From Papyri to King James:
The Transmission of the English Bible

Review
by Carlean Ponder

A rare collection of documents tracing the development of the Bible from ancient Egyptian manuscripts to the modern printed book is periodically on display at the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library.

"From Papyri to King James: The Transmission of the English Bible" includes documents spread across nations, peoples, and languages. The Wycliffe English Bibles, the earliest complete biblical manuscripts in English, have roots extending back to the earliest New Testament documents and even farther back to oral tradition and prehistory for the Old Testament.

The exhibition, located in the Special Collections Library, also examines the origins of the King James Bible through direct ancestors and related religious works. Portions from several letters of Paul, the first appearance of Greek and Latin texts in print, and early translations of English are all on display. Some of the older documents are written on papyrus and parchment. For better comparison, some of the Bibles are opened to the same passage providing an easier observation of the developments in language, handwriting and type design.

View the Exhibit

From Papyri to King James:
Review | Introduction | Cases 1-2 | Cases 3-4 | Cases 5-7

copyright 2004 The Regents of the University of Michigan
U-M Papyrus Collection | Special Collections Library