Help UT Students Discover Early Christian Manuscripts
New discoveries of early Christian manuscripts are exciting and rare. But two professors at UT have proven to be quite good at it. Now they're helping their graduate students to discover new manuscripts as well. Would you like to help them too?
Early Christian Manuscripts in Egypt
Many of our earliest Christian manuscripts come from the garbage dump of Oxyrhynchus, an ancient city in Egypt. These include some of the earliest known copies of New Testament writings, as well as the only known copies of some apocryphal texts that were not included in the Bible. The site of Oxyrhynchus was excavated at the beginning of the 20th century, and this collection of manuscripts now resides at Oxford University. Only about 5700 manuscripts of perhaps as many as 500,000 have been published, so many treasures certainly remain to be discovered.
What We've Discovered So Far
Professors Geoff Smith (left) and Brent Landau (right) have devoted their careers to discovering early Christian manuscripts. Most recently, the pair made headlines last year for their discovery of a Greek fragment of a writing that purported to be Jesus' secret teachings to his brother James. This important text was part of the Oxyrhynchus collection at Oxford University.
Can You Help Our Students Discover New Early Christian Manuscripts?
As you might imagine, travel to Oxford is expensive. Between airfare, transportation from London Heathrow to Oxford, a library card, renting a flat, and groceries, it costs a student around $2000 for a 10-day research trip. Because few students can fund this on their own, Professors Smith and Landau have created this HornStarter campaign to help raise funds so that we can take approximately four students to Oxford this summer. We've already proven to be skilled at making important manuscript discoveries, and our doctoral students in the Religious Studies department are some of the most talented in the world. With your financial contributions, we are sure to make even more exciting discoveries in the years to come. Please help us find new early Christian manuscripts!