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Re: [textualcriticism] Bible Manuscripts: 1400 Years of Scribes and Scripture

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  • Peter M. Head
    It is a nice book. Here is a brief introduction/review: This book has been published to coincide with a British Library exhibit on Sacred Texts from
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 5, 2008
      It is a nice book. Here is a brief introduction/review:

      This book has been published to coincide with a British Library
      exhibit on Sacred Texts from Christianity, Judaism and Islam: Sacred:
      Discover what we share. Other volumes dealing with Hebrew Manuscripts
      and Qur'an Manuscripts complete the trilogy. After a brief and
      helpful introduction (by SM), this book consists of 142 lovely full
      colour photographs of manuscripts held in the British Library. The
      book lives up to its blurb: 'Spanning the entire manuscript era, from
      the 2nd to 16th centuries, this lavishly illustrated history traces
      the evolution of Bible manuscripts - from the first Greek fragments
      unearthed in Roman Egypt to some of the last vernacular Bible
      produced in Renaissance Europe before the total dominance of printing.'

      "Bible Manuscripts" means actually "Christian Bible Manuscripts"
      (since Hebrew Manuscripts have their own book in the series). Of
      Greek New Testament manuscripts there are some of the early papyrus
      manuscripts (e.g. P5, P18), two of the most important complete Greek
      Bible manuscripts of all (Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Alexandrinus),
      as well as a few minuscules (699, 640, 113). The vast majority of
      manuscripts offered, reflecting something of the weight of material
      in the West and hence within the British Library, are Latin texts;
      although Old English, Old Saxon, Syriac, French, Serbian, English,
      Dutch, German, Catalan, and Church Slavonic are all represented, as
      is the Harley Trilingual Psalter in Greek, Latin and Arabic. The
      majority of the photographs, as is common in these sorts of
      collections, are of pages with decorations, canon tables, portraits
      etc. and not always a lot of biblical text.

      In each page or opening most of the space is given to the photograph,
      with only a few lines of text below given to brief comments on the
      selection and the manuscript from which it comes. There are no
      references to fuller discussions, although a general selection of
      books for 'further reading' is offered at the back. This collection
      is very useful and interesting for thinking about the history of the
      influence and the illustration and interpretation of the Bible. For
      example it is notable that manuscripts of the Apocalypse produced a
      high proportion of interesting illustrations, especially considering
      the relative lack of manuscripts of the text of the Apocalypse.
      Indices of biblical citations, manuscripts and a general index (of
      subjects, locations, languages etc.) will aid reference to the pictures.


      At 21:16 03/06/2008, you wrote:
      >New book:
      >"Bible Manuscripts: 1400 Years of Scribes and Scripture"
      >Hardcover: 159 pages
      >Publisher: British Library
      >ISBN-10: 0712349227
      >Amazon Price: $23.10
      >Product Description
      >Before the invention of the printing press the import of the
      >Christian Bible as a material book was inestimable. Revered
      >by the faithful, labored over by scribes and artists,
      >studied by scholars, and coveted by the rich and powerful,
      >an actual copy of the book took on iconic significance.
      >Surviving manuscripts of the Bible, therefore, not only
      >reveal the remarkable history of a massively influential
      >text but also allow scholars to map the development of the
      >book prior to the advent of machine printing.
      >The British Library's collection of Bible manuscripts is
      >incomparable in its depth and breadth, preserving landmark
      >editions from the second century up to modern times.
      >Lavishly illustrated in full color, Bible Manuscripts
      >outlines how the Bible was preserved and passed down over
      >the past two millennia. With expert curators Scot McKendrick
      >and Kathleen Doyle as guides, this book offers an
      >unparalleled opportunity to experience the whole of the rich
      >tradition of Biblical manuscripts.
      >About the Author
      >Scot McKendrick is head of Western manuscripts at the
      >British Library. His previous books include Flemish
      >Illuminated Manuscripts, 1400-1500 and Bible as Book:
      >Transmissions of the Greek Text, both published by the
      >British Library.
      >Kathleen Doyle is currently working on the Digital Catalogue
      >of Illuminated Manuscripts project at the British Library.
      >Best wishes
      > Wieland
      > <><
      >Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
      >Textcritical Commentary:
      >Yahoo! Groups Links
      Peter M. Head, PhD
      Sir Kirby Laing Senior Lecturer in New Testament
      Tyndale House
      36 Selwyn Gardens
      Cambridge CB3 9BA
      01223 566601
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