The Center for Research of Biblical Manuscripts and Inscriptions located at Shepherds Theological Seminary provides advanced teaching and research in biblical textual criticism and manuscript studies. As such, the mission of the center is to equip servant leaders with the knowledge and skills necessary to engage in scholarly study of the manuscripts of the Greek and Hebrew Bible.
The scope of the teaching and research conducted by the center will primarily involve textual criticism of the Greek and Hebrew Bible, including cooperative participation with external projects involving the textual transmission history of the Bible. Additional projects of the center may include the study of ancient extra-biblical manuscripts or inscriptions that inform our textual research of the Bible. These cognate studies (e.g., Hebrew orthography and lexicography or paratextual elements of Greek manuscripts) may indirectly answer questions about the transmission history of the text.
With regard to teaching, the center offers (and will continue to develop) M.A. and M.Div. students a number of courses in the area of New Testament and Old Testament textual criticism. These courses will provide students with knowledge of manuscripts as the vehicles for the biblical texts (palaeography and codicology) as well as the ability to evaluate variant readings of the biblical witnesses. Students will gain confidence in critically engaging the written artifacts of the Christian church and the transmission of her sacred texts. With regard to research, the center will engage students in scholarly activity that advances the research goals of biblical textual criticism and transmission by establishing the textual and reception history of the Bible.