Through the following collaboration, students and professors will participate in the transcription of Greek manuscripts in support of the creation of a modern critical edition of the Pastoral Epistles (1, 2 TImothy and Titus).  Intermediate undergraduate students will learn to decipher Greek minuscule script and to transcribe manuscripts in an online environment in a three-week segment of their second-year Greek course.  Advanced undergraduate students will dedicate a semester to transcribing Greek manuscripts and writing a paper on an issue germane to New Testament textual criticism and the history of the Greek Bible.

Time commitment (three-week course)

In a dedicated PDF, mentors will find guidelines for incorporating a total of nine twenty-five-minute blocks of paleography, transcription and textual criticism instruction into a twelve to fourteen-week second-year Greek course.

Time commitment (semester long course / independent study)

A typical three-credit independent study would comprise 100–120 hours of guided work.  About half of this time will consist of transcribing Greek 1 Timothy (which takes about five hours) or 2 Timothy and Titus (which takes about 6 hours).  Students should be able to complete six to eight transcriptions, with accuracy prioritized over quantity.  The remaining time is dedicated toward a research paper on a manuscript, a variant or an agreed-upon text-critical issue. 


  • Students and mentors should create accounts in the Münster Virtual Manuscript Room (VMR).  This online venue will facilitate an online forum, support manuscript transcription, and host addition PDF documents.
  • Mentors will have access to PowerPoint presentations which survey the key features of the minuscule script and the basics of using the VMR transcription editor.
  • A webinar in the first part of the semester will connect students with an expert in textual criticism as well as with one another.


All students should read the first chapter of Robert Hull's introduction.  Mentors and advanced students should read the entire book, and are encouraged to explore the Ehrman-Holmes edition for a deeper examination of the relevant issues.

Bart Ehrman and Michael Holmes (eds.), The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research: Essays on the Status Quaestionis. Second Edition. New Testament Tools, Studies, and Documents. Leiden: Brill, 2011 (paperback 2014).

Robert Hull, The Story of the New Testament Text: Movers, Materials, Motives, Methods, and Models. Resources for Biblical Study. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2010.

Project administration

W. Andrew Smith (PhD), Shepherds Theological Seminary, project supervisor

Zach Butler, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, doctoral fellow

Steve Young, Shepherds Theological Seminary, doctoral fellow

Amy Myshrall (PhD), University of Birmingham, project collaborator

Troy Griffitts (PhD), software engineer


Advisory Board

Hugh Houghton (IGNTP), Bruce Morrill (IGNTP), Tommy Wasserman (IGNTP),

David Parker (IGNTP), Ulrich Schmid (IGNTP), and Klaus Wachtel (INTF)