First Christian Century by Sir William Ramsay

William M. Ramsay [1851-1939], The First Christian Century. Notes on Dr. Moffatt's Introduction to the Literature of the New Testament.

In this series of ad hoc articles Sir William Ramsay defends the historicity of the New Testament against the arguments put forward by Dr James Moffatt. Ramsay was not the first to respond to Moffatt’s attacks on historicity, see Daniel in the Critic’s Den, for another example. My thanks to Book Aid for making a copy of this public domain title available for digitisation.

William M. Ramsay [1851-1939], The First Christian Century. Notes on Dr. Moffatt’s Introduction to the Literature of the New Testament. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1911. Hbk. pp.195. [Click to visit the download page for this title]

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  1. General
  2. Literary Illustrations in Dr. Moffatt’s Book
  3. Literature and History: A Difference in Method
  4. The First and Late Second Century
  5. The Personality of Papias and Polycarp
  6. Papias as Authority for the Early Deathg of John the Apostle
  7. The Supposed Early Death of John
  8. The Fascination of the Second Century
  9. The Argument from Accuracy of Local Details
  10. Exsamples of the “Imaginative Reconstruction” of the Past in Literature
  11. The Lawfulness of False Attribution in Literature
  12. The Growth of a Miracle
  13. The “Growing Consciousness of the Church”
  14. The Unity of the New Testament
  15. Order and Unifying Principle in the New Testament
  16. St. Paul as the Beginning of the New Testament
  17. St. Paul and St. John
  18. Incident and Teaching
  19. The Fourth Gospel and Its Author
  20. The “Semi-Pseudonymity” of First Peter
  21. The Study of Opinions
  22. Analogies from Classical Non-Christian Literature
  23. The South Galatian Question
  24. The Phygian Region of the Province of Galatia
  25. The Phrygian Language at Iconium
  26. Antioch a Galatian City
  27. The Political and Religious Importance of Pisidian Antioch
  28. A Greek Linguistic Argument
  29. Conclusion

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Vocabulary of the Greek Testament by Moulton & Milligan

James Hope Moulton [1863-1917] & George Milligan [1860-1934], The Vocabulary of the Greek Testament

If you are a serious student of New Testament Greek then you will find James Hope Moulton and George Milligan’s extensive research on the Greek Papyri of interest.

My thanks to Book Aid for providing a copy of this public domain work for digitisation.

James Hope Moulton [1863-1917] & George Milligan [1860-1934], The Vocabulary of the Greek Testament. London: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd., 1914-1929. Hbk. pp.705. [Click to visit the download page]


  • Prefatory Notes
  • General Introduction
  • Abbreviations
  • Vocabulary

General Introduction

Few archaeological discoveries in recent years have awakened more widespread interest than the countless papyrus documents recovered from the sands of Egypt, and as it is from them that our principal non-literary illustrations of the Vocabulary of the Greek Testament have been drawn, it may be well to describe briefly by way of Introduction what these papyri are, and what is the nature of their value for the New Testament student.

Papyrus as Writing Material. – In itself, the word papyrus is the name of a reed-plant (Cyperus papyrus, L.) which at one time grew in great profusion in the river Nile, and gave its name to the writing material or “paper” of antiquity formed from it. The pith (Bublos) of the stem of the papyrus plant was cut into long thin strips, which were laid down on a flat table and soaked with Nile water. A second layer was then placed crosswise on the top of the first, and the two layers were pressed together to form a single web or sheet. After being dried in the sun, and scraped with a shell or bone to remove any roughness, a material not unlike our own brown paper was produced.

The size of the papyrus sheets varied considerably, but for non-literary documents a common size was from nine to eleven inches in height, and from five to five and a half inches in breadth. When more space than that afforded by a single sheet was required, a number of sheets were joined together to form a roll, which could easily be extended or shortened as desired. Thus, to take the case of the New Testament autographs, which were almost certainly written on separate papyrus rolls, a short Epistle, like the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, would be a roll of about fifteen inches in length with the contents arranged in some five columns, while St. Paul’s longest Epistle, the Epistle to the Romans, would run to about eleven feet and a half. The shortest of the Gospels, St. Mark’s, would occupy about nineteen feet; the longest, St. Luke’s, about thirty-one or thirty-two feet. And the Apocalypse of St. John has been estimated at fifteen feet. Taking the other books on the same scale, Sir F. G. Kenyon, to whom the foregoing figures are also due, has calculated that if the whole New Testament was written out in order on a single roll, the roll would extend to more than two hundred feet in length, obviously an utterly unworkable size. This alone makes it clear that not until the papyrus stage in their history was past, and use was made of both sides of parchment or vellum leaves, was it possible to include all the books of the New Testament in a single volume.

The side of the papyrus on which the fibres ran horizontally, or the recto, as it came to be technically known, was from its greater smoothness, generally preferred for writing, while the back, or the verso, was reserved for the address, at any rate in the case of letters. But when space failed, the verso could also be utilized, as shown in a long magical papyrus in the British Museum, in which nineteen columns are written on the recto, and the remaining thirteen on the verso….

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