Welcome to Biblaridion, or 'little scroll'. On this 'little scroll' will be written my various and sundry musings on myriad topics but especially on the Bible.

Location: Plano, Texas, United States


Another Online Greek New Testament

I have frequented the Wesley Center Online in the past for its good collection of Non-Canonical Literature, but it had been a while since I looked to see what else was available on their website.

It turns out that they have a nice Greek New Testament, which I had not noticed before. Books of the NT can be chosen from a sidebar. The text can be viewed either in Greek font or in ASCII "Greekcode". Options allow the user to view or hide verse numbers, parsing codes, and Strong's numbers. Clicking on a parsing code or Strong's number brings up information in another frame.

It is a clean interface, and I like it. However, the buttons did not seem to function in Netscape or Firefox (for me at least), only in Internet Explorer.

Regardless, here is yet another online Greek New Testament worth adding to my list.


Manuscript P26....Found! maybe P26 was never really lost, but its image has been missing in action from some of the most up-to-date, exhaustive manuscript lists that I am aware of on the internet:

Why do I care? Well, I care for two reasons really.

One, I think those who are keeping the lists mentioned above are providing an invaluable resource for scholars and laymen alike, and I'd like to see those lists as complete as possible.

Two, I happen to live in a suburb of Dallas, where P26 resides, and have had the opportunity to hold the 6th/7th century manuscript with my own hands (the manuscript being sandwiched between plates of glass, of course). So, I simply have an interest in it.

It is kept in Special Collections at the Bridwell Library on the Southern Methodist University (SMU) campus and, on rare occasions, is placed in public view during an exhibition.

P26, a.k.a. P.Oxy 1354, is one of the many papyri discovered at Oxyrhynchus and is discussed by Grenfell and Hunt in The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, Volume XI. It and 11 other Oxyrhynchus manuscripts, 2 classical (Homer and Sophocles) and 9 non-literary, were presented to SMU by the Egypt Exploration Society of London, through Dr. A.V. Lane. They were kept in the SMU museum until 1950 when they were transferred to the Bridwell Library.

Verses 1-16 of the 1st chapter of Paul's epistle to the Romans are recorded on P26, though they are quite difficult to read today due to the ravages of time. The manuscript has a few points of interest, such as Nomina Sacra (ΙΥ, ΧΥ, ΔΑΔ, ΥΥ, ΘΥ, ΠΝΑ, and ΚΥ), a high stop in line 29 (verso), and a paragraphus below line 33 (verso). However, Grenfell and Hunt remarked that "Textually the fragment is of slight interest."

Regardless, I hope this sparks at least a minor interest in the manuscript and leads to the inclusion of a link to its image in the above mentioned lists.

And now, what you've been continuing to read for...

Images of P26 (high-resolution images of recto and verso)
More information on P26

Click on the 'full image' button in the upper left corner to see larger views. Click on the 'other views' button to switch between recto and verso. The images are found in the Advanced Papyrological Information System, University of Michigan.

It appears to me that the images are incorrectly labled. The recto should be the verso and vice versa. Is it just me?

It's exciting that more and more images of ancient New and Old Testament manuscripts are coming online all the time. I have to wonder how many other manuscript images might already be out there somewhere on the web just waiting for interested viewers.

Update (May 26, 2005): Wieland Willker's website now has a link to P26. That was fast! If you've never visited Wieland's Bible pages and are interested in textual criticism, then go take a peek. You won't regret it.


Greetings to Rick Brannan of ricoblog and Eric Sowell of The Coding Humanist. Rick and Eric both noted my occupation and interests as being similar to their own.

Rick said:
...his profile says he's a programmer who's into Greek stuff. I sense synergy. Too bad he's in Plano, or maybe he, Zack Hubert and I could get together for coffee somewhere and really "geek out".

Sounds fun to "geek out" over coffee somewhere. It's the oddest thing...I find that most times people will just glaze over if one tries to talk about Greek, Hebrew, or textual criticism. They just don't know what they're missing.

Eric said:
...a new blog called Biblaridion, which is run by someone who is interested in the field of biblical studies and is also a software engineer. Cool. So far I've seen two on textual criticism. Is that his focus? I, of course, have no clue.

I am probably most interested in textual criticism and palaeography, both Greek and Hebrew, so I suppose these topics will figure prominently in my blog. In fact, the next few posts that I am comtemplating will probably also have to do with ancient manuscripts. However, I do hope to post on other topics as well.

Thanks for the mentions!


Introduction to P46

The University of Michigan Papyrus Collection has produced a wonderful introduction to "P46, the oldest surviving copy of the Pauline Epistles."

The introduction begins with general information about the discovery of the manuscript, its age, and its contents. At the bottom of the section entitled The State of P46, is a link to high quality digital images of the 30 leaves of P46 in their possession (the other 56 leaves are part of the Cheaster Beatty Collection in Dublin, Ireland).

After you have had a chance to peruse the manuscript images, the next section of the introduction, Features of the Codex, displays a leaf of the manuscript with highlightable boxes that surround special features. Click on one of these features, such as "Stichometric Notes" or "Nomina Sacra", and you get a detailed explanation of that feature as it appears in the manuscript leaf.

In the next section, one is provided the opportunity to learn the palaeography of P46 by reading a leaf of the manuscript line by line. An image of one line is presented at a time. If you find it hard to read the faded letters, just click on the "Highlight Text" button, and Presto! the letters are traced over in bright colors, a different color for each word. If you still find this hard to read, then just click on the "Show Transliteration" button, and you will be presented with a more readable, modern Greek font just below the image.

Finally, the presentation ends with explanations and examples of a few variant readings found in P46.

For those interested, P46 is not the only manuscript for which such an attention grabbing presentation was created. There are also two examples of Latin manuscripts, Seneca's Medea and a private document, that can be found on their Reading the Papyri page.

I believe this is truly an incredible presentation and teaching tool that deserves much attention and praise. I hope you enjoy looking it over as much as I did.


I just wanted to say a quick thank you to Stephen Carlson for mentioning Biblaridion on his own blog, Hypotyposeis, and for the subsequent mentions on Jim West's Biblical Theology and Mark Goodacre's NT Gateway Weblog. These are blogs that I have enjoyed very much, and it is great to be welcomed by them.


The Text of the New Testament

I recently received the new, fourth edition of Bruce Metzger's The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration, revised with the help of Bart Ehrman.

Much of the text is the same, but there are several excellent expansions (and some minor deletions). According to the book's preface, "important bibliographical items" were added, information was expanded "on the making and copying of books in antiquity and on the history of the transmission of the text of the New Testament", and "translations of passages of the Greek text, given previously in the Revised Standard Version of 1952, have been adjusted to the wording of the New Revised Standard Version of 1990." New information on modern methods and the use of computer technology in research is also provided. Illustrations are now near the text that refers to them rather than being collected together at the center of the book as in the previous version.

The cover is a beautiful and much appreciated improvement over the previous edition. The title is in papyrus/parchment tan on a burgundy background with a picture of a gorgeous, multicolored (stained-glass-like) frontispiece of the Gospel of John from the Latin Lindisfarne Gospels.

The new edition is, in my humble opinion, well worth purchasing, especially if you are interested and have never read the work but also if you have read the previous editions many times before.


Welcome to Biblaridion!

I'm glad you have stumbled across my blog, and I hope you find something interesting and thought provoking to read. I am a Software Engineer by occupation who enjoys studying various aspects of the Bible, especially the study of the surviving ancient manuscripts that underlie our English Bible.

Biblaridion will be my own 'little scroll' where I jot down my thoughts on many topics but especially the Bible.

Again, welcome!