The essays included in this volume present Larry W. Hurtado's steadfast analysis of the earliest Christian manuscripts. In these chapters, Hurtado considers not only standard text-critical issues which seek to uncover an earliest possible version of a text, but also the very manuscripts that are available to us. As one of the pre-eminent scholars of the field, Hurtado examines often overlooked 2nd and 3rd century artefacts, which are among the earliest manuscripts available, drawing fascinating conclusions about the features of early Christianity.
Divided into two halves, the first part of the volume addresses text-critical and text-historical issues about the textual transmission of various New Testament writings. The second part looks at manuscripts as physical and visual artefacts themselves, exploring the metadata and sociology of their context and the nature of their first readers, for the light cast upon early Christianity. Whilst these essays are presented together here as a republished collection, Hurtado has made several updates across the collection to draw them together and to reflect on the developing nature of the issues that they address since they were first written.