What You Need to Know to Use INTF’s Document ID System

Once you understand INTF’s document ID system, you can easily call up any Greek New Testament manuscript in the database.

You can pull up a particular manuscript by either “ID” or “Name.” But for Greek witnesses, each document ID is a 5-digit code.

So once you’re familiar with the database’s conventions for this code, the “ID” search will probably be easiest.


For papyri, the 5-digit code begins with a “1.” It ends with the number of the papyrus. And it has either one or two zeros between these two, depending on how many a final 5-digit sequence requires.

Thus, for example, “10046” is the manuscript number for 𝔓46, and “10100” is the number for 𝔓100.


For majuscules, the 5-digit sequence starts with a “2.” It ends with the number of the majuscule. And it may have up to two zeroes between these two to fill out the sequence.

Some majuscules are cited by number. When this is the case, a majuscule number always has a leading zero.

Others are cited alphabetically (e.g., by a Hebrew, Greek, or Roman letter). If this is the case, you’ll need to find the numeric abbreviation for that majuscule.

If you’re using the Nestle-Aland’s 28th edition, you’ll find majuscule numbers in the “Codices Graeci” appendix starting on page 799.

Numeric majuscule abbreviations are also available in the second edition of Aland and Aland’s Text of the New Testament starting on page 107.

Thus, for instance, “20001” is the manuscript number for Sinaiticus where the “2” designates the manuscript as a majuscule, “01” is the manuscript designation in numerical system. And the remaining two zeroes fill out the five-digit sequence.


For minuscules, the 5-digit sequence starts with a “3,” ends with the number of the miniscule, and may have up to 3 zeroes between these two to fill out the sequence.

Your apparatus should already cite minuscules by number.

To look up 1881, then you’d simply search for “31881.” Or to search for 20, you’d search for “30020,” using a couple zeros ahead of the minuscule number to fill out the 5-digit sequence.


For lectionaries, the 5-digit sequence starts with a “4” but otherwise works like the sequencing for non-lectionary minuscules.


There’s more to INTF’s document ID system for other types of witnesses (e.g., Coptic, Latin, and Syriac).

But with just these basics, you’re well on your way to working with INTF document IDs for Greek witnesses to the New Testament.

Try it for yourself. Pick a Greek manuscript, and compose the INTF document ID for it as described above. Then post what you got in the comment box below.

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What Do You Do When Your Critical Apparatus Is Confusing?

You’re working through a passage in a critical edition of the Greek New Testament.

You see some variations indicated in the apparatus. Only, for one of them, you’re confused about what the apparatus is about the reading of a particular manuscript.

You check the front matter for your Greek New Testament. You want to know if you’re missing or misinterpreting something in the apparatus.

As far as you can tell, you aren’t. You just aren’t exactly sure how to put together all the signs you see in the apparatus.

The commentaries and other resources you have on hand aren’t much help either.

What do you do next? The simplest solution might be to have a look at the manuscript you’re wanting to know more about.

Time to Check the Manuscript

If you try to read a Greek New Testament manuscript for yourself, you’d be right to come away with renewed appreciation for your printed, critical text.

Almost always, the critical apparatus makes it quite straightforward to see some of the different readings in different witnesses.

For this, New Testament students and scholars who don’t specialize in textual criticism are inexpressibly indebted to those who do. Critical editions of the Greek New Testament embody an inexpressible store of learned effort that’s been poured into their development.

Even so, you might sometimes not be exactly sure what the apparatus in that critical edition is telling you. And when that happens, it might be easiest to consult the cited manuscript.

Not so long ago, this would have required quite a bit of expense and travel. But now, it’s comparatively easy thanks to the excellent database provided by the Institut für Neutestamentliche Textforschung (INTF).

How to Check the Manuscript

If you’re coming from a critical edition in search of a manuscript scan, try starting with INTF’s online Liste. You can try starting elsewhere, but it’s probably easiest to begin here.

From the online Liste, there are various ways to find manuscript images. But one of the simplest to begin with involves 3 steps:

  1. Understanding INTF’s numerical document ID system,
  2. Finding the proper manuscript and page in INTF’s database, and
  3. Finding additional images for that page in that manuscript.

For more information on each of these steps, just click through the links above.

Manuscripts and Apparatuses

For now, if it seems a bit daunting to consult a manuscript scan, your intuition isn’t wholly misplaced.

By comparison with modern, printed, critical texts, manuscripts of the Greek New Testament are often “the wild west.”

But those manuscripts are about as “primary” as primary literature gets. And by comparison, even a critical apparatus is secondary commentary.

You might not be specializing in textual criticism. And in that case, you need to be comparatively more tentative judgments you make based on manuscripts themselves.

But let’s grant this. Let’s also grant that looking at scans of handwritten manuscripts can present some challenges and require some work.

Even so, you might well find they can sometimes be more transparent than their apparatus commentaries.


In the end, the situation is not at all unlike the difference C. S. Lewis describes between old and new books, which I’ve paraphrased below as it applies to this topic:

There is a strange idea abroad among students that New Testament manuscripts should be read only by professional text critics and that the amateur should content himself with the modern critical editions. Thus I have found as a tutor that if the average student wants to find out something about the text of the New Testament, the very last thing he thinks of doing is to look up a given manuscript and read it. He would rather read some list of witnesses in a modern critical edition ten times as long. The error is rather an amiable one, for it springs from humility. The student is half afraid to meet one of the great manuscripts face to face. He feels himself inadequate and thinks he will not understand it. But if he only knew, a given manuscript, just because of its character as a given manuscript is sometimes much more intelligible than its modern commentary. The simplest student of the Greek New Testament will be able to understand, if not all, yet a very great deal of what the manuscript says. It has always therefore been one of my main endeavors as a teacher to persuade students that first-hand knowledge is not only more worth acquiring than second-hand knowledge, but is usually much easier and more delightful to acquire.1Adapted from “On the Reading of Old Books,” in God in the Dock, 200.

What Greek New Testament manuscript would you like to access?

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What You Need to Know about Editing Tables of Contents Styles

So you’re creating a dynamic table of contents in your document and want to format it as described in the Student Supplement for The SBL Handbook of Style.

You know you need to use styles to get the table of contents formatting to “stick.” But how?

If you’ve used heading styles, prepared an initial table of contents, and taken stock of what formatting needs adjustment, you can edit the relevant style in just 3 steps.

1. Open the “Styles” panel.

I’m assuming here that the formatting you need to change is what I’ve described.

If you need to make other adjustments, you can use the same principles described below to make those other changes too.

To start, go to the “Home” tab, and click the arrow in the lower right corner of the “Styles” section to show the styles panel.

2. Start to modify the “TOC 1” style.

Scroll in the alphabetical list of styles until you find the entry “TOC 1.”

Right click this listing, and choose “Modify….”

You’ll then see the “Modify Style” dialog box where you’ll need to make two changes.

2.1. Make “TOC 1” display in all capital letters.

First, go to “Format” (bottom left corner), and choose “Font….”

You’ll then see the “Font” dialog box.

Under “Effects” in the bottom third, find the option for “All caps,” and check this. Then click “OK.”

2.2. Give “TOC 1” a dotted line leader.

Then you should be back to the “Modify Style” dialog box. Here, go to “Format” again, and this time, choose “Tabs….”

Assuming you’re using the 1-inch left and right margins that the Student Supplement specifies on 8.5-inch wide paper, enter “6.5” in the “Tab stop position” box.18.5 inches, less one inch for each margin (left and right) means that the inner edge of the right-hand margin is 6.5 inches from the inner edge of the left-hand margin.

Then, under “Alignment,” choose “Right.” And under “Leader,” choose the second option for a dotted leader (……). Then click “OK.”

You’ll then see the “Modify Style” dialog box again.

If you need an extra blank line between each heading in your table of contents, edit this now by going to “Format.” Then choose “Paragraph…,” and change the spacing after the paragraph to 12 points. Then click “OK.” You’ll need to repeat this process on the style for each heading level in your table of contents (i.e., “TOC 2” through “TOC 9”).

Decide whether you want to use this modified TOC 1 style in other documents in the future.

If so, choose “New documents based on this template” at the very bottom of the dialog box.

If not, simply leave the default option “Only in this document” selected.

Then click “OK.”

3. Refresh your table of contents.

The font for the primary headings in the table of contents may change immediately. But to see the dotted line leaders, you’ll need to refresh the whole table.

To do so, right click inside the table, and choose “Update Field.” Then, choose the “Update entire table” option, and click “OK.”


Voila! You should now have a table of contents in your document that

  1. Follows the formatting required by the Student Supplement,
  2. Updates as you update your document, and
  3. Doesn’t need to take any more of your time with adjustments as you finalize your document.

Congratulations, and I hope you enjoy the time and attention you get to invest elsewhere now that you don’t have to manage your table of contents any more.

What kind of project have you used this dynamic table of contents for?

Header image provided by Kaitlyn Baker

What You Need to Know about Formatting Tables of Contents

You can pretty easily get Word to generate a table of contents that automatically updates with your document.

But if you need to follow some special formatting for the table, like in the Student Supplement for The SBL Handbook of Style, it’s less clear how to do that.

If you simply format the table directly, your formatting will get lost the next time the table updates.

The key to make the formatting “stick” is modifying the styles that drive the table of contents.

1. Take stock of how your table looks now.

If you followed along with my process for inserting a table of contents, you may initially see something like this:

The casing for each line of the table of contents will be as it is in that heading.

You won’t have any line leaders, and your page numbers will be listed straight down the right margin.

2. Take stock of how your table should look.

If this is how you’re table of contents looks, you’re in the ballpark. But you still need a few minor changes to get what the Student Supplement asks for.1§3.2.

That is, in the table of contents, when you have

  • Primary headings, you need the headings in all caps and a dotted line leader between the heading and the page number.
  • First-level subheadings, you need the headings indented three spaces from the left-hand margin.
  • Second-level subheadings, you need the heading indented three more spaces (six total) from the left-hand margin and so on with subsequent levels of subheadings.2To me, it seems that this practice is most in keeping with the Student Supplement’s intent. Otherwise, it won’t be clear in the table of contents where second-level subheadings come underneath first-level subheadings in the paper. The headings in the table of contents will both be indented by the same amount. But this is what the example in the Student Supplement §3.2 shows. The Student Supplement doesn’t give further information about indenting third- through fifth-level subheadings in a table of contents. Presumably, therefore, these would be indented underneath second- through fourth-level subheadings. Consequently, I am interpreting the example in the Student Supplement §3.2 as slightly awry and the intention as being to have second-level subheadings indented three spaces more than first-level subheadings. I’ve written SBL Press to confirm this interpretation but have yet to hear back as of this writing.

3. Identify what formatting you need to adjust.

From our example table of contents above, you’ll just need to change the primary headings’ casing and line leader format.

Depending on how you have the rest of your document formatted, you may also need to change the line spacing in your table of contents so that it’s double spaced as the Student Supplement requires.

But the Student Supplement’s “three spaces” of indentation is essentially equivalent to the 0.15 inches.

This distance is the indentation that Word applies to these subheadings by default. So you shouldn’t need to adjust this indentation at all.


If you try to apply formatting directly to any of these portions of your table of contents, your formatting will be lost when your full table is refreshed.

Fortunately, each level in your table of contents has a specific style associated with it that controls how that level in your table appears.

So all you need to do to change the formatting of a given heading level in your table of contents is to edit the corresponding style.

What changes need to be made in your table of contents so that it comes out as your style authority requires?

Header image provided by Kaitlyn Baker

How to Quickly Create a Dynamic Table of Contents

Creating a table of contents manually can be a pain and consume much more time and attention than it should.

Fortunately, you can let Word do the heavy lifting by creating a dynamic table of contents that updates automatically with your document.

1. Prepare your document.

Word can manage a table of contents multiple ways. Rather than discussing all of these, I’m going to describe what seems the simplest method.

So for the purposes of this tutorial, I’m going to assume two things:1I’m also assuming you have a current version of Word via Office 365. These instructions are based on v16.0.12430.20046. They should work on other recent versions as well. But you’ll notice greater differences in the process if you have an older version of Word.

  1. You’re using heading styles to format the headings within your document.
  2. You’ve set up the page numbers for your table of contents in Word as described in the Student Supplement for The SBL Handbook of Style.

If either of these isn’t true, update your document accordingly.2If you need to paginate your table of contents differently, however, simply substitute your requirements in the appropriate steps below. Then come back here, and go through the steps in the next section to add your table of contents.

2. Add your table of contents.

Once you have your document prepared:

2.1. Create your contents page header.

Place your cursor at the start of the page in your document where you want to insert your table of contents (e.g., the page numbered “ii”).

Then, type “Contents” at the top of this page, and format it like a primary heading.

This will be centered and all capital letters if you’re using the Student Supplement.3§2.6. But don’t use the style you created to format all your other primary headings (e.g., “Heading 1”).

It’s important you format the word “Contents” directly, or at any rate, not with the primary heading style. Otherwise, the first entry in your table of contents will be “Contents.” 😛

After you’ve typed and formatted this heading, place your cursor on the next line available for text below the heading.

Contents Page Header

2.2. Start inserting your table of contents.

Go to the “References” tab, find the “Table of Contents” section, and click the “Table of Contents” button.

Word has a few different tables of contents predefined. But it’ll probably be easiest for you to use the “Custom Table of Contents…” option at the bottom of the “Table of Contents” button menu.

This will open the “Table of Contents” tab in the “Table of Contents” dialog box. (The names are quite creative, aren’t they?)

2.3. Set the basic formatting for your table of contents.

Where you see “Tab leader,” change the option from “……” to “none.”

(If you’re following the Student Supplement, you’ll have the dotted leader only for your primary headings.4§3.2. So it’s easiest just to add them there rather than remove them everywhere else.)

Still on the “Table of Contents” tab in the “Table of Contents” dialog box, also find the “Show levels” option. Increase this number to “9.”

You may not have that many heading levels (and probably shouldn’t). But per the Student Supplement, the table of contents should include “every element of the paper that follows.”5§3.2.

Increasing this number to the maximum now should prevent you from having to change it later or miss headings out of your table of contents.

Click “OK” to create your table of contents.

2.4 Review your initial table of contents.

At this point, you should see a table of contents in your document that looks something like the sample below.

Of course, what the table actually shows will depend on the headings you’ve included in your document.

If you don’t see what you were expecting, double check that you’ve used heading styles in the appropriate places and at the appropriate levels in the body of your document.

Add or change these where necessary (e.g., from “Heading 3” to “Heading 2”).

Also note that the casing for each line in the table of contents will be as it is in that heading, even though the heading might be formatted in all caps.

If you see capitals or lowercase where you were expecting the other, retype that heading in the body of your document, with the proper casing.

Your table of contents will update automatically at different times. But to force an update at any point, right click inside the table, and choose “Update Field,” then “Update entire table,” and click “OK.”

The individual lines of the table of contents are also linked to the corresponding places in your document. So to jump there, just Ctrl + click on a given line in the table.


At this point, you’re saving yourself a huge amount of time and effort managing your table of contents. You’re also able to use the table in Word to skip easily to different parts of your document.

But you may notice that the formatting of the table of contents isn’t yet quite what the Student Supplement is asking for.6§3.2.

So you’ll want to take careful stock of how the formatting needs to be adjusted, which can be done with styles as well.

How have you normally set up tables of contents in Word? Did any of the steps above trip you up?

Header image provided by Kaitlyn Baker

Turn the Tables of Contents over to Word

You may have created tables of contents manually in the past. But Microsoft Word can create tables of contents where the headings and page numbers update along with your document.

When to Include a Table of Contents

If you’re writing for publication, you’ll likely not need to create a table of contents that corresponds to your manuscript.

But especially if you’re a student, you might find yourself needing to produce a table of contents.

For instance, the Student Supplement to The SBL Handbook of Style asks that you include a table of contents if you are writing a long essay of 15 pages or more.1§2.7.

Or for your thesis or dissertation, you’ll also likely need to include a table of contents.

Why to Let Word Manage Your Table of Contents

In any of these cases, creating and managing a table of contents by hand can be a nightmare.

You’ll need to replicate in the table of contents any edits you make to your headings or any changes that alter the page numbers for those headings.

You can save some of this effort by doing your table of contents at the end of your writing process.

But it’ll be much easier still if you simply let Word handle the whole table of contents from the start.

And let’s face it—you didn’t start writing up your research so that you could devote time to having a flawless table of contents.

So any time and effort you can save in preparing a table of contents will be a bonus.

If you allow Word to do this all for you, you can then put your time and attention into something more meaningful than manually formatting headings, indentations, line leaders, and page numbers.


If this sounds good to you, you’ll want to check out this step-by-step guide for exactly how to produce a dynamic table of contents.

The process isn’t hard. So take a read through it, and start turning your tables of contents over to Word.

How many hours would you guess you’ve spent manually creating or editing tables of contents?

Header image provided by Kaitlyn Baker