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 Comfort (Ph.D.), is acclaimed as one of the foremost scholars who has examined every single word of every early New Testament manuscript. He has studied English Literature, Greek, and New Testament at Ohio State University and the University of South Africa. He has taught these classes at a number of colleges, including Wheaton College, Trinity Episcopal Seminary, Columbia International University, and Coastal Carolina University. He is the author of The Text of the Earliest New Testament Manuscripts as well as coeditor of The Life Application Bible Commentary New Testament. Comfort coauthored the Holman Treasury of Key Bible Words found in the Holman Reference Collection (11 volumes.)