The Earliest Christian Artifacts: Manuscripts and Christian Origins

Front Cover
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Nov 2, 2006 - Religion - 248 pages
Much attention has been paid to the words of the earliest Christian canonical and extracanonical texts, yet Larry Hurtado points out that an even more telling story is being overlooked -- the story of the physical texts themselves.

Widely recognized for his outstanding scholarship, Hurtado combines his comprehensive knowledge of Christian origins with an archivist's eye to make sense of these earliest objects of the faith. He introduces readers to the staurogram, possibly the first representation of the cross, the nomina sacra, a textual abbreviation system, and the puzzling Christian preference for book-like texts over scrolls.

Drawing on studies by papyrologists and palaeographers as well as New Testament scholars -- and including photographic plates of selected manuscripts -- The Earliest Christian Artifacts astutely introduces the distinctive physical features of early Christian manuscripts, illustrating their relevance for wider inquiry into the complex origins of Christianity.

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The Texts
The Early Christian Preference for the Codex
The Nomina Sacra
The Staurogram
Other Scribal Features
Concluding Remarks
select bibliography
Christian Literary Texts in Manuscripts of the Second and Third Centuries
Photographic Plates of Selected Manuscripts
index of authors
index of manuscripts

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page xiv - Commentary WMANT Wissenschaftliche Monographien zum Alten und Neuen Testament WUNT...
Page xii - BAGD W. Bauer, WF Arndt, FW Gingrich, and FW Danker, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (2nd ed.) BBR Bulletin for Biblical Research BOB F.
Page xiii - JSNT Journal for the Study of the New Testament JSNTSup Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement Series JSOTSup Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series JTS Journal of Theological Studies...
Page 27 - The Significance of the Papyri for Determining the Nature of the New Testament Text in the Second Century: A Dynamic View of Textual Transmission...
Page xii - BIOSCS Bulletin of the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies BJRL Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library...
Page 5 - The Earliest Evidence of an Emerging Christian Material and Visual Culture: The Codex, the Nomina Sacra and the Staurogram," in Text and Artifact in the Religions of Mediterranean Antiquity: Essays in Honour of Peter Richardson, ed. Stephen G. Wilson and Michel Desjardins (Waterloo, Ont.: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2000), 271-88; and in "The 'Metadata...
Page xiii - NICNT New International Commentary on the New Testament NIGTC New International Greek Testament Commentary NovT Novum Testamentum NovTSup Novum Testamentum Supplements...
Page 37 - A Third Century Papyrus of Matthew and Acts," in Quantulacumque: Studies Presented to Kirsopp Lake, ed. Robert P. Casey, Silva Lake, and Agnes K.
Page 35 - Bentley Layton, The Gnostic Scriptures: A New Translation with Annotations and Introductions (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1987).

References to this book

About the author (2006)

Larry W. Hurtado is professor emeritus of New Testament language, literature, and theology at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

Bibliographic information