterproductive. Our epistemology has to wrestle with the spread of the gospel before the Gospels were penned. The very fact that it spread so fast—even though the apostles were not always regarded highly—is strong testimony both to the work of the Spirit and to the historical evidence that the eyewitnesses affirmed.

Second, we can know about Christ because the Bible is a historical document. (Even if one has a very low regard for the Bible’s historicity, he or she has to admit that quite a bit of it is historically accurate.) If we demand inerrancy of the Bible before we can believe that any of it is true, what are we to say about other ancient historical documents? We don’t demand that they be inerrant, yet no evangelical would be totally skeptical about all of ancient history. Why put the Bible in a different category before we can believe it at all? As one scholar wisely articulated many years ago, we treat the Bible like any other book to show that it is not like any other book.

Warfield’s Two Premises

We are not asked to take a leap of faith in believing the Bible to be the word of God, or even to believe that it is historically reliable; we have evidence that this is the case. I enlist on my behalf that towering figure of Reformed biblical scholarship, Benjamin B. Warfield. In his Inspiration and Authority of the Bible, Warfield lays out an argument for inerrancy that has been all but forgotten by today’s evangelicals. Essentially, he makes a case for inerrancy on the basis of inductive evidence, rather than deductive reasoning. Most evangelicals today follow E. J. Young’s deductive approach toward bibliology, forgetting the great, early articulator of inerrancy. But Warfield starts with the evidence that the Bible is a historical document, rather than with the presupposition that it is inspired. This may seem shocking to some in the evangelical camp, but one can hardly claim that Warfield was soft on bibliological convictions! Let me prove my point with a lengthy quotation from his Inspiration and Authority of the Bible (Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1948), p. 174:

“Now if this doctrine is to be assailed on critical grounds, it is very clear that, first of all, criticism must be required to proceed against the evidence on which it is based. This evidence, it is obvious, is twofold. First, there is the exegetical evidence that the doctrine held and taught by the Church is the doctrine held and taught by the Biblical writers themselves. And secondly, there is the whole mass of evidence—internal and external, objective and subjective, historical and philosophical, human and divine—which goes to show that the Biblical writers are trustworthy as doctrinal guides. If they are trustworthy teachers of doctrine and if they held and taught this doctrine, then this doctrine is true, and is to be accepted and acted upon as true by us all. In that case, any objections brought against the doctrine from other spheres of inquiry are inoperative; it being a settled logical principle that so long as the proper evidence by which a proposition is established remains unrefuted, all so-called objections brought against it pass out of the category of objections to its truth into the category of difficulties to be adjusted to it. If criticism is to assail this doctrine, therefore, it must proceed against and fairly overcome one or the other element of its proper proof. It must either show that this doctrine is not the doctrine of the Biblical writers, or else it must show that the Biblical writers are not trustworthy as doctrinal guides.”

Notice how often Warfield speaks of evidence here as the grounds for believing in inerrancy. The evidence is historical, exegetical, and doctrinal. Two statements stand out as crucial to his argument: “If they [the biblical writers] are trustworthy teachers of doctrine and if they held and taught this doctrine, then this doctrine is true…” and “If criticism is to assail this doctrine… It must either show that this doctrine is not the doctrine of the Biblical writers, or else it must show that the Biblical writers are not trustworthy as doctrinal guides.” Warfield’s argument is one of the most profound paragraphs ever written in defense of inerrancy. If you’re reading this quickly, go back and let it sink in for awhile.

Metzger’s Challenge: The Bible Doesn’t Affirm Its Own Inerrancy

In 1992, when Bruce Metzger was on campus at Dallas Seminary for a week, delivering the Griffith Thomas lectures, students would often ask him whether he embraced inerrancy. Frankly, I thought their question was a bit uncharitable since they already knew the answer (he did not). But as one who, like Warfield before him, taught at Princeton Seminary, and as a Reformed scholar, Metzger certainly had earned the right to be heard on this issue. His response was simply that he did not believe in inerrancy because he felt it was unwise to hold to any doctrines that were not affirmed in the Bible, and he didn’t see inerrancy being affirmed in the Bible. In other words, he denied Warfield’s first argument (viz., that inerrancy was held by the biblical writers). It should be pointed out that Metzger did not disagree with Warfield’s second argument. In other words, he had a high view of the Bible, but not as high as, say, the Evangelical Theological Society, precisely because he did not think that the biblical writers held to the doctrine of inerrancy.

The Role of 2 Timothy 3.16

I felt the import of Metzger’s argument even before I had heard it from him, because I had long ago memorized the passage from Warfield quoted above. When I was working on my master’s degree in the 1970s, I was convinced that Warfield’s twofold argument needed to be examined and either affirmed or rejected. So I wrote my master’s thesis on an arcane point of Greek grammar. It was entitled, “The Relation of Adjective to Noun in Anarthrous Constructions in the New Testament.” I chose that particular topic because it directly affected how we should translate 2 Timothy 3.16. Should we translate this verse “every inspired scripture is also profitable” with the possible implication that some scripture is not inspired, or should we translate it “every scripture is inspired and profitable,” in which case the inspiration of scripture is directly asserted? I spent over 1200 hours on that thesis, working without the benefit of computers—in the Greek New Testament, in the Septuagint, in classical Greek, in the papyri—to determine whether adjectives in anarthrous constructions (constructions in which no definite article was present) could be predicate or whether they had to be attributive. All of this related to 2 Timothy 3.16 because the adjective “inspired” was related to the noun “scripture” in an anarthrous construction. Further, of the dozens of New Testament grammars I checked, not one gave any actual evidence that adjectives in such constructions could be predicate. A predicate adjective would be translated as an assertion (“every scripture is inspired”) while an attributive adjective would be translated as a qualification or assumption (“every inspired scripture”). I felt an obligation to the evangelical community to wrestle with this issue and see if there was indeed genuine evidence on behalf of a predicate “inspired.” I charted out over 2200 Greek constructions in the New Testament, as well as countless others in other corpora—all by hand—then checked the primary sources a second time to make sure I got the statistics right. When an ice storm hit Dallas in the winter of 1978–79, cutting down power lines in our neighborhood, I had to work by lamplight for a week to get the first draft of the thesis in on time. My conclusion was that “inspired” in 2 Timothy 3.16 was indeed a predicate adjective. And I supplied over 400 similar examples in the appendix to back it up! These 400 examples had never been discussed in any New Testament grammar before. I believed then, and I believe now, that supplying this kind of evidence is a worthy use of one’s time. The main part of the thesis ended up being the first piece of mine accepted for publication. It appeared in Novum Testamentum (one of the world’s leading biblical journals) in 1984 as a lengthy article. And the editors kept my opening comment that my motivation for the article was to help resolve some disputes about bibliology raging at the time in American evangelical circles.

I mention the above autobiographical note for two reasons. First, the question of the nature of the Bible has been, and still is, a very precious issue to me. Obviously, to spend over 1200 hours on where to put the “is” in one verse of scripture shows that I regard such a text to be rather significant! And that such a passage is a major verse on verbal inspiration should show that this doctrine is important to me. Second, the conclusion I came to is equally important: I can affirm, with Warfield, that the biblical writers do indeed embrace a high view of the text of Holy Writ. To be sure, this verse is not all there is in defense of inerrancy. But it is a crux interpretum, deserving our utmost attention. I must therefore respectfully disagree with Professor Metzger about Warfield’s first argument.

Christological Grounds for a High Bibliology

Where does this leave us with reference to inerrancy? I arrive at inerrancy through an inductive process, rather than by starting with it deductively. My epistemological method may therefore be different from others, but the resultant doctrine is not necessarily so. At bottom, the reason I hold to a high bibliology is because I hold to a high Christology. Jesus often spoke of the Bible in terms that went beyond the reverence that the Pharisees and Sadducees had for the text. They added traditions to the Bible, or truncated the canon, or otherwise failed to handle scripture appropriately. Jesus had a high view of the text, and it strikes me that I would be unwise to have a view different from his. Indeed, I believe I would be on dangerous ground if I were to take a different view of the text than Jesus did. Thus, my starting point for a high bibliology is Christ himself.

Some may argue that we can’t even know what Jesus said unless we start with a high bibliology. But that approach is circular. Making a pronouncement that scripture is inerrant does not guarantee the truth of such an utterance. If I said the moon is made of green cheese, that doesn’t make it so. At most, what such pronouncements can do is give one assurance. But this is not the same as knowledge. And if the method for arriving at such assurance is wrongheaded, then even the assurance needs to be called into question. A web of issues brings about the deepest kinds of theological assurance: evidence (historical, exegetical, hermeneutical, etc.), affirmations, the role of the Spirit, etc. One does not have the deepest assurance about inerrancy simply by convincing himself or herself that it must be true. Indeed, I would argue that such a presuppositional approach often caves in on itself. Now if inerrancy is true, what harm is there in examining the data of the text?

Now, someone may say, “But how do you know that Jesus actually held to a high bibliology unless you start with that presupposition? How do you know that the Gospel writers got the words of Jesus right in the first place?” I think that’s an excellent question. I would use the criteria of authenticity to argue that he did indeed hold to a high view of the text. The criteria of authenticity, when used properly, are criteria that Gospels scholars use to affirm whether Jesus said or did something. Notice that I did not say, “Gospels scholars use to deny whether Jesus said or did something.” The criteria of authenticity should normally be used only for positive results. To take one illustration: The criterion of dissimilarity is the criterion that says if Jesus said something that was unlike what any rabbi before him said and unlike what the church later said, then surely such a saying is authentic. I think this is good as far as it goes. It certainly works for “the Son of Man” sayings in the Gospels. The problem is that the Jesus Seminar used this criterion to make negative assessments of Jesus’ sayings. Thus, if Jesus said something that was said in contemporary Judaism, its authenticity is discounted. But surely that would create an eccentric Jesus if it were applied across the board! Indeed, Jesus said things that were already said in the Judaism of his day, and surely the early church learned from him and repeated him.

How does this apply to Jesus’ bibliology? Since his statements about scripture are decidedly more reverential than those of the Pharisees or Sadducees, the criterion of dissimilarity requires us to see that Jesus did, indeed, hold to a high bibliology. Of course, I am not arguing that the average Christian for the past two thousand years needed to think about whether Jesus said something. But I am arguing that even the evidence from a historical-critical perspective points in the same direction. And I am arguing that in the modern world, and even postmodern world, for evangelicals to ignore evidence is tantamount to a leap of faith.

I must confess that I did not at first embrace a high bibliology because of applying the criteria of authenticity to the sayings of Jesus. No, I initially embraced a high bibliology because I believed that the Bible’s testimony about itself was sufficiently clear and certainly true. But when I came to grips with Warfield’s inductive approach and Metzger’s denial of Warfield’s first argument, I realized that, for those engaged in serious biblical studies, historical evidence needed to be assessed before dialogue with those of a different perspective could begin. The fact that many evangelical students abandon inerrancy may in part be due to them not wrestling with more than a fideistic claim. What harm is there in adding historical evidence to one’s arguments for a doctrinal position? Why are so many afraid, or unprepared, to do so? The impression this gives to many students is that such views are defenseless.

Incarnation as Methodological Imperative

Permit me to address one other issue. If Christ is at the core of our beliefs, then the incarnation has to loom large in our thinking about the faith. When God became man and invaded space-time history, this served notice that we dare not treat the Bible with kid gloves. The incarnation not only invites us to examine the evidence, it requires us to do so. The fact that our religion is the only major religion in the world that is subject to historical verification is no accident: it’s part of God’s design. Jesus performed miracles and healings in specific towns, at specific times, on specific people. The Gospels don’t often speak in generalities. And Paul mentioned that 500 believers saw the risen Christ at one time, then added that most of these folks were still alive. These kinds of statements are the stuff of history; they beg the reader to investigate. Too often modern evangelicals take a hands-off attitude toward the Bible because of a prior commitment to inerrancy. But it is precisely because I ground my bibliology in Christology rather than the other way around that I cannot do that. I believe it is disrespectful to my Lord to not ask the Bible the tough questions that every thinking non-Christian is already asking it.

 

Press Release from CSNTM

Press Release (8 Nov 2013):

Debut of Chester Beatty Papyri and New User Tools at CSNTM

IMG_5770

The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (www.csntm.org) is well known for digitizing ancient biblical manuscripts. But the Center is not well known for having a user-friendly website. Because of a generous donation, the Center is giving a much-needed face-lift to its site. Phase I includes the following new features:

  • A basic search function now allows users to look at manuscripts by date, material, content, etc. You will notice a new search bar at the top of the manuscripts page. Simply enter in the data you’re looking for, and only those manuscripts that meet the criteria will be displayed.
  • Viewing technology has been added, allowing users to see thumbnail images instead of just a link. Simply click on the thumbnail and the high-resolution image is displayed in the viewer below. Users can now zoom in and examine manuscripts without having to open individual pages. This feature is currently available only for manuscripts digitized on the last five expeditions (Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana in Florence; Gennadius Library in Athens; University of Athens Historical Museum; City Historical Library of Zagora, Greece; and the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin). More to come!
  • The website also provides links to the images of 29 (and growing!) significant manuscripts in various libraries throughout the world.
  • CSNTM currently has over 450 manuscripts listed in its manuscript page, with more than 1100 manuscripts in our archives. We are working on getting all 1100+ manuscripts listed on the site. As always, when the Center gets permission, the images of manuscripts become accessible to all.

The most exciting new additions to the CSNTM website are the Chester Beatty biblical manuscripts (which we digitized in the summer of 2013). These include all Old and New Testament Greek papyri, apocryphal texts, and all Greek New Testament manuscripts housed at the CBL in Dublin. Best of all, these can now be viewed on the manuscripts page. Using state-of-the-art digital equipment, the Center photographed each manuscript against white and black backgrounds. The result was stunning. The photographs reveal some text that has not been seen before.

CSNTM is grateful to the CBL for the privilege of digitizing these priceless treasures. The staff were extremely competent and a joy to work with. We are grateful to Dr. Fionnuala Croke, Director of CBL, for the opportunity to digitize their biblical texts. And we wish to thank Dr. Larry Hurtado, Edinburgh University, and the late Dr. Sean Freyne, Trinity College, Dublin, for recommending CSNTM for this important undertaking.

Daniel B. Wallace, Executive Director of CSNTM

Robert D. Marcello, Research Manager of CSNTM