Sunday, September 27, 2015

Biblical and African manuscripts at the University of Jos

IN NIGERIA: Uni-Jos pushing boundaries on ancient manuscripts collection (Hir Joseph,The Daily Trust).
A research work on ancient manuscripts - now lasting two years so far - has brought the University of Jos (UNIJOS) in Plateau State pushing boundaries in the collection of original, unpublished documents especially about Africa.

The university is on its way to breaking the record among universities in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to Professor Danny McCain, an American author who is leading a research group made up of a dozen scholars from five universities in Nigeria on a work called “Ancient Manuscripts Project.”


Ancient manuscripts project:
The ancient manuscript project, brought the university linking up with Ancient Manuscript Group based in Grand Haven, Michigan, according to Professor McCain, who is also a professor of Biblical Theology in the department at the university.

McCain has lectured continuously at UNIJOS since 1991 and has had significant experience creating academic projects and coalitions in Africa. He is also the founder and Chairman of Board, Global Scholars, a group of Christian professors in universities worldwide.

He said the Ancient Manuscripts Group has been visiting the country every three months to do workshops with scholars.

“We have about 12 to 15 scholars involved in this project. These are ancient biblical manuscripts and other manuscripts which are important to the Christian faith because they are the foundation of the bible,” McCain said.

“Now, we have a 600 year old Hebrew scroll with us; we have been analysing for the last three months. We have also analysed 800-year old Latin manuscript. We have one of my PhD students doing works on 4th Century Coptic document.”
He said the group of scholars has spent a good deal of time looking at the Papyrus document; that is one of the earliest papers from 1600 years old to over 2,200 years old.

“For example, I have a picture of the Vice Chancellor holding a document in his hands; a letter from Ptolemy II, son of Ptolemy I, Alexander the Great’s general who ruled Egypt.

The article doesn't specify this, but it sounds as though these manuscripts may be from the Van Kampen Collection, which was originally located in Grand Haven, Michigan, but is now in Orlando, Florida, associated with the not uncontroversial Holy Land Experience theme park.