What would it be like to have only one copy of the US Constitution, and for that copy to have smudges, erasures, and even places that were entirely blackened? Multi-spectral imaging (MSI) has been used to reveal the text of just such manuscripts. There are scores of New Testament manuscripts that need MSI application. And surely, the scriptures are far more important to Christians than is the Constitution! Many of these manuscripts are quite early; their importance is not yet fully realized.
MSI has already been applied to the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest biblical documents in the world. After two thousand years of aging, many of the scrolls were unreadable because the parchment had blackened. Engineers from NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory repurposed MSI—which was originally designed for satellite photography—to digitize these ancient documents. You can see the stunning results on a scroll of the Psalms in this video produced by the Israel Antiquities Authority:
CSNTM is committed to preserving New Testament manuscripts for the modern world. They will take portable MSI equipment to dozens of places where damaged, handwritten copies of the New Testament are waiting to be read for the first time in centuries. Then the groundbreaking images will be made freely available at www.CSNTM.org!
The opportunity for discovery starts with purchasing MSI equipment, which will cost CSNTM $125,000. In the next month, the Friends of CSNTM wants to help the Center meet half of its goal! Whether you can contribute $50, $500, or $5,000, will you be one of the many people who will participate in the thrilling discovery of many ancient biblical texts?