Subscribe to our feed Archives

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Dr. Wallace to Give Lecture at University of Athens

 

U Athens Logo

Dr. Daniel B. Wallace, Executive Director of the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM), will be giving a lecture in Athens regarding the Center's ongoing digitization project at the National Library of Greece. The lecture will be held at the University of Athens' School of Theology in May 2016. For further information, please see below:

Host: The President of the Department of Social Theology at the University of Athens/School of Theology, Professor Sotirios Despotis, and the Lecturer Dr. Athanasios Antonopoulos. 

Lecture Topic: The Digitization of New Testament Manuscripts Project at the National Library of Athens

Date and Time: Thursday, May 19, 2016, at 11:00am.

Place: Multimedia Room, 2nd Floor, School of Theology, University Campus, Ano Ilisia, Athens.

For more information, please contact: Dr. Athanasios Antonopoulos by email.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Update from Athens 2016, Part 2: Digitization Progress

 The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM) is excited to announce that during a brief trip to Athens in March they were able to digitize an astounding 16,000 images of pages in 29 manuscripts! CSNTM’s Research Manager, Robert Marcello, led the seven-person team, including David and Marcy Long, Jacob Peterson, Stratton Ladewig, Andrew Patton, and David Smith. Under his leadership, they made significant headway on the project at the National Library of Greece. Every team member worked hard to digitally preserve these manuscripts with precision while caring for the codices themselves.

While the teams were working, CSNTM’s Executive Director, Dr. Daniel B. Wallace, and current intern, Kyle Fischer, discovered three New Testament manuscripts that were unknown to western scholars. Dr. Wallace wrote about these unique discoveries in Athens Update (Part 1). They also prepared scores of manuscripts for digitization. These discoveries were digitized and will be added to CSNTM’s library in the coming months. 

Altogether, the Center’s teams have digitized 69% of the New Testament manuscripts in the National Library’s collection. They look forward to finishing the project later in 2016. It will take many committed people to fully fund the digitization of this important collection. If you would like to partner with CSNTM to complete this project at the National Library of Greece, visit http://www.csntm.org/donate.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Update from Athens 2016, Part 1:

Lectionary 1315 Rediscovered

Since January 2015 I (Dr. Daniel B. Wallace) have been examining New Testament manuscripts at the National Library of Greece in Athens so that teams from CSNTM can then digitize these manuscripts. Ten of us were in Athens for two weeks in March. I had a superb assistant working with me, Kyle Fischer, one of CSNTM’s current interns. Rob Marcello, CSNTM’s Research Manager, led a team of stellar digitizers: Jacob Peterson, Stratton Ladewig, David and Marcy Long, Andy Patton, and David Smith. Christina Nations, CSNTM’s Development Manager, was there for a week documenting everything all of us did with thousands of photographs!

National Library

This was our second trip to Athens this year. The last one was at the beginning of January. We are gearing up for the conclusion to our two-year expedition this coming summer when we will finish digitizing all of the New Testament manuscripts at the NLG.

My task is almost complete. I have looked at over 300 manuscripts (150,000 pages), writing up brief descriptions on each one for the digitization teams. We came armed with information from the Institut für neutestamentliche Textforschung’s Kurzgefasste Liste and the NLG’s own research on their collection. The lists did not entirely match: there were some MSS on INTF’s list that were not found on NLG’s, and vice versa. The excitement of examining and digitizing MSS that are not a part of INTF’s official registry was palpable. We were able to examine most of the MSS on INTF’s list that were not found on NLG’s. Three MSS, however, were notable exceptions: Lectionaries 1303, 1315, and 1321.

What was peculiar about these three MSS was that no NLG shelf number was mentioned in the Kurzgefasste Liste. They were originally examined by Caspar René Gregory back at the turn of the 20th century. We already knew that at least two of the lectionaries were partial MSS (l 1315 and l 1321). And we had the data on the leaf count, dimensions, date, material, and other features on these two. I passed on the information from the K-Liste to the library staff last year, but they were unable to locate any of these lectionaries without the key item—the shelf number.

On this latest trip, I wrote to the INTF and asked if they had any other data on these codices. Klaus Wachtel wrote back and informed me about Kurt Treu’s follow-up research on Caspar René Gregory’s initial description. Treu felt NLG Sakkelion 294 may well be one of the MSS that Gregory had identified as a lectionary. I passed on this shelf number to the Manuscript Room librarian and she produced a handsome, thick medieval codex with embossed leather over wood boards. It was the text of John Climacus (a.k.a. Scholasticus), 684 pages in all.

The 1994 Kurzgefasste Liste has a question mark for the shelf number while the online K-Liste simply says “Vor- und Nachsatzbll.” (i.e., leaves at the front and back of the codex), without giving a shelf number. What was at the front and back of this codex was indeed the remains of an Apostolos lectionary—lections from Colossians, Acts, and 1 John. The leaves were sewn in perpendicularly to the rest of the codex. They were from a much smaller book, the height of which was about the same as the width of the Climacus text. And these leaves were actually double leaves or bifolia—one at the front and one at the back, with a small fragment of a leaf also in the front.

Our examination of the lectionary came close to INTF’s description. But instead of 9 x 12.5 cm for each leaf, we have 10.7 x 13.2–13.3 cm. And the width is actually just what is present, not the original size of the leaves since the bifolia have been trimmed to fit in as buffer leaves for the codex. Furthermore, we counted 25–27 lines per page, while Münster has 25–28. Nevertheless, this is most likely the MS that the K-Liste describes. Our measurements are almost always a bit different from INTF’s. Normally, this is due to two reasons: First, they seem to be basing their measurements on very old catalogs (or, in this case, Gregory’s Textkritik). Over time, parchment MSS tend to shrink in size. What seems inexplicable in this instance, however, is that INTF’s measurements are actually smaller than CSNTM’s. But we have found this to be the case on many occasions too, though it is less common than the reverse. Second, CSNTM gives a range for the size while INTF gives just one measurement for each dimension. For these two reasons almost 100% of the CSNTM dimensions differ from INTF’s.

But is it the same as what Gregory saw? His data agree with INTF’s except that he lists the line count as 25–26. That’s a trivial matter, since line counts tend to differ a bit from researcher to researcher. He also says that this is in a MS of Climacus with an unknown number of leaves, written in the fourteenth century (Textkritik 1.470, where he gives the lectionary number as 97; it has since been changed to l 1315). Gregory dates this note to 1886, six years before the NLG’s catalog was published. The main body of the codex has been foliated, presumably since Gregory looked at it (though before he published his Textkritik).

iPhone picture of NLG 294—buffer leaf at front of codex

At bottom, it is our assessment that NLG 294 is l 1315. CSNTM has ‘discovered’ twenty NT MSS at the NLG in the last two years that are not yet catalogued by Münster. Most of these were known to the library, but some were entirely new finds. NLG 294 is not counted among these; the twenty we have discovered all have different shelf numbers. In our final trip to Athens this summer we will digitize this MS with professional cameras and thus, we hope, erase the question mark on one of Gregory’s lost MSS at the National Library of Greece.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Images of Six Uncatalogued Manuscripts from the National Library of Greece

New manuscripts digitized by theCenter for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM) have just been added to our searchable collection. These include 6 newly discovered manuscripts from the National Library of Greece (NLG) in Athens, the site of our ongoing digitization project for 2015–16. The discoveries were made by Dr. Daniel B. Wallace during his preparation of each manuscript for digitization. They are listed according to their NLG shelf number, as they have not yet been assigned a Gregory-Aland number. They cannot be confirmed as new discoveries without further investigation (i.e. they could be missing sections from extant New Testament manuscripts).


Computer screen during digitization

  • NLG 122: 14th century minuscule of the book of Hebrews. This manuscript was previously considered part of GA 794; however, it actually constitutes a separate manuscript. It came about when a second scribe took over a previous scribe’s work as he was copying the Pauline corpus. The scribe did not realize that his predecessor had already copied Hebrews—so he copied it again!
  • NLG 2064: 16th century lectionary and euchologion.
  • NLG 2065: 15th century lectionary and euchologion.
  • NLG 2771: 16th century minuscule of the Gospel of Mark, with other patristic and liturgical text. The codex appears to be a patchwork: the paper is of varying qualities, there are several different dates given for its provenance, and there were between 12 and 20 scribes who worked on the manuscript. One of the scribes appears to be the famous monk Pachomios Rousanos.
  • NLG 2791: 17th century lectionary dated to 1638 of the Gospels and Paul. The lections are embedded in a liturgical text.
  • NLG 3139: 13th century minuscule dated to 1227/1228 of Paul. The text is accompanied by commentary by Theophylact (d. 1107). The first three quires of the manuscript are now missing, so the text begins at Romans 7.15.

In addition to the manuscripts from the NLG, we have also uploaded and tagged additional manuscripts from our archives. 

These images have now become part of our growing searchable library, which gives everyone free access to the best available digital images of New Testament manuscripts.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

New Manuscripts from the National Library of Greece

New manuscripts digitized by the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM) have just been added to our searchable collection. These include 4 manuscripts from the National Library of Greece (NLG) in Athens, the site of our ongoing digitization project for 2015–16.

Manuscripts at the National Library of Greece

  • GA 77012th century minuscule containing the Gospels of Matthew and John with extensive commentary. Throughout the manuscript, technical terms are used to differentiate between sections of “text” (keimonon) and “interpretation” (hermeneia).
  • GA 794: 14th century minuscule of the Gospels, Apostolos, and Paul. For some unknown reason, an artist painted an icon of Luke over the last four verses of Mark’s Gospel as they were originally written in the manuscript. A second scribe then came and rewrote these verses at the bottom of the previous page.
  • GA 808: 14th century minuscule of the entire New Testament: Gospels, Apostolos, Paul, and Revelation. This manuscript contains many beautiful icons, including Luke surrounded by the twelve apostles (beginning of Acts) and Paul with two others and numerous men behind each of them (beginning of Romans).
  • GA 1367: 15th century minuscule of the Gospels, Apostolos, and Paul. Written in a beautiful, petite hand.

In addition to the manuscripts from the NLG, we have also uploaded and tagged additional manuscripts from our archives.

These images have now become part of our growing searchable library, which gives everyone free access to the best available digital images of New Testament manuscripts.

< Older Posts