Welcome to the Interpreting Ancient Manuscripts Web

The Association for Religion and Intellectual Life

designed by:
Timothy W. Seid, Ph.D.
Associate Dean of Distributed Learning & Assistant Prof. of New Testament Studies

Earlham School of Religion
Richmond, Indiana
Email: seidti@earlham.edu

Contact the Director of Admissions to find out about distance education at ESR
Fully-accredited seminary degree programs offered through online courses and two-week intensive classes

Updated 06/28/04

It all started...

The Interpreting Ancient Manuscripts web is adapted from the original Hypercard version. It was developed at Brown University with the aid of an Educational Computing Grant to the Religious Studies Department. A special acknowledgement goes to the Computing in the Humanities Users Group (CHUG) for their inspiration and encouragement over the years and to the Scholarly Technology Group for their guidance and assistance.


The main focus of the web is on the process used to study the ancient manuscripts upon which the New Testament is based. While the language discussed is Greek, almost everything is explained with transliterations into English and, where applicable, translations from standard English Bibles.


In order to navigate the web, begin by clicking the Paleography icon in the top frame. At the bottom of each subsequent page you will be provided with the option of clicking the next page in the thread. If you should become lost, click the Index icon in the top frame to see a complete listing of the Interpreting Ancient Manuscripts Web. There are also hypertext links to related items within the web and to resources in the World Wide Web.


Much of the material in this web is gleaned from the classic text of Bruce Metzger, The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration, (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1968). The example of textual criticism can be furthered explored in Jack Finegan, Encountering New Testament Manuscripts: A Working Introduction to Textual Criticism, (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1974). Additional information is quoted from Kurt Aland and Barbara Aland, The Text of the New Testament: An Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism, Trans. by Erroll F. Rhodes (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1987).

The color images of the opening pages of the Gospel of John in P66 (304k) and P75 (315k) were provided by the Martin Bodmer Library. Thank you, Dr. Braun. All other manuscript images are used with the permission of the custodians of those documents.