The H. Milton Haggard Center for New Testament Textual Studies (CNTTS) is involved in several projects in the field of New Testament Textual Criticism. One of those ongoing projects is the development of a free app available on iOS containing a list of cataloged Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. The list of manuscripts in this app is based on the Kurzgefaßte Liste der griechischen Handschriften des Neuen Testaments (Liste). For readers unaware of what this list is, a helpful summary of the history of this list and its digital counterpart can be found here. In short, the Liste is a catalog of all known Greek New Testaments manuscripts divided into four categories: papyri, majuscule, minuscule, and lectionary. Each manuscript in the Liste contains metadata such as its Gregory Aland number, its New Testament contents, the manuscript’s date, the material it is written on, etc.
The Liste was eventually made available in an online format that is searchable and more easily updated. The Liste can be found on the Institut für Neutestamentliche Textforschung (INTF) website here. While the Liste found on the INTF website is really the gold standard for finding in-depth information on a Greek New Testament manuscript, using the Liste requires an internet connection and has a very elaborate search field
This search field provides remarkable precision for researchers looking for specific information. However, if you would like to quickly look up information on a manuscript or groups of manuscripts, using the Liste can take a little time. Not much time, admittedly, but who among us hasn’t been stuck in a long check out line at the grocery store and suddenly needed to know what the date of P22 is and what other manuscripts share its dating? If Siri can help me remember the name of that Blink 182 song playing over the speakers while I wait in line in a matter of seconds, surely there must be an equally efficient way to look up the manuscript information I suddenly need. This is where the NT Greek MSS app helps! The NT Greek MSS app is completely free and, as mentioned above, based on the information found in the Liste. It has four helpful search options.
First, manuscripts can be searched by name in the search tab or you can scroll until you find it (this might take awhile as there are around 5,885 manuscripts in the Liste). Manuscripts are ordered by type alphabetically: lectionaries, minuscule, papyri, and uncials.
Second, manuscripts can be searched by century of composition with a range from the second to the nineteenth centuries, including a section of unknown dating. If a manuscript’s date is listed within two centuries, it will appear in both centuries. For instance, if I would like to see all the manuscripts that are dated to the second century, I just pick the second century from the list and all the manuscripts are displayed. If any of those manuscripts are dated in a range of second to third centuries, they would also appear in the list of third century manuscripts.
Third, manuscripts can be searched by the library holdings. Users first pick a city from a list sorted alphabetically, then choose a library, and finally a manuscript. Seeing all the cities listed gives the user a sense of just how spread out geographically these manuscripts really are.
Finally, manuscripts can be viewed by individual books of the New Testament or collections of books such as the Gospels or Pauline Epistles. I can easily check which manuscripts contain the book of Revelation for example, and they will be ordered in the same way as the main search tab.
After choosing a manuscript from either of the four main search methods, users will land on an individual page for the manuscript containing basic metadata. The metadata is not nearly as extensive as the online Liste, but it covers the basics. It lists the biblical content, date, material, corrector, etc. The app saves all of this data locally. So searches are lightning fast, and the most basic manuscript metadata really is at the tip of your fingers.
Many of the manuscripts also contain links to the images, but these images are not saved locally in the app. If a manuscript has an image available, it is linked to a couple of different options. Sometimes the link takes the user directly to the institution’s online image such as DigiVatLib for Codex Vaticanus and the British Library for Codex Siniaticus. Other times, the link will take users to the image available at the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts, which houses fantastic manuscript images online. These links will take you directly to the images of the manuscripts themselves instead of the home page on these sites. You do not have to search for the manuscript a second time. Many times however, image links are not available. When this is the case, users are encouraged to visit the INTF website and search for it there. Odds are, an image is available but you may need to create an account (which is free) in order to access the images. For an introduction to the INTF and its virtual manuscript reading room, see this post from April 2021. The app’s user interface may not have much to write home about (no Instagram of Greek New Testament manuscripts here), but the app is incredibly fast and useful for quickly looking up basic information on manuscripts in several helpful ways. The app is completely free and does not collect any user data. Anyone interested in Greek New Testament manuscripts enough to have a searchable catalog in their pocket should give this app a try. The Liste is continually updated, and some of the information in the app might contain typos or errors (e.g., two listings for Texas). Users are encouraged to contact the CNTTS with any updated information they may come across so that they can keep the app as accurate and up to date as possible at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 Elijah Hixson and Peter Gurry, eds., Myths and Mistakes in New Testament Textual Criticism (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2019), 52.