If you could stack up all handwritten manuscripts of the New Testament—Greek, Syriac, Latin, Coptic, all languages—how tall would the stack be?
I was recently challenged on my numbers in a Facebook discussion in the group “New Testament Textual Criticism.”
I have said in many lectures that it would be the equivalent of c. 4 & 1/2 Empire State Buildings stacked on top of each other. How did I come up with that number?
First, I needed to figure out the total number of pages of all our Greek NT manuscripts. Ancillary to that, but helpful for estimating versional witnesses, is determining the average number of pages in the manuscripts. For Greek NT MSS, my wife did the addition. When I was on sabbatical in Germany in 2002–03, I spent a few months in Tübingen (after several months in Münster). Pati added up all the leaf counts of Greek NT…
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