Paleography is the dating and study of ancient writings and inscription. Textual criticism is the study of manuscripts to determine the trustworthiness of the text with respect to establishing authenticity. Philip Comfort combines these two fields in an excellent introduction, giving readers a window into the transmission of the Bible in the earliest centuries of the church. In Encountering the Manuscripts Comfort explores scribal participation in the production of the earliest New Testament writings, gives an annotated list of all significant Greek manuscripts and early versions, assigns dates for the earliest manuscripts, presents the history of textual variation in the early centuries of the church, details various methods of recovering the original wording of the Greek New Testament, and provides concrete examples for the practice of textual criticism.
Philip Wesley Comfort (1950–) is a noted professor, author, and editor. He is professor of Greek and New Testament at Trinity Episcopal Seminary, visiting professor at Wheaton College, and senior editor of Bible reference at Tyndale House Publishers.
Comfort completed his second doctorate under the noted textual critic Jacobus H. Petzer at the University of South Africa.
Not only has Comfort written several journal articles—he is also the author of Encountering the Manuscripts: An Introduction to New Testament Paleography and Textual Criticism and coauthor of the Holman Treasury of Key Bible Words in the Holman Reference Collection. He has also edited numerous titles, including The Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts and the Life Application Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Corinthians.