During his first visit to Egypt in 1906, Charles Lang Freer was offered a small group of biblical manuscripts. Despite knowing little of their significance, he made the purchase. Freer’s instincts were good: he had purchased one of the world’s oldest Greek parchment manuscripts of the Gospels. In subsequent years, Freer obtained additional manuscripts from Egypt. The texts are written in Greek and Coptic, the Egyptian language used after the third century, on parchment or papyrus. They are in codex form, with folded sheets forming leaves like a modern book. Together, these works comprise one of the most important collections of biblical manuscripts outside Europe. The collections also includes a small but choice selection of medieval Armenian gospels.
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