Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Twenty-three New Manuscripts in Athens!

The team from the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM) has now finished their expedition to Athens. I hope we will see a final report from one member of the expedition, Eric Sowell, who has been blogging from Athens at Archaic Christianity. Also read our previous reports here and here.

The director of CSNTM and the expedition, Dan Wallace, has been there for nine weeks. Altogether, he reports, "we photographed nine NT MSS that Müenster has not yet catalogued; these will be posted on our site ( in a few weeks." However, it doesn't stop with that. Altogether, the team examined 23 uncatalogued MSS in Athens (!) which means that 14 of them are yet to be photographed, provided that the holding institution gives their permission. To my knowledge, the two holding institutions which have been visited are the Benaki Museum and The National Historical Museum.

We look forward to seeing the nine photographed MSS on the CSNTM website, which means that the holding institutions have agreed to make them available. Read more about a few of them here.

To express my heartily support for the work of CSNTM I would like to conclude this post by citing an endorsement I wrote a while ago:

It is my great privilege to endorse the work of the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM). Under the direction of Dr. Daniel Wallace, the CSNTM is performing a great service to the scholarly community, specifically in the area of manuscript studies and textual criticism, by their dedicated work towards the goal of producing digital photographs of extant Greek New Testament manuscripts. These physical manuscripts are scattered all around the world (including places where they have been practically inaccessible), and to make them accessible to scholars doing textual research is a crucial task. In this process, even a large number of new manuscripts, hitherto unknown, apparently have come to light and are becoming officially registered as Greek New Testament manuscripts.

In my own research on hundreds of manuscripts during the years, I realize the benefit I would have if I could access and examine original color images of the manuscript. In my experience, and judging from the samples I have seen of images from various expeditions, the CSNTM is truly on the cutting edge in terms of utilizing photographic technology to produce the best possible results. It is my hope that this enterprise will attract the support of a large number of stakeholders to embrace their exciting vision to make the manuscripts of the Greek New Testament available in digital form with the approval of the holding institutions. I am also delighted that the CSNTM cooperates with other leading institutes worldwide in this field of expertise.

Read other endorsements here.


  1. Of the eight that we are told something about (, two are very recent (18th and 19th Cent); these two and four more are lectionary manuscripts; so there are two gospel manuscripts which may be of some interest: MS Fond Ancien 63 and MS Σ.Κ. 1.

    MS Σ.Κ. 1: gospels minuscule XIII parchment 244 leaves; 1 column; 23 lines; 18.9 x 13.9 x 7.8 cm

    MS Fond Ancien 63: Luke 6.45–22.56 minuscule XI/XII parchment 31 leaves; 1 column; 23–27 lines; 16.2 x 13.4 x 1.5 cm

  2. Congratulations on the great work in Athens!