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Monday, July 06, 2009

Oldest Bible Online

Although of little practical use to most of us 800 pages of the earliest Christian Bible have been put online at Codex Sinaiticus.

The bible is from the early 4th century and written in Greek on parchment leaves. By putting it online it is available for study by scholars around the world creates opportunities for collaborative research that would not have been possible just a few years ago.

The Codex Sinaiticus was found in 1844 after lying undisturbed in a Sinai monastery. It was then split between Egypt, Russia, Germany and Britain.

Dr Scot McKendrick, head of Western manuscripts at the British Library, said:

This 1,600-year-old manuscript offers a window into the development of early Christianity and first-hand evidence of how the text of the Bible was transmitted from generation to generation.

This link on differences to what we know now may interest.


Attila The Mom said...

It's amazing what the internet can do. I think back to what life was like in my teens and twenties, and having to go to the library to look stuff up for was almost like being back in the dark ages! ;-)

Tricia said...

I find it amazing that a document has lasted for centuries and we can enjoy its contents in this century.

In 1,600 years from now - what will be read from this current age of modern technology which, ironically, is helping others to read this document now.

Anonymous said...

I do hope the collaborative research made possible by this bold initiative bears more fruit that the ill-informed BBC article. Christians have long known that there are important differences between ancient manuscripts, so they've no more explaining to do that they had before.

A more interesting question is how the particular texts in Codex Sinaiticus came to be chosen in the 4th Century from among the many that must have been available.

Pete said...


there were hosts of stuff available, that's the problem.

what we think of as the new testament was not finalised until the fourth century.

Even then the translation from Koine Greek varies.

Perhaps the most famous misquote from the bible is

"Thou Shall Not Kill" We all know that from the 10 commandments but apparently it doesn't say that.

Modern translations say "you shall not murder".

The RC Church may still use kill.