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Customer reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars

on 24 March 2007
If you wanted a book that introduced you to Paleography (especially with regards to Greek Manuscripts), then this is the book for you.

Bruce Metzger, in keeping with his other books, draws you in using "simple" English, explaining, as he usually does, as if you had at least a grasp of the topic discussed, but explains everything to you anyway, from how Ancient manuscripts were made right up to how they deduce what period in History a Manuscript comes from.

The book is in two sections: Section 1 is the explination of Greek Paleography, including a discussion on the Greek alphabet, how it was pronounced, and the development of the alphabet and the language from semetic origins. Also discussed is how transcription of Greek Manuscripts is done and the different styles of writing that Greek scribes have used throughout the centuries. Also discussed is the certain "special" elements of Christian (and some Jewish) Greek Manuscripts, namely that of "Nomina Sacra" and the "Tetragrammation" (the Name of God (Yahweh) in Hebrew).

The Manuscripts discussed in section one range from the 8th century BCE to the 16th Century CE, with some black and white photographs of examples.

Section 2 is 81 pages full of photographs of several Greek Manuscripts, with a discussion on each one, and where needed, a transcription into modern Greek letters of some of the (smaller) manuscripts, sometimes including a translation of the more interesting parts of the Manuscript.

Problem is, some of the photographs are quite unreadable with the naked eye, although I'm not sure whether this is due to the photograph or how the manuscript actually looks.

Saying that, the photographs ARE in black and white, which probably makes it harder to see the text, and I certainly would have prefered to look at true colour photographs of the manuscripts, but that would have probably added to the (already) high price tag on the book.

(£45 for 150 pages is quite expensive in my book)

Would've been given 5 stars if a) it wasn't so expensive, and b) there were coloured photographs of the manuscripts to look at.

But, if you want a book as an introduction to Greek Paleography, then this is the book for you.
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