Tips For Reading Greek New Testament Minuscule GA 676
Just in case you have the desire to do some reading in the Greek New Testament manuscript labeled GA 676, I have a few tips for you. You can find the images on the CSNTM website. All snippets below with one exception are found on image 234.
Tip 1: Watch Your Epsilons
Note the image above. This is text from Romans 1:1, ...μενος εις ευαγγελιον. Notice the epsilon in both μενος and εις, as well as the second epsilon in ευαγγελιον. They are all very skinny, and look much like an iota. Pay attention and don’t read the wrong letter!
Tip 2: Watch for Ligatures
You will notice a couple in the image above. Notice how the epsilon and upsilon of ευαγγελιον combine. Notice also the double gamma. You will find things like this frequently.
Ligatures, by their very nature, alter the size and shape of the letters contained in them. Note that the epsilon at the beginning of ευαγγελιον is of good size, while the second is very narrow. This is because the first is participating in a ligature.
And since we’re on the subject, how about this one?
Recognize it? That’s actually ὑπέρ.
Tip 3: Watch Your Mu Nu and Beta
This is a problem common generally with reading minuscules. The letters mu, nu, and beta are pretty similar in form. Here’s a word that happens to have all three, ελαβομεν:
Note that all of them are formed with a shape like an "u". To form a beta that is all you have to write. To form a nu or mu, the left-hand side generally needs a tail. To distinguish a mu from a nu, look for the stroke to continue down from the top right down and onto the next letter (unless there isn’t one...but there usually is). So, watch out for these letters. In close proximity to other letters they can be very easily confused and these rules may not always be followed, so be wary!
Tip 4: Look For Lection Markings
If you’ve never seen one of these before, then you clearly aren’t paying attention to the artwork on this site:
This is a symbol for the word αρχη, which means (in this case) "beginning", as in "begin your reading here". This manuscript is not a lectionary, but these markings were put in here for the reader to mark out sections for public reading in the church. This one is from the middle of Rom 1:7, right before χάρις ὑμῖν...
So how do they know when to stop? Well, they stop at a τέλος. Here’s one from a few pages later, followed immediately by an αρχη which starts another reading.
That’s It For Now
Well, that’s all for now folks. Time to go to bed. Have to get up tomorrow and go to work. Enjoy your evening.