The oldest texts The recovery of the oldest available text of the New Testament continues to occupy the attention of biblical scholars. Because the early printed editions were based on late and incorrect texts, scholars had to study the materials to find older forms of the text. We now know that to study the text of the New Testament and to recover the oldest forms of it, scholars have available over 5,500 Greek manuscripts, translations into early languages, including especially important ones in Syriac, Latin, and Coptic, and quotations in early Christian writers. The task of examining these witnesses, and collecting from them the relevant data, has occupied scholars for over three hundred years.
Principal critical editions
This collection contains the principal critical editions of the Greek New Testament produced in that time. They are of continuing value in biblical and textual scholarship, for the following reasons:
1. As some of the highest achievements of biblical scholarship.
2. Because they sometimes contain materials no longer available.
3. Because the editorial decisions of scholars of the past continue to act as a guide and resource to successive generations of scholars.
This collection This series, earlier published in a microfiche collection by IDC Publishers, makes available for the first time in a single online collection the principal critical editions, lists of variant readings and collections of manuscript transcriptions and collations from the late seventeenth to the early twentieth century. In addition, a number of the most useful editions of the ancient versions and of ancillary materials have been included. It begins with the first large collection, compiled by John Mill and published in 1707, and ends with von Soden’s huge work of 1902-13. It thus spans two centuries of scientific and technical advance, and of manuscript discoveries. This development is parallel to the collection and classification of materials in the natural sciences. The materials in Parts 3 and 4 have been chosen because of their scarcity, their continuing value for scholarly research, and their significance in the development of the discipline.
Professor D.C. Parker,
Edward Cadbury Professor of Theology. Director of the Institute for the Textual Scholarship and Electronic Editing, University of Birmingham (UK)