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The Parchments of the Faith

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George E. Merrill
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Some years ago the preparation of a volume entitled, The Story of the Manuscripts, met with the kind favor of the public, and proved the general interest in the documentary evidence for the text Of the New Testament,the theme of which it treated. That volume, I believe, was the first of the many that have been published seeking to give in a popular way the results of the special ist's labors in the textual department of biblical studies. In the meantime the discovery of many ancient documents and the progress of archaeo logical research, the appearance of the Canterbury Revision, the publication of Westcott and Hort's Greek New Testament, of Gregory's Prolegomena to Tischendorfs eighth edition, and of other im portant works, as well as great advances in the critical study of the Bible, have enhanced the public interest in the whole subject of the docu mentary sources of the sacred text. To meet a desire frequently expressed, this volume has been written, bringing the story down to the present time and treating of the entire Bible. This work is wholly independent Of the former book to which reference has been made, pursuing a differ ent plan and being independently written, and I do not know of any book that covers exactly the same ground. It would be impossible to mention in detail the multitude of works which have been consulted in the preparation of these pages, but in the most important instances they have been named in ap ended notes. I wish to acknowledge my in ebtedness to all published sources of informa tion which I have found accessible, and especially to the favor shown me by the great libraries which have given me access to original documents and valuable fac similar. The reproduction In this volume of whole pages of text in fac szmzze has been deemed a better method of illustration, than to present plates containing only a few lines of text of the original size. The reader by this method gets a better idea of the appearance of the original page, and while the exigencies of a modern book demand a great reduction in the size Of the fac sz'mz'le, the use of a lens will at once restore the text to its proper dimensions.

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