Museum of the Bible Greek Paul Project
Started in spring of 2015, this project represents an effort by the Museum of the Bible (MOTB) Scholars Initiative to promote student involvement in the International Greek New Testament Project (IGNTP). The goal of the IGNTP is to produce a comprehensive critical apparatus of the Greek New Testament (the Editio Critica Maior), and through the CRBMI, Shepherds Theological Seminary students can participate in the transcription of Greek minuscule manuscripts for this massive scholarly undertaking. With the success of the project pilot in the spring, this program now presents STS students with a wonderful opportunity to engage in world-class biblical research and cooperate with an international community of scholars. The first phase of this project (which involves transcription of the ~180 witnesses of 1 Timothy) represents a three-year commitment for the CRBMI.
To participate in the program, students with facility in biblical Greek must acquire skill at reading Greek minuscule, the form of writing used in most manuscripts of 1 Timothy. Students use manuscript images and data provided by the Institute for New Testament Textual Research (Institut für neutestamentliche Textforschung) in Münster, work under a local mentor skilled in manuscript studies, and participate in webinars with internationally renowned textual critics. STS students receive course credit for participating in the project (under NT704 – New Testament Textual Criticism Lab).
CRBMI director and STS professor Andrew Smith is the Project Supervisor for this work, overseeing the mentors at the other participating institutions, assigning manuscripts to students, and answering manuscript questions that local mentors are unable to field. Participating institutions include: Baylor University, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Concordia Seminary, Örebro Theological Seminary (Sweden), University of Northwestern, Louisiana College, Oral Roberts University, Abilene Christian University, East Texas Baptist University, Palm Beach Atlantic University, and California Baptist University.
Participants in the Greek Paul Project are eligible to attend the SCIO Logos in Oxford program offered each summer at Oxford University.
Analysis of Ancient Inks Using Raman Micro-spectroscopy
An interdisciplinary team has been assembled to investigate the chemical properties of ancient carbon-based inks in a selected group of papyri dated across a span of several centuries. The use of Raman micro-spectroscopy as a non-destructive method to identify the chemical composition of carbon-based inks in manuscripts and artwork is well known. However, in a recent paper by the team at the Columbia University-based Ancient Ink Laboratory (“Characterizing the age of ancient Egyptian manuscripts through micro-Raman spectroscopy“), it was suggested that Raman micro-spectroscopy might demonstrate a correlation between the age of carbon-based inks used in ancient Egyptian manuscripts and variations in the spectra produced by those inks. That team concluded that “translating this exciting concept into practical applications will require careful consideration of statistics and additional experimental investigation” (1192). The purpose of this project by the CRBMI is to analyze the spectra of dated papyri to test the hypothesis of the Columbia team and determine if there is any correlation between the age of a papyrus’ ink and variation in their Raman spectra.
Bodmer Psalter Project
This collaborative Septuagint project was created to perform original research on the Bodmer Psalter (P.Bod. XXIV). An invaluable witness to the Septuagint text (the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible started in the third century BC), this relatively well-preserved manuscript dates to the third or fourth century (AD) and contains Psalms 17-118 (according to Septuagint numbering). The project is led by Dr. Rob Hiebert and Dr. Cameron Boyd-Taylor (both at Trinity Western University, Canada) and David Sigrist (doctoral student at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa). Students in the project pursue individual lines of inquiry under the guidance of local supervisors and the results of their research will be published at the project’s completion.
MDiv student Denis Salgado is a researcher on this project, studying scribal habits under the supervision of Dr. Andrew Smith.