When I opened up a copy of Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics and began reading during my junior year of college at Texas A&M University, I never could have imagined that I would one day be interning with Dr. Wallace at the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM). I am now in my second year of the Th.M. program at Dallas Theological Seminary studying historical theology. My academic interest is in the theology and biblical interpretation of the early church. I hope to pursue doctoral studies after my time at DTS and one day teach, research, and write as a professor in a seminary or Bible college setting.
My internship with the Center has already been a formative experience in my development as a scholar. I have gained experience reading New Testament manuscripts and recognizing their key features. This has been paired with training in handling and photographing manuscripts, in preparation for the Center’s upcoming expedition to Athens. In addition, I have been introduced, through guided readings and discussion, to the most important issues and concepts in textual criticism. So the internship is providing both extensive hands-on experience and essential knowledge that will prepare me to interact intelligently with current scholarship.In addition to learning these hard skills, my internship is teaching me how to act and think like a responsible scholar.”
In addition to learning these hard skills, my internship is teaching me how to act and think like a responsible scholar. Dr. Wallace and the staff at CSNTM have created an environment in which rigorous attention to detail is expected. We are taught, by word and example, to be as accurate as possible so that others can trust the results of our work. This pursuit of excellence is how we can make lasting contributions to our field, and it is also how we can honor Christ and serve the church. These virtues have become engrained in the way I pursue my studies.
Working with CSNTM has given me a unique opportunity to interact with the physical materials of the Christian tradition. I have discovered that this is an area of research sadly neglected by many theologians. I hope to correct this neglect in my own academic work.
Here is what I have come to believe: As important as it is to know what Christians have historically said about the Scriptures, it is also important to know how they actually handled and transmitted the Scriptures. We know what ancient Christians believed, at least in part, by looking at how they chose to produce and preserve manuscripts.
This is why we have such a rich inheritance of New Testament manuscripts extant throughout the world, with more being discovered all the time. Unnamed Christians of the past worked to preserve accurately the message of Christ and his apostles, at great personal expense and effort, because they believed the gospel message was true and wanted others to hear it. What a privilege it is to play some small part in this venerable tradition here in the 21st century, by digitally preserving the text of the Scriptures so that future generations can read and be transformed by them as well.