The present project involves students in the study of the Old Greek tradition of the Hebrew Scriptures.  Project participants will interact with paleography, translation technique, the textual history of the Old Greek tradition and textual criticism.  Possibilities for both pedagogical and research involvement will facilitate the participation of students in both undergraduate and graduate programs.


MOTB.MS. 170 (formerly P.Bodm. 24)

Purchased from the Foundation Bodmer via Christies auction house in early 2010, this papyrus manuscript is undoubtedly one of the two most valuable ancient biblical artifacts in the collection, rivaled only by the Codex Climaci Rescriptus, and is the earliest continuous witness to the Greek Psalms.  Perhaps slightly more than a half of the original 82 leaves survive, preserving more-or-less Psalms 17–118.  Rodolphe Kasser and Michel Testuz published the editio princeps of the manuscript with grayscale pictures of each page in 1967, although the publication was scrutinized by Albert Pietersma in a 1980 article.  Radiometric dating of the papyrus by the MOTB in 2014 indicated that the writing material was harvested between 140 and 340 CE (two sigma range).


Project Supervisors

Two scholars will develop the project and insure the quality of the final publications.  Robert Hiebert, director of the John William Wevers Institute for Septuagint Studies at Trinity Western University, has committed to oversee research on the Old Greek text with the help of David Sigrist, PhD candidate at the University of Stellenbosch.  A second supervisor, to be appointed by Jeffrey Fish, will handle the analysis of the Greek informal round script, which has been variously dated to the late third or early fourth century on the one hand and to the second century on the other hand.


Publication goals

The GSI is under contract to publish its papyri with Brill.  The publication could take a number of shapes, and could include a second volume of collected essays on the Greek Psalter.  The primary volume will include an editio secunda, which will (1) incorporate the contributions of Albert Pietersma, who was able to extensively reconstruct lacunae and (2) publish for the first time papyri fragments which somehow were excluded from the Testuz-Kasser edition.  (Josephine Dru has noted that two leaves have text which remains unpublished.)  Some preliminary scholarly lines of inquiry may be outlined as follows:

1.       Transcription of GC.MS. 170 and reconstruction of lacunae

2.       Comparison with extant Hebrew, Greek, Syriac, Latin, Coptic, or other witnesses

4.       Survey of the known Greek Psalms tradition

5.       Analysis of the Hebrew Vorlage

6.       Paleographic study


3)  Scholarly mentees

With some mentor collaborators from other institutions, a smaller group of advanced students would collaborate on the production of the edition.  These students would integrate strands of research into an independent study, thesis project, or simply a non-curricular research experience. The end products of such research could be publishable, and may be in the form of a master's or doctoral dissertation.


4)  Pedagogical mentees

Seminary and advanced undergraduate students would interact with the manuscript within their already established classes, digitally transcribing the manuscript and writing papers on relevant LXX topics.  Ideally, two LXX scholars would each lead a webinar each semester to interact with CCCU and seminary students on broader issues of Old Testament Textual Criticism and Septuagint research.


5)  Digital publication

The Münster New Testament Virtual Manuscript Room will facilitate access to the manuscript images as well as other relevant materials related to both the scholarly and pedagogical projects.  In addition to the Greek text of the Green Collection manuscript, the project may include further relevant manuscripts in Greek, Hebrew and versional languages.


6)  Associated GSI staff

Christian Askeland (development and technical support), Rory Crowley (pedagogical resources), Josephine Dru (curation)

Project Administration

Robert Hiebert

Director of the John William Wevers Institute for Septuagint Studies


David Sigrist

PhD candidate, University of Stellenbosch