Friday, 22 October 2010

96% of the 1500 known New Testament fragments in Munster

I've just returned from a fascinating study tour with a group of South African PhD researchers. We visited, among other places the awesome city of Munster in Germany. The city is famous for lots of things: A school dating back to the year 797 AD (I think); the Anabaptist Revolt; the separation between church and state etc. But what excited me most was our visit to the world famous University of Munster Institute for New Testament Textual Research. It is on this institute that thousands of theologians and pastors all over the world depend for the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament Bible. We were told that the 28th edition will most probably be available next year. One student doing research there indicated that there will be very minor changes from the 27th edition. The small Greek fragment (top left) is the famous P 52, our oldest surviving piece of the New Testament to date. It comes from the Gospel of John and dates back to around 125 AD.

The Institute holds around 96% of the +-1500 know New Testament fragments in the world (in photographic form). There are three fulltime PhD researchers scanning in these and other collections. One of them is currently scanning in Coptic texts. What an awesome experience we had!

1 comment:

Stephan said...

This is very interesting and I wish to go there someday. David Brewer from Tundale House Cambridge University gave two teachings about the authenticity of the Bible last Sunday at our Bible School called "Cambridge School of Theology". It is awsome!!!!