What are Illuminated Manuscripts?

Illuminated manuscripts are manuscripts with pictures that, originally, were intended to make the text more understandable. In places where literacy was low, illuminated manuscripts could help non-readers understand the Bible (or other texts) more easily. In later times, illumination came to mean decorated, regardless of whether the decorations were related to the text.

Lindisfarne Gospels

<!--...

Continue Reading

Do Fake or Forged Biblical Manuscripts Exist?

I want to address several related issues in this article:

  • Are Authentic Manuscripts Legally Available for Sale?
  • Are Biblical Manuscripts Sold Illegally?
  • What Are Unprovenanced Biblical Manuscripts?
  • Do Fake or Forged Biblical Manuscripts Exist?

Are Authentic Manuscripts Legally Available for Sale?

I did a quick search on Google and found several web sites that sell old Biblical manuscripts and...

Continue Reading

What is “First Century Mark”?

There's a lot of conflicting information on this subject, so please forgive me if I get some details wrong.

The Players

This whole story is convoluted, so a "cast of characters" (and organizations) may help, and I'll be using some below.

  • Egypt Exploration Society (ESS) - The organization that owns and curates the Oxyrhynchus Papyri, found in Oxyrhynchus, Egypt, in the late 1800's to early 1900's. Based in...

Continue Reading

What is Boustrophedon?

In my article Do I Need a Dictionary to Study Ancient Manuscripts?, I included the word boustrophedon, but I haven't used the word yet in any of the articles. I've read there are (or were) New Testament manuscripts which use (or used) boustrophedon, but I was unable to find any specific manuscripts. 

Most languages that I'm aware of write from left-to-right, while some languages are written right-to-left (e.g. Hebrew and Arabic)....

Continue Reading

What is Paleography?

My article last week was How are New Testament Manuscripts Dated?. Today's article is a follow-up describing one particular method of dating ancient manuscripts: paleography.

The word paleography comes from the Greek words παλαιός (transliterated: palaiós; English: old), and γράφειν (transliterated: graphein; English: to write), meaning "old writing". Paleography is the study of how old manuscripts were...

Continue Reading

How are New Testament Manuscripts Dated?

Scholars have found tens of thousands of ancient manuscripts that contain parts of the Bible. Each manuscript had two aspects to it: 1) the physical media it's on; 2) the text that has been written on it.  The media and the text have to exist at the same time, but they don't have to be created at the same time. It is possible for a 2,000 year old text (i.e. the New Testament) to be written on modern media (i.e. paper). It is not possible for modern text...

Continue Reading

Should the Bible be Copied Like Links in a Chain?

My last article was Was the Bible Copied Like Links in a Chain or a Tangled Ball of String?. Here's a joke I found showing the dangers of the links-in-a-chain method of copying. There are several versions of this joke on the Internet, so I don't know who at attribute it to.

A new monk arrives at the monastery. He is assigned to help the other monks in copying the old texts by hand. He notices, however, that they are copying...

Continue Reading

In Theaters Tuesday, Feb 18 – Patterns of Evidence: The Red Sea Miracle (Part 1)

Red Sea Miracle - Poster

The documentary Patterns of Evidence: The Red Sea Miracle (Part 1) will be in theaters tomorrow night (Tuesday, February 18, 2020), for a one-night-only showing. Theaters and show times are available at Fathom Events. 

Please show your support for Christian films, whether they’re documentaries or dramas, by seeing them when they’re in the theaters.

My wife and I saw the premier of...

Continue Reading

Was the Bible Copied Like Links in a Chain or a Tangled Ball of String?

Chain or String

A common complaint against the Bible is that it's been copied, re-copied and corrupted so many times that it's impossible to know what was originally written. Behind this complaint is the assumption that scribes frequently made errors while copying the Bible, and that later scribes simply copied the errors rather than correcting them.

Many people believe the Bible was copied like links in a chain, with each copy made from the last one that was...

Continue Reading

Documentary Review: Patterns of Evidence: The Red Sea Miracle (Part 1)

Red Sea Miracle - Screen

Update: I didn't mention in the original version of this article that I'll likely see the documentary again when it's in the theater, and buy it when it's available in stores and online. The filmmaking industry measures the success of a film by how much money it makes, particularly when it's first released in the theaters. Please show your support for Christian films, whether they're documentaries or dramas, by seeing them when they're...

Continue Reading