Accordance has just released the first fully tagged edition of The Greek New Testament, Produced at Tyndale House, Cambridge (THGNT) to appear in any Bible software. I’ve been reading the print edition since November, and I received early access to Accordance’s digital edition. In this post, I’ll explain what THGNT is, describe some of this edition’s unique features, and share some thoughts on how Accordance has created an electronic edition worthy of the thoughtfulness and care that went into the print edition of THGNT.
What is Tyndale House?
In my mind, it is a magical place where scholars go to study in an environment filled with rare and abundant resources — every book you could ever want and a host of brilliant people with which to drink tea and discuss your research. Here’s how they describe the initiative:
Tyndale House is a study centre focusing on advancing understanding of the Bible. Between forty and fifty scholars study here on a daily basis. Many PhD students from Cambridge University as well as other universities base themselves at Tyndale House during their studies and leading biblical scholars in all parts of the world have been formed at Tyndale House.
What is THGNT?
THGNT is a beautiful, affordable new edition of the Greek New Testament produced by Dirk Jongkind and an editorial team connected to Tyndale House.
Those three things alone — beautiful, affordable, and produced by a world class team of scholars — justify its existence. The font is beautiful, the apparatus is minimal but sufficiently helpful, and the text itself fills the pages in a single column format that makes reading immersive. To top things off it comes with a slip case and Smyth-sewn binding, all for about $25 at Amazon.
Aesthetics aside, the preface describes it this way:
This edition, based on a thorough revision of the great nineteenth-century edition of Samuel Prideaux Tregelles, aims to present the New Testament books in the earliest form in which they are well attested. To do this it uses careful analysis of the scribal habits and typical transmission errors of individual manuscripts to establish which readings are likely to be prior.
As you read through this edition you will encounter words that are spelled a bit differently. We are accustomed to the spelling standardizations of other modern editions, but the editors of THGNT are committed to presenting the text as it is preserved in the earliest manuscripts. This means you will find forms like γείνομαι, instead of γίνομαι.
The commitment to following the tendencies of the early manuscripts leads to two other significant features. The editors break the text into paragraphs in a unique way, and they have ordered the NT books in a way different than modern editions. In THGNT, the books are ordered Gospels, Acts, Catholic Epistles, Pauline corpus, and Revelation. This means that after the Gospels and Acts, you encounter James, 1–2 Peter, 1–3 John, Jude, and then Romans and the Pauline literature, followed by Revelation. As a matter of fact, the next edition in the Nestle-Aland series might order the books in a similar way.
There are other differences, and all these are explained in the book’s introduction found at the back of the book. These guys are serious about the reading experience. There is no hundred page introduction before you hit Matthew 1:1. When you open the cover, you see a title page, a table of contents, a one and a half page preface, and then you find ΕΥΑΓΓΕΛΙΟΝ ΚΑΤΑ ΜΑΘΘΑΙΟΝ.
The Accordance Edition
Since mid November, I have tried to switch my daily NT reading from NA28 to the THGNT. One problem I have encountered is that so much of my daily reading happens outside my office. It might be by a fire pit with friends, while I’m waiting in line at a barber shop or coffee shop, or while students are taking a quiz. In these moments, I’ve had to fall back to electronic editions of NA28. Accordance has solved this problem with their release of the first fully tagged edition of THGNT.
Accordance has done a great job of enhancing the text with morphological tagging, adding links to all the manuscript sigla and numbers, and making the text accessible on the go. The morphological tagging allows you to easily see grammatical information about each word, search the text for all forms of a word, or jump quickly to lexicons in your library, like LSJ or BDAG.
Preserving the Paragraph Style
One of the coolest features of this digital edition is that Accordance persevered the print text’s unique way of presenting paragraph breaks. THGNT uses ekthesis, rather than indentation, to mark the first line of each paragraph. You can see an example of this in the pictures of the print edition above or at the bottom of this page. Accordance was able to implement a version of ekthesis in their digital edition without sacrificing too much space on smaller digital screens. Here’s a pic of THGNT beside NA28 on an iPhone:
Night Mode & Searching
The iOS app night mode is great in low light reading environments. Whether I’m on an iPad or iPhone, when I encounter a word that seems rare and want to see every occurrence in THGHT, all I have to do is long hold on the word, click search, and then select lexeme.
Here’s a picture of the search results for διοδεύω on an iPhone:
Apparatus with All Front and Back Matter
The Accordance edition includes two separate modules: the tagged text and the apparatus. In addition to the verse-by-verse listing of variant readings, the apparatus module also contains the full text of the preface and an introduction detailing the editions unique features.
Moving from THGNT to Mss Images
In the Witnesses section of the Introduction, clicking on a manuscript number takes you to the Institut für Neutestamentliche Textforshung Virtual Manuscript Room. This website allows you to view high resolution images of the many NT manuscripts. Here is a video that shows moving from the text of THGNT on my iPad, to the witness section of the apparatus, to the INTF website, and to images of P10. The video has no sound if that’s a concern for you:
In the video, I started in the THGNT text of Romans 1 and noticed a mention of P10 in the apparatus:
At this point, I opened the Apparatus module and navigated to the Witnesses section:
Clicking on P10 in the Witnesses section takes me to the New Testament Virtual Manuscript Room:
This website provides more information about the manuscript, but if you click on the pages tab you will see a link to images of P10:
Finally, clicking the manuscript twice will open a beautiful, high-res image of P10:
THGNT & the Accordance Internal Web Browser
I primarily use iOS products, but the Accordance desktop app provides additional features. You can use Accordance’s new internal web browser to move from the linked apparatus to manuscript images with just a few clicks:
Here is a picture of THGNT in the desktop app and the internal web browser:
On the desktop app, you can use the compare text feature to find differences between THGNT and NA28.
Finally, Accordance has preserved one of the key benefits of the print edition: affordability. The retail price of Accordance’s electronic edition matches the retail price of the print volume, and for the time being you can buy THGNT in Accordance for the introductory price of $19.90.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the reading experience provided by the Tyndale House Greek New Testament, both in print and in Accordance. The Accordance edition is morphologically tagged and searchable. It preserves the unique paragraph style of the print edition, and the apparatus links allow users to see many high-res images of the manuscripts themselves. Finally, it is affordable. THGNT presents a text that allows readers to step a little closer to early manuscripts of the Greek New Testament, and in light of the features described above, I think editors and readers of the print volume will be pleased with Accordance’s electronic edition. I certainly am.
For more information on THGNT, visit https://www.thegreeknewtestament.com.
For more information on interesting variants found in THGNT, visit the THGNT blog.
Accordance THGNT product page: regular price $39.90, sale price $19.90