An important new book presents a case that early Christian texts were typically copied by trained, skilled scribes, and that “there is no firm evidence that the copyists were generally Christians”: Alan Mugridge, Copying Early Christian Texts: A Study of Scribal Practice (Tuebingen: Mohr-Siebeck, 2016), the publisher’s online catalogue entry here.The book was noted earlier here. As Professor Hurtado explains, it covers a lot of material that is of interest to PaleoJudaica:
The labor that went into this book is prodigious. Mugridge examined over 500 papyri, noting the characteristics of the copyist of each, these data given in the valuable “Catalogue of Papyri” that comprises pp. 155-410 of the book. These papyri include copies of Old Testament texts, New Testament texts, “Apocryphal” texts, Patristic writings, Hagiographic texts, Liturgical prayers, hymns, etc., Gnostic and Manichaean texts, and “Unidentified” texts. Tables at the end of the book present the manuscripts in these categories, each item described as to contents, writing material (papyrus or parchment) and whether it derives from a bookroll, codex, sheet, or wooden tablet.