Bible in Material and Digital Culture TRS5115

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course explores the Bible (with a focus on the New Testament) by getting behind the critical edition. Working with manuscripts of these texts from different eras, both in the reading room and using digital tools, the course explores the rich tradition of change that underlies the biblical tradition. The course introduces major digital resources for manuscript analysis and reading, explores the significance of media and medium on interpretive practices, and seeks to instil manuscript literacy as a key skill for further research on biblical traditions


9 x 2hr lecture/seminar sessions, delivered over 10 weeks in person
1 x 2hr external visit to special collection reading

As Scheduled on MyCampus

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level

Basic knowledge of Koine Greek (including concurrent introductory course)

Excluded Courses



Introductory Koine Greek (including concurrent introductory course) if no previous knowledge


Set exercise on text (edition and commentary) - 1500 words (30%)

Research essay - 3500 words (70%)

Course Aims

This course aims to:


■ Explore historical and contemporary approaches to the manuscripts of the New Testament

■ Contextualise this primary source material in light of other methods, including exegesis, reception history, and other ideological criticisms

■ Introduce and examine the major print and digital tools relevant for manuscript study, markup, and critical editing

■ Inculcate manuscript literacy as a key disciplinary and transferable skill 

■ Introduce students to the critical value of text editing for interpretation

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


■ Understand the levels of engagement with the Bible in critical scholarship, including with the discipline's most primary resources (manuscripts), critical editions, and secondary research

■ Use and critically engage with complex digital and print tools

■ Work with manuscripts of the Bible as a central scholarly skill

■ Independently develop their own critical editorial approaches to specific manuscripts

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.