How the NT Text Was Delivered in the Second Century


From Christianity at the Crossroads:

Copying of Christian books

We have already discussed above that many Christian scribes were probably private multifunctional scribes in the service of well-to-do Christians. However, this should not be taken as evidence that all Christian scribal activity occurred in an isolated and disconnected fashion. On the contrary, the evidence above from the Shepherd and Polycarp suggests that second-century churches must have had substantial scribal resources at their disposal. While we do not have evidence that there were established ‘scriptoria’ in the second century, Scott Charlesworth has argued that the uniform features of many second-century manuscripts of the Gospels–features that include semi-literary scribal hands and reader’s aids–suggest that they were ‘produced in controlled settings, i.e., in small copy centers’. Such centres would have provided more control, uniformity and consistency in the copying task–especially in regard to the books of the New Testament.


If in fact…

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