Professor David Parker M Theol (St And), Dip Th (Cantab), ThD (Leiden), FBA, FSA


Edward Cadbury Professor of Theology
Director of the Institute for the Textual Scholarship and Electronic Editing

Department of Theology and Religion

Professor David Parker

Contact details

Room 228, ERI Building
Pritchatts Road
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT


My main current work is editions of the Gospel of John funded by the AHRC. One is a critical edition of the Greek text in the series Novum Testamentum Graece. Editio critica maior, in partnership with the Institut für neutestamentliche Textforschung, Münster, Germany. Another is an edition of the Gospel of John in Latin in the Vetus Latina series with Philip Burton, Hugh Houghton, and Rosalind MacLachlan. These are scheduled for completion in the next few years, after which we will be concentrating on editing the letters of Paul. The Virtual Manuscript Room project, (on which I work with colleagues including Zeth Green) is developing a Web 2.0 interface for manuscript study. We are currently developing many aspects of it, some in a project funded by JISC and others in partnership with the Institut für neutestamentliche Textforschung and the Kompetenzzentrum für elektronische Erschließungs- und Publikationsverfahren in den Geisteswissenschaften at the University of Trier in a project led by Hugh Houghton and funded by the AHRC and the DFG to develop a ‘Workspace for Collaborative Editing’.


  • M Theol (St And)
  • Dip Th (Cantab)
  • ThD (Leiden)
  • Fellow of the British Academy
  • Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London


I read Theology at St. Andrews, specialising in New Testament and Church History. From there I went to Cambridge, where I completed a postgraduate degree and trained for the Anglican priesthood. After eight years in parochial ministry in North London and Oxfordshire, I moved to Birmingham in 1985, teaching at Queen’s College until 1993, when I joined the department. I have a doctorate from the University of Leiden, The Netherlands.

I have been Executive Editor of the International Greek New Testament Project since 1987. I am editor of the series Texts and Studies. Contributions to Biblical and Patristic Literature (published by Gorgias Press) and Arbeiten zur neutestamentliche Textforschung (published by De Gruyter).

In 2012 I was elected a Fellow of the British Academy.


I contribute to some undergraduate courses in New Testament and the Greek language. At postgraduate level I teach courses in the MA in Electronic Textual Editing.

Postgraduate supervision

  • New Testament manuscripts
  • Textual criticism of the New Testament
  • Versions and transmission of the New Testament text
  • Textual theory


  • New Testament textual criticism
  • Greek and Latin palaeography
  • Digital editions

Other activities


  • Online editions of the Gospel of John
  • Codex Sinaiticus
  • IGNTP Transcripts
  • Textual Scholarship and the Making of the New Testament, Oxford University Press, October 2012
  • Codex Sinaiticus. The Story of the World’s Oldest Bible, British Library and Peabody MA: Hendrickson, 2010. German translation, German Bible Society, 2012
  • Manuscripts, Texts, Theology. Collected Papers 1977-2007. Βerlin and New York: De Gruyter, 2010
  • Papyrus 4968 in The Oxyrhynchus Papyri (ed. P. Parsons et al.), Volume 74, London: Egypt Exploration Society for the British Academy, 2009, pp. 1-45
  • An Introduction to the New Testament Manuscripts and their Texts, Cambridge University Press, 2008
  • (with H.A.G. Houghton) Textual Variation: Theological and Social Tendencies? Papers from the Fifth Birmingham Colloquium on the Textual Criticism of the New Testament (Texts and Studies 3.5), Piscataway: Gorgias Press, 2008
  • The Gospel According to John in the Byzantine Tradition, Stuttgart, German Bible Society, 2007
  • “Textual Criticism and Theology”, Expository Times 118 (2007), 583-589
  • The New Testament in Greek IV.  The Gospel According to St. John Edited by the American And British Committees of the International Greek New Testament Project.  Volume Two The Majuscules (New Testament Tools and Studies),  (in association with U.B. Schmid W.J. Elliott), 2007
  • The Byzantine Text of the Gospel of John (with R.L. Mullen), Stuttgart: German Bible Society, 2007
  • Review article, “The Text of the New Testament, by B.M. Metzger and B.D. Ehrman”, Journal of Theological Studies 57 (2006), pp. 551-67.
  • “The Mountain and the Desert”, Wilderness.  Essays in Honour of Frances Young, ed. R.S. Sugirtharajah, London: T. & T. Clark (Library of New Testament Studies 295), 2005, pp. 59-65
  • Articles on F.H.A. Scrivener and John Walker for The New Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press), 2004
  • “Jesus and Textual Criticism”, J.L. Houlden (ed.), Jesus in History, Thought and Culture, ABC Clio, 2004, Vol. 2, pp. 836-841.
  • “Through a Screen Darkly: Digital Texts and the New Testament”, Journal for the Study of the New Testament 25 (2003), pp. 395-411
  • “A Comparison Between the Text und Textwert and the Claremont Profile Method Analyses of Manuscripts in the Gospel of Luke”, New Testament Studies 49 (2003), pp. 108-138.
  • “The Quest of the Critical Edition”, Variants 1 (2002), pp. 33-42.
  • “The Development of the Critical Text of the Epistle of James. From Lachmann to the Editio Critica Maior”, New Testament Textual Criticism and Exegesis (Festschrift J. Delobel, ed. A. Denaux (Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium 161), Leuven: Peeters, 2002, pp. 317-330.
  • “Et Incarnatus Est”, Scottish Journal of Theology 54 (2001), pp. 192-228.
  • “The New Oxyrhynchus Papyrus of Revelation (P115)”, New Testament Studies 46 (2000), pp. 159-74.
  • John Calvin, Commentarius in Epistolam Pauli ad Romanos (Ioannis Calvini Opera Exegetica, Vol. XIII) (with T.H.L. Parker), Geneva: Droz, 1999.
  • The Living Text of the Gospels, Cambridge University Press, 1997.
  • The New Testament in Greek IV. The Gospel According to St. John Edited by the American And British Committees of the International Greek New Testament Project.  Volume One The Papyri (New Testament Tools and Studies 20), (with W.J. Elliott), Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1995.
  • Codex Bezae. An Early Christian Manuscript and Its Text, Cambridge University Press, 1992.
  • Paul's Letter to the Colossians by Philip Melanchthon, translated with an introduction and notes (Historic Texts and Interpreters in Biblical Scholarship 8), Sheffield: The Almond Press, 1989


Study of the New Testament – the text, and the manuscripts in which it was copied until the invention of printing; using new digital technologies to make editions and transcriptions of manuscripts

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