The Earliest Christian Artifacts: Manuscripts and Christian Origins

Front Cover
Much attention has been paid to words of the earliest Christian texts, yet Larry Hurtado points out that a even more telling story is being overlooked -- the story of the physical texts themselves.Long known for his nimble 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. "The Earliest Christian Artifacts" draws upon studies by papyrologists and palaeographers as well as New Testament scholars and includes an appendix listing all copies of identifiably Christian texts in manuscripts dated to the second and third centuries CE.Intended for intellectually engaged readers as well as New Testament scholars and students, "The Earliest Christian Artifacts "introduces the distinctive 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).

About the author (2006)

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

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

Bibliographic information