Texts and Manuscripts

The Department of Theology and Religion has an outstanding international reputation in the study of Jewish, Islamic and Christian texts and manuscripts. We carry out world-leading research into, and provide expert supervision on, literature and languages, textual criticism and the study of manuscripts, hermeneutics and exegesis and reception history. 

Our areas of specialist expertise include the Dead Sea Scrolls, the New Testament, and the use of digital tools to locate, view, transcribe and analyse original materials. We have created some of the standard resources for study of the New Testament texts and manuscripts, including digital editions of Codex Sinaiticus, Codex Bezae and Codex Zacynthius, as well as the Birmingham Qur'an, one of the world's oldest Quranic manuscripts.



  • Andrew Davies works on the reception and interpretation of the Bible among conservative faith communities and in music and the arts.
  • Rhiannon Grant explores 20th century Quaker books of discipline.
  • Deryn Guest specialises in contemporary biblical interpretation, with specific reference to LGBTQ perspectives and Ecological Issues.
  • Charlotte Hempel's main research interests are the Dead Sea Scrolls and the socio-religious and scribal milieu they share with the emerging Hebrew Bible. She has published extensively on the Dead Sea Scrolls, particularly the Rule Texts and Jewish law as well as, most recently, Ezra-Nehemiah.
  • Hugh Houghton researches Textual History and Transmission of the New Testament.
  • Candida Moss specialises in the New Testament, enslavement and ancient literary culture, book history and martyrdom
  • Amy Myshrall examines Greek New Testament manuscripts.
  • Catherine Smith creates and implements digital tools and software for editing
  • Richard Todd works on Arabic alchemical manuscripts.
  • Karen Wenell works on the cultural performance of biblical texts, with particular interest in sacred space

Major publications

  • Conway-Jones, A. (2014) Gregory of Nyssa's Tabernacle Imagery in its Jewish and Christian Contexts, Oxford: OUP.
  • Hempel, Charlotte (2020) The Community Rules from Qumran (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck).
  • Houghton, H.A.G. (2016), The Latin New Testament: A Guide to its Early History, Texts and Manuscripts (Oxford: OUP, 2016) - Open access
  • Houghton, H.A.G., Panagiotis Manafis, A.C. Myshrall (2020), The Palimpsest Catena of Codex Zacynthius: Text and Translation (Piscataway: Gorgias, 2020) - open access
  • Codex Sinaiticus digital edition: www.codexsinaiticus.org
  • Moss, C. (2019) Divine Bodies: Resurrecting Perfection in the New Testament. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press.
  • Todd, R.M.W (2016), Alchemical Poetry in Almohad Morocco: the Shudhur al-dhahab of Ibn Arfa' Ra's


Research centres

Find out more



Hugh Houghton talks ancient texts
The Dead Sea Scrolls: Isolationism, Elites, and Austerity - inaugural lecture by Charlotte Hempel
Sex, gender and sexuality in Biblical Studies