Expedition Update: Summer 2023

CSNTM’s research team is ending out on an eventful Summer of expeditions and ongoing projects! Throughout their trips to Germany, New Orleans, and the United Kingdom, the CSNTM research team made extensive progress on several ongoing projects, which they will continue working on when they return to these locations. In addition to these advances, Dr. Dan Wallace connected with another library in Austria with hopes of examining and digitizing the New Testament parchment and papyri manuscripts that the library currently holds. These institutions and their collections of New Testament manuscripts are of great value in our mission to preserve the accuracy of the New Testament, and we are thrilled to continue working with each one!

CSNTM’s chief operating officer, Mark Gaither, shares about each trip below.

The Bodleian

Oxford, United Kingdom

Dan Wallace and Denis Salgado of CSNTM travelled to Oxford, United Kingdom and met up with Andrew Patton and Clark Bates, Birmingham University scholars and proteges of Hugh Houghton, to begin a project with the Bodleian Library. We have partnered with this historic library to examine roughly 100 manuscripts and catalog their metadata in anticipation of digitizing the GNT (Greek New Testament) collection. Working in teams of two, the researchers spent two weeks examining manuscripts in the GNT collection, aiming to prepare 50 for digitization. While studying the artifacts, the team identified some palimpsest manuscripts and marked them as candidates for Multispectral Imaging. We look forward to continuing to work with the Bodleian to provide an incredible amount of metadata and excellent images to equip scholars and deepen our understanding of the New Testament.

The Institut Für Neutestamentliche Textforschung (INTF)

Münster, Germany

Following their presentations at the Birmingham Colloquium on the Textual Criticism of the New Testament in May, Denis Salgado and David Flood, traveled to the Institut Für Neutestamentliche Textforschung “Institute for New Testament Textual Studies” in Münster. I joined them there and we met up with Mina Monier, an expert in Arabic, Coptic, and Syriac, to examine the INTF collection of “oriental” manuscripts. The examination process helped us to identify 27 manuscripts as candidates for digitization. We will return in October to digitize these artifacts along with some Ethiopic manuscripts.

New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

New Orleans, Louisiana

The H. Milton Haggard Center for New Testament Textual Studies, led by Dr. William Warren, has custody of the papers and roughly 800 microfilm rolls collected by the International Greek New Testament Project (IGNTP). They also hold roughly 1,000 rolls of microfilm containing Greek New Testament manuscripts and lectionaries. We have been working with NOBTS to get all of that material digitized for publication on the new CSNTM Digital Collection when it is launched. Due to the large volume of material in the collection, we anticipate the project to take about 12 to 18 months.

In June, Preston Russell and I traveled back to NOBTS to meet with students and staff who will help us continue working through the artifacts. We trained them to use CSNTM’s equipment and prepare images to meet the high standards for presentation on our website. Then, in August, I retuned once more to continue working on scanning IGNTP papers. Thanks to the help of the team in New Orleans, we look forward to sharing the incredible historic images with you all.

Österreichische Nationalbibliothek

Vienna, Austria

While Dr. Wallace was at the Society for New Testament Studies (SNTS) conference, he spent many hours at the Österreichishe Nationalbibliothek “Austrian National Library,” examining their collection of papyri and majuscule manuscripts. During this time, he noticed that their current digitization and multispectral imaging (MSI) status is lacking and therefore initiated conversation with the staff about partnering with CSNTM in effort to produce updated digital images and multispectral imaging for several artifacts. Dan received a positive response from the the custodians of the manuscripts and anticipates working with the library in the future.