Robert D. Marcello
12 December 2013
The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM) is continuing to grow its online resources. Today we are proud to announce that we now have images of 128 papyri manuscripts in our archives, 111 digital papyri manuscripts online, and 80 of these available publicly (the remaining are available for private viewing only due to contractual arrangements). This includes the new high resolution images of the Chester Beatty Papryi!
As always, we strive to continually make as many images available publically as possible. We will continue to grow our collections in the months to come; please be on the lookout for more exciting additions to the CSNTM site.
Press Release (8 Nov 2013):
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 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
The Chester Beatty papyri, published in the 1930s and 1950s, are some of the oldest and most important biblical manuscripts known to exist. Housed at the Chester Beatty Library (CBL) in Dublin, they have attracted countless visitors every year. It is safe to say that the only Greek biblical manuscripts that might receive more visitors are Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Alexandrinus, both on display at the British Library.
The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM) is pleased to announce that a six-person team, in a four-week expedition during July–August 2013, digitized all the Greek biblical papyri at the Chester Beatty Library. The CBL has granted permission to CSNTM to post the images on their website (www.csntm.org), which will happen before the end of the year.
The New Testament papyri at the CBL include the oldest manuscript of Paul’s letters (dated c. AD 200), the oldest manuscript of Mark’s Gospel and portions of the other Gospels and Acts (third century), and the oldest manuscript of Revelation (third century). One or two of the Old Testament papyri are as old as the second century AD.
Using state-of-the-art digital equipment, CSNTM photographed each manuscript against white and black backgrounds. The result was stunning. Each image is over 120 megabytes. The photographs reveal some text that has not been seen before.Besides the papyri, CSNTM also digitized all of the Greek New Testament manuscripts at the CBL as well as several others, including some early apocryphal texts. The total number of images came to more than 5100.
CSNTM is grateful to the CBL for the privilege of digitizing these priceless treasures. Their staff were extremely competent and a joy to work with. Kudos to Dr. Fionnuala Croke, Director of CBL, for such a superb staff! This kind of collaboration is needed both for the preservation of biblical manuscripts and their accessibility by scholars.
In the summer of 2012 the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM) traveled to the Gennadius Library at the American School of Classical Studies and the University of Athens in Athens, Greece. These are two exceptional libraries. The Gennadius’ own description demonstrates their amazing collection: “Opened in 1926 with 26,000 volumes from diplomat and bibliophile, Joannes Gennadius, the Gennadius Library now holds a richly diverse collection of over 120,000 books and rare bindings, archives, manuscripts, and works of art illuminating the Hellenic tradition and neighboring cultures.” Here, a team from CSNTM was able to digitize six manuscripts in their collection including three manuscripts not yet catalogued with GA numbers! The team also visited the University of Athens Historical Museum and was able to locate two manuscripts.
The following manuscripts may now be found at www.csntm.org/manuscript:
Gennadius:GA 1797, GA 2651, and GA 1873
No Gregory-Aland number yet: Gennadius Shelf Numbers: 259, 266, and K20
University of Athens Historical Museum:
GA 2121 and GA 2123
19 March 2013
Robert D. Marcello
In November of 2011 CSNTM traveled to the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (BML) in Florence Italy. This is a phenomenal library founded by the Medici family. Here, the old library, which was designed by none other than Michelangelo himself, can be seen in all of its glory. It now holds over 2500 papyri, 11,000 manuscripts, and 128,000 printed texts. Because of this trip, CSNTM is proud to announce the addition of new images of 28 manuscripts from the BML. This excellent collection contains papyri, majuscules, minuscules, and lectionaries. Among the many treasures we digitized was an eleventh-century lectionary, written entirely in gold letters (GA Lect 117). Another manuscript had Paul’s epistles after the book of Revelation—a very rare phenomenon GA 620). And we photographed a complete Greek New Testament manuscript—one of only sixty known to exist (GA 367). We thank the library and their staff for their graciousness and willingness to digitally preserve these manuscripts.The following manuscripts may now be found HERE.
GA Lect 112
GA Lect 117
GA Lect 118
GA Lect 291
GA Lect 510
GA Lect 604
GA Lect 2210