Numerals in Early Greek New Testament Manuscripts, Zachary J. Cole provides the first in-depth examination of the seemingly obscure, yet important topic: how early Christian scribes wrote numbers and why. While scholars have long been aware that Christian scribes occasionally used numerical abbreviations in their books, few have been able to make much sense of it.
This detailed analysis of numerals in manuscripts up through the fifth century CE uncovers a wealth of palaeographical and codicological data. Among other findings, Zachary J. Cole shows that some numerals can function as “visual links” between witnesses, that numbers sometimes—though rarely—functioned like
nomina sacra, and that Christians uniquely adapted their numbering system to suit the needs of public reading.
Zachary J. Cole, Ph.D. (2016), University of Edinburgh, is Lecturer in Biblical Studies at Union Theological College in Belfast, UK. His research interests include New Testament studies and Christian manuscripts.
This is a wonderfully fresh and innovative study that is path-leading in a surprisingly under-researched area. [...] Cole shows how previously unanalysed data can elucidate a number of sigificant and fundamental text-critical questions. [...] This will become the standard work on the question of number writing practice in Greek New Testament manuscripts.'
Paul Foster, University of Edinburgh, The Expository Times 129 (7) 2018
All interested in biblical studies, especially those concerned with New Testament textual criticism, codicology, and palaeography.