Museum of the Bible has awarded a grant for the transcription and study of the Pauline Corpus principally in Greek minuscule-a Greek writing style prominent from the ninth century onward. The resulting scholarship will contribute to the creation of an Editio Critica Maior, an important new edition of the Greek-language New Testament.
Four academic institutions are collaborating with students and scholars from across North America and Europe in the initial phase of the project. In North America, scholars and graduate students from Shepherds Theological Seminary and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary will focus on the textual tradition of 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus, incorporating English-speaking students and their professors from across the world into the transcription project. A Greek team will pursue the text of 1 and 2 Thessalonians from two universities in Athens and Thessaloniki, Greece, encouraging Modern Greek collaborators to participate in large-scale transcription work. The Greek team will eventually produce a standard edition of the Greek New Testament relevant to the Modern Greek Orthodox biblical tradition.
Andrew Smith, associate professor of New Testament and Early Christianity and director for the Center for Research of Biblical Manuscripts and Inscriptions of Shepherds Theological Seminary, will serve as the project supervisor. The International Greek New Testament Project recently voted to designate Smith as co-editor of the Pauline Epistles of the Editio Critica Maior. The Greek Paul Project will focus on the Pastoral Epistles beginning with 1 Timothy. In addition to extensive evidence from Greek manuscripts, the project collaborators will collect evidence from the Latin, Syriac and Coptic traditions as well as from the citations of the Church Fathers.
“One of the exciting elements of this project is that Museum of the Bible Scholars Initiative has brokered a scholarly relationship for students that individual schools would have been incapable of initiating on their own,” said professor Smith. “The project targets qualified mentors and gifted students at several institutions both in the United States and abroad and provides them with the resources to contribute to an important international effort.”
The establishment of the Editio Critica Maior will help answer significant questions scholars have concerning the transmission of the Pauline writings and ancient writings more broadly. This effort is a part of the Scholars Initiative at Museum of the Bible.
Michael Holmes, executive director of the Scholars Initiative, observed, “The multinational team of scholars working on the Editio Critica Maior-the ‘big critical edition‘ in everyday terms-is compiling the most comprehensive collection of data and evidence for the transmission of the New Testament ever assembled and analyzed. It is the most significant project in progress today, and Scholars Initiative and its scholars and students are honored to be a part of this groundbreaking international effort to shed new light on the story of the New Testament text.”
About Museum of the Bible:
Museum of the Bible is an innovative, global, educational institution whose purpose is to invite all people to engage with the Bible. In 2017, Museum of the Bible, which aims to be the most technologically advanced museum in the world, will open its 430,000-square-foot nonprofit museum just three blocks from the Capitol in Washington, D.C. A digital fly-through of the Museum is viewable here. A 360-degree hardhat tour of the museum is available here.
About Museum of the Bible Scholars Initiative:
Museum of the Bible supports scholarship and academic research through the Scholars Initiative, which brings together established and young scholars to pioneer-breaking research on items in the Museum Collections. Formed in the summer of 2010, Scholars Initiative allows the world’s leading textual scholars to research and produce scholarship on items in the Museum Collections while mentoring students. More than 60 universities around the world are currently participating in the Scholars Initiative, and others are in the process of joining.