The Codex Climaci Rescriptus Project was an ambitious project led by a team convened at Tyndale House to examine previously unseen pages of a fifth – sixth century palimpsest. The project was successfully concluded in Summer 2023.
The ten-year project saw a team of researchers from institutions as diverse as the Early Manuscripts Electronic Library, the Lazarus Project at the University of Rochester (in New York), and the Museum of the Bible Scholars Initiative as well as researchers at Tyndale House analysing new images captured using multispectral imaging techniques to uncover the manuscript’s extensive underwriting.
During the course of the project, work has been carried out to publish these texts, resulting in a new edition of the Psalms in CCR and the Joshua fragment. The study of the manuscript also revealed new insights into the ordering of CCR’s pages and the discovery of Hipparchus’ lost star catalogue.
The project represents an important contribution to the study of the biblical text, the study of Aramaic vocabulary, the history of Gospel harmonies, the history of astronomy, and much more.
Peter Williams, Principal of Tyndale House, Cambridge, said: 'Over 50 scholars were involved in this project, and we discovered much more than we expected. We saw the earliest page of a Gospel harmony, with the four Gospels aligned on one page. New Aramaic words were discovered and other ones now need to be removed from the dictionary in light of what we have learned. The earliest manuscript Greek writer Eratosthenes was discovered and parts of the famed lost star catalogue of Hipparchus were found. In all this we were able to work both in international collaboration and to invest in building the skills of young people who are keen to serve the Church.'
One of the principal investigators involved in the project, Peter Malik, reflected, 'The CCR project has provided us with an unprecedented opportunity to see what previous editors could not and to reinterpret what they did see in the light of new evidence furnished by multispectral imaging. It's been nothing short of thrilling to work with such a formidable battery of scholars from various disciplines and to bring the future readers of this important manuscript—starting with us!—closer to the earlier strata of the transmission of our sacred Scriptures. I was fortunate to decipher dozens of new lines from a unique synopsis-like Greek text containing the canonical Passion narrative and to improve considerably on the other biblical Greek texts in CCR, particularly the Septuagint portions. Parts of this research have already been (and/or are being published) in top-tier academic journals; in the end, I would like to publish all of these together in a single monograph-length work.'