New Testament Manuscript Translations
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Translation Process
Translation process is ongoing.
For current status see details


Manuscript List

Matthew Manuscripts

Mark Manuscripts

Luke Manuscripts

John Manuscripts

Acts Manuscripts

Romans Manuscripts

1 Corinthians Manuscripts

2 Corinthians Manuscripts

Galatians Manuscripts

Ephesians Manuscripts

Philippians Manuscripts

Colossians Manuscripts

1 Thessalonians Manuscripts

2 Thessalonians Manuscripts

1 Timothy Manuscripts

2 Timothy Manuscripts

Titus Manuscripts

Philemon Manuscripts

Hebrews Manuscripts

James Manuscripts

1 Peter Manuscripts

2 Peter Manuscripts

1 John Manuscripts

2 John Manuscripts

3 John Manuscripts

Jude Manuscripts

Revelation Manuscripts

About the Manuscripts

The Translation Process

Frequently Asked Questions

Dead Sea Scrolls Site

About the Author

Translating the Manuscripts



The first step in translating a manuscript is transcription. Transcription is the process of converting the text on a manuscript into Greek characters in modern fonts, so they can be readily viewed and manipulated in a book or computer. For this web site, I used transcriptions from three different sources: (1) the book, The Complete Text of the Earliest New Testament Manuscripts, by Philipp Comfort, (2) the web site, and (3) the virtual New Testament Manuscript Room, sometimes called the “kliste”:


Identifying the Biblical Passage

The second step is to identify the Biblical passage that has been transcribed (if it is indeed a Biblical passage). The three sources mentioned above all identify the Biblical passages for you.


Supplying the Missing Text

Once the passage is identified, it becomes possible to supply the text that is missing from the manuscript. For example, when the text is from Matthew 6:11-12, and the words present are: “Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us [..],” we can reasonable conclude that the verse continues with the words “our debts.” There are limits to this extrapolation of missing text. For this project I only extrapolated words in a verse when some parts of the verse was present. I did not extrapolate entire verses of missing text. I believe this allows a translation with reasonable readability, without involving excessive speculation. The text used to supply the missing words is the Greek Majority Text, unless I noted otherwise. The example below is from John 1:23, the first verse appearing in Papyrus 5, which has much of the verse missing. What the papyrus has is:


  ω φων βο


 εν Ησα                             


Although only a few letters are present, they match the Majority Text exactly, so the missing letters can be supplied as shown below:


 23εγ]ω φων[η] βο[ωντος εν τη ερημω]

ευ]θυνατ[ε την οδον ΚΥ καθως ει]

π]εν Ησα[ιας ο προφητης



I chose the World English Bible to use as the basis for the translation. The World English Bible is a modern English translation which is in the public domain, as it was necessary to have a public domain Bible for this project. Therefore, about 98-99% of what the reader will see on this web site is essentially a World English Bible translation of these ancient manuscripts. The remaining 1-2% or so of the translation – the places where the manuscript does not match the Majority Text – is my own. For purposes of consistency, I tried to retain the word choices of the World English Bible in my own translation.

     The World English Bible translation for the text above is as follows:


23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.”


Convention for Supplying the Missing Text

When text is missing from a verse I placed that text in italics. Many of the scrolls are very fragmentary, and the translation of those scrolls will show more italics than regular font text. In the example we are working with, a few of the words are entirely missing, so they would be placed in italics as follows:


23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.”


Convention for Supplying the Word Fragments

When a word in the manuscript is partly present and partly missing, I marked the word in dark blue color. I made no distinction based on how much of the word was present, one letter present or all but one results in a blue word. Greek words are often translated as multiple English words, and when this happens, all the English words will be blue. In the example we are working with, this produces:


23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.”


Convention for Variations of no consequence

When a word in the manuscript is spelled differently from the same word in the Majority Text, I marked the text in green color. This happens sometimes with names, as well as certain vowel blends. In addition, if the words in the sentence are placed in a different order but the meaning of the sentence is the same, I also marked that in green. Because Greek nouns are inflected, unlike English, they can often move to any part of the sentence without altering the meaning.


Convention for Identifying Changes

When the manuscript differs from the Majority Text in a substantive manner, the changes are marked in red. Additions are underlined like this, and deletions are struck through like this. Matthew 1:6 on Papyrus 1 is a verse which differs considerably from the Majority Text. It has a spelling changed marked in green (for the name “Uriah”), along with both additions and deletions:


Jesse became the father of King David. David the king became the father of Solomon by that which her who had been Uriah’s wife.  


Possibility for Errors

Most of the steps in the translation process allow the possibility of errors. The transcription could be in error, the reconstruction of the missing text could be in error, and the translation could be either in error or just not optimal. I would love to correct any errors so that this project could provide as accurate a translation as possible, so feel free to contact me about any errors you see.