In my grandmother’s front yard is an enormous oak tree standing as a sentinel before the street. My siblings and I climbed that tree on hot summer afternoons after Sunday lunch, just like my father and his brother did when the house belonged to their grandparents. The oak tree is a thread between four generations of Pattons who have enjoyed its shade. Time passes, the tree grows and changes, but it is always there.
Like the tree at my grandmother’s house—but for much, much, much longer—New Testament manuscripts are a thread between generations of people. Time passes but these ancient and medieval texts continue to rest on the shelves of our libraries, museums, monasteries, and churches. Each one is a witness to the text of the New Testament that was handed down from generation to generation.
But time is unfriendly to manuscripts. Time eats away at the pages as they’re exposed to elements. Time loosens the binding as the codices are opened and closed over and over again. And time even chips away at the handwritten text as the iron-based inks rust away leaving holes in the page. Eventually, many of these manuscripts will become too brittle to open or will lose their texts completely.
It is our mission at CSNTM to digitally preserve these Scriptures for the modern world. We digitize because it is critical for both preserving and studying the Greek New Testament. It is invaluable for preservation because the images capture the text and features of the document so that we can know what it said even if something happens to the physical codex. And preservation extends the life of the manuscript by reducing the need to handle the actual manuscript. Digitization is essential for studying New Testament manuscripts because anyone can access the best images of hundreds of manuscripts from anywhere in the world. These documents are actually easier to read in digital form than the physical artifact. At www.CSNTM.org, the basis for understanding the original text of the Greek New Testament is available for everyone at the click of a button.We digitize because it is critical for both preserving and studying the Greek New Testament.”
You can play a part in fighting against time by preserving and studying Greek New Testament manuscripts with CSNTM. This mission isn’t just for people in an ivory tower or a dark photography room. It is for you who want to see Greek New Testament manuscripts preserved and shared freely with the world. It is for you who believe it is critical to know the original text of the New Testament.
You can play your part by making a monthly donation to CSNTM. Your long-term commitment ensures that manuscripts will be preserved so that they remain with us for years to come.