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Welcome Student Transcribers! 

This page is for youBelow, you will find resources and materials that will be helpful to you as you undertake your transcriptions. All of them are provided to make your transcriptions as efficient and accurate as possible. None of them are provided to take the thinking out of your efforts. Use them as aids, not as substitutes for critical thinking.

Video Helps

The videos below may help you as you get started on the project and gain experience with transcriptions while working in the New Testament Virtual Manuscript Room (VMR)

  1. Introduction to the Greek Paul Project
  2. NT Virtual Manuscript Room (VMR) Basic Orientation
  3. Overview of the VMR Markup Tools
  4. Overview of Student Resources Page
  5. Handling a Word Break that Spans Two Pages
  6. Recording Alternate Readings
  7. Modifying Verse Structures
  8. Corrections and Alternate Readings
  9. Transcribing Commentaries

The Basics

You should first familiarize yourself the latest version of the following documents:

  • Transcription Editor Guidelines: This thorough guide will become a handy reference for when you need to mark something (nomen sacrum, correction, etc.) in your transcription but are not quite sure how. Keep in mind, however, that this is a superset of the functions available in the VMR transcription editor; You may not actually use every markup tool available.
  • Dos and Don'ts of Transcribing Minuscules for the Greek Paul Project: While the VMR transcription editor has the capacity to add markup for many different textual features, you will only be expected to mark a subset of those features when you transcribe minuscule text in your assigned manuscripts. Paying attention here can save you (and the reconcilers!) a lot of time.
Inscriptions and subscriptions Moveable nus if absent
Corrections Iota subscripts and adscripts
Alternate readings Ekthesis
Column breaks Punctuation
Presence/Position of commentary text Capital letters
Nomina sacra Rubrication
Word breaks across pages Lectionary notation
  Line numbers

Getting Help

If you have a question and the materials on this page (or linked from this page) don't get you the answer, there are a few ways to get help.

  • Start with your local mentor, whom you should have relatively easy access to.
  • If your mentor is not able to help, you may reach out to Brendon or Steve.
  • If your question has to do with something you see in an assigned manuscript, and you can't get an answer quickly enough, leave a Note in the manuscript at the place where you have the question. (The Note feature in VMR is covered in the Transcription Editor Guidelines document.)

Transcription Helps

A number of tools and references are available to you to help make your transcriptions efficient and accurate.

Ligature Decoder Tool 

You're transcribing and you hit a word that has some odd shapes where letters should be. You think you know what letters should be there, but how do you know what letters are represented by the shapes you see? Created by other students working on the Greek Paul Project, this tool will help you "decode" the shapes you see for several hundred of the most commonly used minuscule ligatures/abbreviations.

Inscriptions and Subscriptions Reference

Most of the manuscripts you will be transcribing have both an inscription before the text of the epistle and a subscription after the text. The inscription is like a title but may contain brief descriptive content. The subscription is typically longer and may contain traditional information about the author, the recipients, and/or the place it came from. Both inscriptions and subscriptions are usually heavily ligatured/abbreviated and there is no base text. As such, they can be difficult to transcribe. Nevertheless, if they are in your manuscript, you will need to provide a transcription. This document will show you the known inscriptions and subscriptions for both 2 Timothy and Titus.

Checking Known Variants

The transcription that you create in the VMR transcription editor should ultimately reflect the text you see in your assigned manuscript. Most of the time, this will be easy to do, even when what you see on the manuscript differs from what the base text in the tool displays. On occasion, however, you may hit a bump where you know what you see in the manuscript is not what is in the base text, nor is it easy to read/decipher (especially when it is a correction or alternate reading). In such cases, it is good to have some handy references for what might be in the manuscript.

Most variations in the text have already been encountered and documented in other manuscripts. Chances are that if you see text in your manuscript that differs from the base text, it has already been documented elsewhere (although it is possible for you to find a previously unknown textual variant—an exciting prospect indeed!). There are several resources available to help you match known variants to what you see in your manuscript.

Note: If you don't have access to the external tools below and still need help with a variant you see in your manuscript, see above for how to get help.