Electronic transcriptions of new testament manuscripts and their accuracy, documentation and publication

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The adoption of digital editing software has led to a significant change in the process of creating a critical edition of the New Testament, as embodied in the Novum Testamentum Graecum Editio Critica Maior. Data is no longer gathered as a collation of witnesses against a standard base text, but in the form of complete transcriptions of individual manuscripts which then form the basis of an automatically generated apparatus. This chapter outlines the procedures involved in creating a body of such electronic data. In particular, it considers the accuracy and transparency of the current transcription process for this edition, suggesting that proofreading is an important stage even if a double-blind approach has been used for the initial transcriptions and arguing for a fuller use of the TEI Header to describe the source and limitations of the transcription. It also addresses the publication and release of XML files, proposing that such scholarly work is best made available in the form of individual files consisting of a single biblical book and under a license which only requires attribution to the original creators when the data is re-used rather than restricting data to non-commercial use or stipulating that derivatives must be released under the same terms (share-alike).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAncient Manuscripts in Digital Culture: Visualisation, Data Mining, Communication
EditorsClaire Clivaz, David Hamidović, Sarah Savant
Place of PublicationLeiden
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-04-38210-7
ISBN (Print)978-90-04-34673-4
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2019

Publication series

NameDigital Biblical Studies
ISSN (Print)2452-0586


  • electronic editing
  • xml
  • transcriptions
  • new testament


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