Now you can view almost 800 surviving pages from the world’s oldest Christian Bible on the website codexsinaiticus.org. More than half the 1,600-year-old Codex Sinaiticus manuscript has been recovered by the British Library. As a part of the British Library project, they have digitized the fragile original text and pulled together scholarly interpretation for online readers.
These fragments of the 4th Century document have been written in Greek on parchment leaves and have been worked on by institutions in the UK, Germany, Egypt and Russia. Codex Sinaiticus is of outstanding importance for the history of the Bible and the manuscript – the oldest substantial book to survive ancientness.
What is Codex Sinaiticus?
- Codex Sinaiticus when translated broadly means “the book from Sinai”.
- It was found at the Monastery of Saint Catherine at Mount Sinai in Egypt.
- It was discovered by German Bible scholar – Constantine Tischendorf in the mid-19th century.
- Experts call it “a window into the development of early Christianity”.
The Codex Sinaiticus Project
The Codex Sinaiticus Project is:
- An international collaboration to reunite the entire manuscript in digital form
- Make the manuscript accessible to a global audience for the first time.
- Give everyone the opportunity to connect directly with the famous manuscript.
The British Library is launching the manuscript online with an exhibition. It will include:
- A range of historic items
- Artefacts linked to the document.
The Survival of the 1,600 year old Manuscript
The Codex Sinaiticus lay undisturbed in a Sinai monastery for 1,500 years. It was found in 1844 and was split between Egypt, Russia, Germany and Britain. It is believed that Codex Sinaiticus survived because:
- The desert air that helped preserve the manuscript.
- The monastery, on a Christian island in a Muslim sea, that remained untouched and its walls unconquered.
You can view the extant text of Codex Sinaiticus online. The interpretations in German and English will be available soon too (for all of us who cannot read the ancient language).
Visit the website for more.
(Source & Image Credit: CodexSinaiticus)