Notes on Early New Testament Manuscripts

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From Encountering the Manuscripts: An Introduction to New Testament Paleography & New Testament by Philip W. Comfort (see Annotated Bibliography on New Testament Text and Canon).

Given a twenty-five year lifespan for a church codex, whether of Paul’s epistles or of the four Gospels, it could be guessed that there would be about two hundred copies by the beginning of the second century. There would be an additional 250–300 church copies by the end of second century.  [Kindle location 1376]

J. Duplacy estimated that the total number of manuscripts of the Greek New Testament produced in the fourth century was between fifteen hundred and two thousand.  This allows for about four or five copies produced by each church (or diocese) during this century.  There were about four hundred dioceses towards AD 400.  [Kindle location 1525]

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