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Unlocked Greek New Testament (UGNT)

The basis for evaluating all translations of the New Testament is the Greek New Testament text. As is well known, none of the original manuscripts of the GNT are available and thus many scholars have undertaken to collate and compare the existing Greek manuscripts in order to determine the reading of the autographs. These GNTs are usually referred to as critical texts, since they are formed using the process of textual criticism drawing from many witnesses. Many fine Greek New Testaments exist, but unfortunately are subject to either copyright or licensing restrictions. None are presently available as CC0, CC BY or CC BY-SA. For this reason, there is a need for a new text.

The objectives of this project are to provide a Greek New Testament that:

  • Is free of copyright and licensing restrictions (CC BY-SA), permitting the entire global Church to use and build on it without hindrance.
  • Is based on existing work of excellent pedigree and academic repute.
  • Is morphologically parsed and lexically tagged.


The text has been prepared by Alan Bunning. For manuscript transcriptions and a full explanation of the project, see:

UGNT will be morphologically tagged.

UGNT will be lexically tagged both to Strong’s and the UGL.

Unlocked Greek Lexicon -

  • The UGNT will consist of the following parts:

The critical text itself

The textual apparatus which will list Greek variants and which manuscripts or printed Greek New Testaments support each reading.

Strong’s numbers tagging each word in both the text and the apparatus

Morphological code tagging each word in both the text and the apparatus

  • Volunteers are needed to:

Proofread the Greek text and apparatus to make sure that there are no errors.

Verify that the manuscripts and printed texts cited in the textual apparatus are correct for each reading and variant

Proofread all Strongs’s numbers and make needed corrections

Proofread all morphological codes and make needed corrections

  • Requirements for contributors to the Unlocked Greek New Testament:

Agreement with our Statement of Faith:

Agreement with Translation Guidelines:

Agreement that your work will be released under a CC BY-SA license. See .

Must have at least one year (two semesters) of NT Greek

Must have access to reference works (software, print or online) which provide Strong’s numbers and morphological codes for GNT.

  • Preferences (though not required):

Attendance at workshop for training (5 days/1 week) how to proofread and edit UGNT textual apparatus.

Access to biblical software highly recommended (preferably BibleWorks, Logos or Accordance, though free programs might be adequate for most, if not all, tasks (e.g., e-Sword, STEP, Sword Project)

Familiarity with as many of the following books on NT textual criticism as possible, such as the following:

Black, David Alan. New Testament Textual Criticism: A Concise Guide. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1994

Comfort, Philip W. Encountering the Manuscripts: An Introduction to New Testament Paleography & Textual Criticism. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 2005

Comfort, Philip W. New Testament Text and Translation Commentary: Commentary on the Variant Readings of the Ancient New Testament Manuscripts and How They Relate to the Major English Translations. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2008

Comfort, Philip Wesley, and David P. Barrett. The Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 2001

Omanson, Roger L., and Bruce Manning Metzger. A Textual Guide to the Greek New Testament: An Adaptation of Bruce M. Metzgers Textual Commentary for the Needs of Translators. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2006

Metzger, Bruce Manning, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, Second Edition a Companion Volume to the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament (4th Rev. Ed.). London; New York: United Bible Societies, 1994

Wegner, Paul D. A Student’s Guide to Textual Criticism of the Bible: Its History, Methods & Results. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006


An Invitation to Serve and to Invest for Eternity

Would you like to be part of a team that could literally impact hundreds of languages and thousands of people around the world? As part of our effort to provide Bible translations and Bible study reference materials of the highest quality, we are embarking on an exciting journey of producing a Study Bible, Bible commentary series, Greek New Testament, Hebrew/Aramaic Lexicon, Hebrew grammar, Aramaic grammar, Greek lexicon and Greek grammar to be translated into scores of languages around the world. These resources will be openly licensed and free for all to use. In order to write and develop these tools we are seeking a large number of volunteers. We are looking for mature Christians with a love for God’s Word who will help us write these biblical reference materials.

There are still thousands of languages around the world which lack a Bible translation. An essential step in Bible translation is making every effort to ensure that the translation is faithful to the original Greek of the New Testament and Hebrew and Aramaic of the Old Testament. Also, tools such as a Study Bible and Bible commentary are ideal in helping Bible readers, students and pastors to better understand God’s Word and communicate it to others. Because of copyright and licensing restrictions, these resources are not available to most of the developing world. We are writing these new materials and making them free and open so they can be translated into various languages around the world to provide God’s Word and Bible study reference tools to as many people as possible around the world, in cooperation with the global Church.

The Need

Free public domain resources such as Strong’s Greek and Hebrew dictionaries or Matthew Henry’s commentary are familiar to those looking for free Bible study resources online. Unfortunately, because most of these tools were written before the 20th century, they are of limited worth to serious students of the Bible. Advances in biblical scholarship, linguistics, archaeology, and literary studies make public domain resources such as Strong’s seem out of date.

On the other end of the spectrum are the latest exegetical reference works which do reflect current scholarship and are of exceptional quality. These works are copyrighted and very expensive. For most of the developing, non-native English-speaking world, these resources are not accessible, both due to cost and the complexity of the language in which they are written.

What is lacking is something in the middle, between these two ends of the spectrum, which would be:

  • Up-to-date regarding linguistics and biblical scholarship,
  • Affordable to those in the developing world (preferably free),
  • Written in easily understood English to facilitate translation into other languages, and
  • Released under a license that allows them to be freely distributed and responsibly translated.

Our Contribution

We are seeking to provide a forum in which tools for biblical exegesis can be developed and published online and as an integral part of Bible translation software. We desire to produce high quality materials, and we hope to tap into the vast community of scholars, pastors, and students and committed lay people who desire to serve the global church in this way. If you are interested in joining this community, please contact us and let us know of your interest. For detailed explanations of our approach to meeting this need, please see the following:

Volunteer Collaboration

To create exegetical tools we rely on volunteers who are doing it for the love of God’s Word and his church. We are looking for pastors, professors, students and mature lay people who are willing to volunteer their time and intellectual energies to the project. Depending on the project there may be educational requirements to ensure quality. A managing editorial team will supervise the work of all projects.

Quality and Usability

We want our resources to be a quality option that is usable by the global church. This means that we want to draw from relatively recent sources. While being very careful neither to commit plagiarism nor to steal from the established tools, we will work hard to make sure that they are trustworthy and produced with reference to up-to-date sources. It also means that the tools we produce need to be usable by translators, so part of the editorial process is limiting the use of idioms or difficult language, in order to encourage translation.

Freedom of Use

Our desire is to serve the global church, and in many parts of the globe Christians do not have deep financial resources. Our tools are made available free of charge and in a way that permits free distribution and modification using a Creative Commons license (CC BY-SA). This means that anyone can take what we produce and translate it, modify it, and redistribute it without having to ask permission as long as certain basic conditions are met. The tools can be used for electronic resources (such as with SWORD or e-Sword), websites, translationStudio, or in print.

Fidelity to God’s Word

While we welcome collaboration, we want to ensure that our work is consistent with sound doctrine (see our Statement of Faith.) We hope many contributors with convictions similar to our own will find their way to our projects and volunteer, and we reserve the right to edit contributions which stray from the historic evangelical beliefs found in our Statement of Faith.


Job Title

Content writers and editors for Bible study reference tools


The work can be done from anywhere you have a consistent Internet connection.

Skills required

Bible study, exegesis, writing, proofreading, online collaboration, team work. Biblical language skills preferred by not required.

Job description

As part of our efforts to provide tools for Bible translators, we are preparing a number of biblical reference materials. These are long-term projects which will require a very large number of volunteers.

We are seeking to provide a forum in which tools for biblical exegesis can be developed and published online and as an integral part of Bible translation software. We desire to produce high quality materials, and we hope to tap into the vast community of scholars, pastors, students and committed lay people who desire to serve the global church in this way. If you are interested in joining this community, please contact us and let us know of your interest.

An ideal candidate is

A mature believer who has extensive experience in Bible study; has a heart for world missions and the edification of the global church; familiar with current biblical reference materials (including Study Bibles, commentaries, Greek and Hebrew texts, lexica and grammars depending on the project); works well with others as a team; can write clearly and is open to having their work edited and corrected; proficiency in typing; willing to learn new online programs and collaboration tools; follows directions well; pays attention to details; able to explain complicated concepts in simplified language; good interpersonal relationship skills; sticks to deadlines and can see a large project through to the end; serves not for monetary pay but for the spread of God’s Word; has formal theological education.