Rick Brannan has set up a manuscript transmission experiment, involving modern copying of NT manuscripts. Here are the first and second reports on the project. This is something I've thought about myself, in consultation with Peter Head. I had conceived of the experiment somewhat differently from Rick. Start with one text, copy it twice, copy each copy twice, etc. Devise a simple unique label for every ms involving a number for its 'generation' and then A or B for whether it is the first or second copy, plus further designators as necessary. I'd hope that at least 1054 copies could be produced that way. We could then look at the copying errors that occurred and do various tests to see whether it was possible to restore the original on the basis of partial evidence. Ideally the experiment would be carried out on a mass volunteer basis, with certain controls, e.g. that people do not copy a copy that they themselves have produced. Volunteers would submit their copies in scanned form.
The experiment could work in Greek or in English. An English version would open up the possibility of more volunteers and possibly many thousands of mss.
My favourite copying experiment actually would not be to produce manuscripts. I'd start with a bit of the KJV in original spelling on computer and a user interface inviting people to copy it by typing. Perhaps it should all be block capitals. Once two copies have been produced, these then form the foundation of the four copies of generation 2, etc. Since all data would be entered electronically it would be very simple to analyse it. Obviously certain mistakes would occur on qwerty or azerty keyboards that would not occur in manual copying. However, it might still be possible to get some useful observations on various forms of parablepsis.
Why KJV in original spelling? This would be to mimic simultaneously the familiarity and linguistic strangeness that many a Greek scribe must have felt when copying the NT.
Aim: 100,000 copies of 1 chapter of the Bible. Who's going to set this up?