Chester Beatty Papyri: New Digital Photographs
I’m delighted at last to be able to pass on notice of a wonderful project completed across several weeks of summer 2013, which I’m pleased to have had a small part in: High-quality digital photographs of the marvellous body of ancient papyri housed in the Chester Beatty Library (Dublin). Earlier this year, I approached the CBL about this, and the Director, Dr. Fionnuala Croke, readily agreed to take the project forward. On my recommendation, the CBL agreed to engage Dr. Daniel Wallace and his expert team to do the work, and just today he has sent me the press-release announcing the completion of the project. This involved weeks of work in the CBL by Wallace and his team and then weeks more editing and preparing the photographs for publication (online). You can read Wallace’s press-release CBL_press release.
As noted in the press-release, the biblical papyri (of special interest to me and all biblical scholars) are among the earliest extant, and include spectacularly early portions of both OT and NT writings. Most years, I take a group of our Edinburgh PhD students over for a day-trip to examine CBL biblical papyri first-hand, always an exciting experience for the students. I recall one a few years ago exclaiming, “Wow! I’m holding a page of P45!” (P45, dated ca. 250 CE is the earliest extant four-gospel manuscript, and includes Acts as well.)
I add my own deep thanks to Dr. Croke (and her CBL staff) for so readily agreeing to my suggestion, and to Dr. Wallace and his crew for their swift readiness to take on this important project and bringing it off so quickly and with such professional expertise. All interested in biblical studies (and papyrology) will eagerly await the publication of these images on the web site of his Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts here.