Famous Manuscripts and the Stories Behind Them

Every manuscript that is discovered has a unique and extraordinary story behind it. Dr. Daniel B. Wallace of the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts chronicles the stories of ancient manuscripts such as P52, Codex Sinaiticus, and Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus.


1. The Discovery of P52

The discovery of P52, a papyrus fragment with the New Testament text, has had a tremendous effect on the dating of the Gospel of John. Dr. Daniel B. Wallace discusses how the previous scholarly dating of John was based on German philosophical conception, but the hard evidence provides more accurate support for an earlier dating.


2. Constantin von Tischendorf and the Discovery of Codex Sinaiticus

The story of the discovery of Codex Sinaiticus in 1844 at Saint Catherine’s Monastery by Constantin von Tischendorf is detailed here by Dr. Daniel B. Wallace of the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM). Codex Sinaiticus is a 4th century manuscript that is the oldest complete copy of the New Testament in any language available in the world today. This manuscript is now housed at the British Library and can be viewed in its entirety online.


3. Ephraemi Rescriptus: The Most Important Biblical Palimpsest

Dr. Daniel B. Wallace of the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM) describes the decay of the most important NT palimpsest – Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus. Constantin Von Tischendorf and others have transcribed it previously, but the introductory verses to each book have faded. Multi-spectral and UV photography may save the red letters, but a chemical used 170 years ago to read the hidden text better has given the codex only a little more time to live.


4. Stairway to Heaven: The Story of Meteora’s Monasteries

Meteora is a Greek word that means “suspended rocks.” The breathtaking rock formations are just one of the many aspects of Meteora that make it one of the most beautiful places on earth. Dr. Daniel B. Wallace of the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM) details a trip that he led in the summer of 2010 to one of the many monasteries perched upon the high rock formations at Meteora, the Holy Monastery of St. Stephen.