GALaCSy: The Earliest Translations of the Pauline Epistles

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: School of Philosophy Theology & Religion


The GALaCSy project will undertake a fresh examination of the earliest translations of the Pauline Epistles. Versions in Gothic, Aethiopic, Latin, Coptic and Syriac provide important evidence for the textual history of the New Testament in antiquity and also shed light on the reception of these letters in different early Christian communities. The German partners will review the numerous Coptic manuscripts which have been identified since the edition of Horner (1920) and make full electronic transcriptions of manuscripts of Galatians and Ephesians in Sahidic and the minor Coptic versions. The British partners will prepare the comprehensive Vetus Latina edition of the Old Latin evidence for Galatians, replacing the outdated and partial edition of Sabatier (1743). In the final year, the contributors will come together to examine the versional evidence in the light of the fresh material assembled for the Editio Critica Maior of the Greek New Testament, in company with formal project partners from Italy, the USA and Germany working on Gothic, Aethiopic and Syriac. The results will include new scholarly resources to examine the early transmission of Paul's Letters (such as a digital synopsis of Coptic witnesses and a reconstruction of early Latin text-types), a better understanding of the relationship between these early linguistic traditions, and the integration of this material in the Editio Critica Maior, the most comprehensive edition of the New Testament ever to be produced. As has recently been shown, the evidence gathered by the project has the potential to change the text of the Pauline Epistles both in scholarly editions of the Greek text and in modern translations, and thus influence Christian theology and practice in the present day.


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