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New Hermeneia Manuscript

Yesterday I provided background for my post of today by talking about the five hermeneia manuscripts of the Gospel of John that were discussed by Bruce Metzger in a publication in 1988. The reason that is now timely is that a new manuscript has just recently been identified with the same phenomenon. This time it is a Coptic manuscript that survives only in a fragment, of John chapter 3. The person who has identified it is Brice Jones, a PhD candidate in New Testament at Concordia University in Montreal. Brice is developing an expertise in textual criticism and the study of manuscripts, and this is a terrific discovery. Below is the notice that he sent around a few weeks ago reporting his find (in his own words, of course).

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Errant Texts and Historians
Fortune Telling with Manuscripts



  1. Avatar
    Joel_Lisboa  November 6, 2013

    I’m very interested in textual criticism of the NT. Right now I’m doing a MA on archaeology at a conservative university, but I feel inclined to make a transfer at MA or PhD level. Bart, what universities in the US offer great programs on Textual Criticism, Early Christianity and Archaeology (of NT preferably)? I saw Chapel Hill and the Ancient Mediterranean Religions program and was terrific! What college (non-religion affiliated) do you recommend for those 3 fields I mentioned above? Thank You!

    • Bart Ehrman
      Bart Ehrman  November 6, 2013

      None, actually. Apart from conservative theological seminaries, the only places you can take even a graduate level seminar in textual criticism with an actual expert in the field is at UNC (if I offer the seminar again; I’m not sure I will) or Harvard (where Eldon Epp teaches it every other year, I believe; but I don’t know how long he’ll be doing it either.) UNLESS, Ann Marie Luijendijk begins doing one at Princeton or Jennifer Knust does at BU.

  2. Avatar
    toddfrederick  November 6, 2013

    This is a very good series you are presenting. High interest for me.

    I have a very important question and I know you’re the one with the best answer: I just received my Great Courses catalog and there’s a DVD course on the New Testament taught by a Professor Bart Ehrman, discounted to $39.95.

    Do you think it’s worth viewing? đŸ˜€

    That IS a super price !!

  3. Avatar
    gabilaranjeira  November 7, 2013


    Is there a reason why these hermeneia manuscripts are found in association to the Gospel of John as opposed to other gospels? What does that tell us?

    Thank you.

    • Bart Ehrman
      Bart Ehrman  November 7, 2013

      Well, in Codex Bezae they occur in Mark. But why all the others (papyri) would be in John — great question! Maybe it was the “most sacred” of the books? I’m not sure.

  4. Avatar
    dbjorn  November 8, 2013

    Since you were talking of new manuscripts…… I was recently viewing a debate between you and Dan Wallace entitled “Is The Original New Testament Lost?”. At the end of the debate Dan spoke of some recently discovered, very early manuscripts that he was sworn to secrecy on. To which you sounded rather skeptical. Any further news on Dan’s claim? This was about a year ago.

    • Bart Ehrman
      Bart Ehrman  November 8, 2013

      The first-century copy of Mark that he referred to was supposed to have been published in January 2013 or so. So far, no word. (I do keep asking!)

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