Monday, 18 August 2008

Photoshooting Tregelles

Dan Wallace of Dallas Thelogical Seminary is here at Tyndale House, Cambridge now. He founded an institution whose mission it is to photograph as many ancient biblical manuscripts as possible to make them available on the web. He's here to take pictures of manuscripts housed in the 100+ libraries in Cambridge and the university.

His Cambridge expedition, however, begins with a photo shoot of an 1860s print edition of a Greek New Testament, in particular, Tregelles' text. From my earlier postings, people might recall that our current critical edition of the Greek New Testament (i.e., Nestle Aland) is often said to be a "Hortian" text--of the famed Westcott and Hort. However, some have recently argued that the text behind the Nestle-Aland edition is more of a Tregellian text. Thus, Tregelles' Greek New Testament is being recognised as being more and more important. It is less extreme in its commitment toward Codex Vaticanus, and is a marginal step or two closer toward the Byzantine text.

The photoshoot is very complicated, requiring a four man team. It requires exacting work in various aspects. Prof. Wallace invited me to watch. I looked over his shoulder at his computer as the images lined up against a grid. He was kind enough to say things like, "Look at this, Jim," and "Check this out, Jim."

Interestingly, the copy of Tregelles' Greek New Testament belonged to perhaps the greatest evangelical biblical scholar of the 20th century, F.F. Bruce, and is now in the possession of Codex Sinaiticus scholar Dirk Jongkind, who is fellow here at Tyndale House. When the images are made available on the web, you will be able to turn the cover and see his handwritten name at the top of the first page.

Great work Dan! We are all your debt.

Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts