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Old 07-06-2009, 08:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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The Codex Sinaiticus (Possibly Oldest Copy of the Bible) Online!

Quote:
World's oldest Bible published in full online

More than 800 surviving pages and fragments from the The Codex Sinaiticus, which was written in Greek on parchment leaves in the fourth century, have been reunited.

Last year The British Library put The Book of Psalms and St Mark's Gospel online, and now the remaining pages have been made free for public use for the first time.

Along with the Codex Vaticanus, the Codex Sinaiticus is considered the oldest known Bible in the world. Originally more than 1,460 pages long and measuring 16in by 14in, it was written by a number of hands around the time of Constantine the Great.

It offers different versions of the Scriptures from later editions of the Bible, notably in St Mark's Gospel which ends 12 verses before later versions, omitting the appearance of the resurrected Jesus Christ.

The reunification of the book is the culmination of a four-year collaboration between the British Library, Leipzig University Library in Germany, the Monastery of St Catherine in Mount Sinai, Egypt, and the National Library of Russia in St Petersburg, each of which hold different parts of the manuscript.

They hope that by bringing together the digitised pages online, the project will help scholars worldwide to research in depth the Greek text, which is fully transcribed and cross-referenced.

"The Codex Sinaiticus is one of the world's greatest written treasures," said Dr Scot McKendrick, Head of Western Manuscripts at the British Library.

"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. The project has uncovered evidence that a fourth scribe along with the three already recognised worked on the text; the availability of the virtual manuscript for study by scholars around the world creates opportunities for collaborative research that would not have been possible just a few years ago."

To mark the reunification, the British Library is also holding a new exhibition, open today that tells the story of the book.

Professor David Parker from the University of Birmingham's Department of Theology, who directed the team which made the electronic transcription of the manuscript said the four-year process was a "huge challenge".

"The transcription includes pages of the Codex which were found in a blocked-off room at the Monastery of St Catherine in 1975, some of which were in poor condition," he said.

"This is the first time that they have been published. The digital images of the virtual manuscript show the beauty of the original and readers are even able to see the difference in handwriting between the different scribes who copied the text. We have even devised a unique alignment system which allows users to link the images with the transcription. This project has made a wonderful book accessible to a global audience."
World's oldest Bible published in full online - Telegraph

Here is the Codex website (it's loading slowly):
http://www.codexsinaiticus.org/en/

This is really interesting stuff. Unfortunately, I can't read Greek, but I'll be sending this to my dad to check out. I'm especially interested in the new testament books The Shepherd of Hermas and the Epistle of Barnabas, which were omitted by one of the many councils that chose what did or didn't belong in the final draft.
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Old 07-08-2009, 11:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
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From what people have been saying, it's all pretty much the same as what we all know with the exception of the additional books. And to avoid a common mistake I've seen people making, this has been a cornerstone of biblical scholarship for decades and available in print form, it's just that being free is new.
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Old 07-08-2009, 11:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes, it being free and available to the public is quite new.
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Old 07-08-2009, 03:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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This is nice. There are, I think, one or two sites that have fairly old Hebrew manuscripts of the Torah (Pentateuch), but none of the entire Tanakh (Heb. Bible) I hear there are some projects afoot in Israel to bring the oldest Jewish Scripture manuscripts to the internet, but none is done yet. Some nice sites exist for examining manuscripts of Mishnah and Gemara, though.

Nice find, Will.
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Old 07-09-2009, 07:51 AM   #5 (permalink)
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My Greek is a little rusty, but I think they were talking about space aliens there at one point...
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Old 07-09-2009, 08:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The spice must flow.
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Old 07-09-2009, 09:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Willravel View Post
The spice must flow.
He who controls the spice, controls the universe!
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Old 07-09-2009, 09:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
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There is a great thread on raptureready about how this manuscript must have come from the devil, since it has some verses different then King James, and totally leaves out the resurrection story, and since obviously the bible is unerring perfect word of god, anything that changes that view must be of satan.

I <3 fundies
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Old 07-09-2009, 10:10 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Seriously? It kinda makes you wonder if they're even familiar with the history of their religious texts. Someone should send them an email with the wiki page on one of the ecumenical councils. Or all of them.
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Old 07-09-2009, 10:15 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Well, you have to remember what they believe is that the bible is god's whole and unerring word as he wanted them to see it. Therefore whichever bible they happen to open first is the complete and literal one. Any other versions are tainted by the sins of man and/or the devil wanting them to stray. The history and variations of the mythology are irrelevant.
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Old 07-09-2009, 10:28 AM   #11 (permalink)
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It's such a shame, the historical significance of the older and more numerous biblical books speaks a great deal about previous beliefs that lead to the modern incarnation(s). If I were still religious, I'd be diving into this thing head first. I know Levite is certainly interested in the roots of his faith.

Religion is a hard thing to pin down because the believers are so varied.

Anyway, here's a good translation of the Shepherd of Hermas:
The Shepherd of Hermas (Lightfoot translation)

And the Epistle of Barnabas:
The Epistle of Barnabas (translation J.B. Lightfoot)
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Old 07-10-2009, 01:54 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willravel View Post
I know Levite is certainly interested in the roots of his faith.
How not? If religion is a search for big-T Truth-- and I think, among other things, it is-- it makes a poor beginning to shy away from small-T truths. Or maybe that's just me....
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Old 07-10-2009, 02:02 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Some of us are also interested in Truth and our roots and are extremely pleased all this information made it to tfp. It's refreshing. Even though I'm not Jewish I consider myself a Child of Abraham and certainly a lost memebr of one of the Tribes.

Thank you!
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Old 07-10-2009, 02:45 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by levite View Post
How not? If religion is a search for big-T Truth-- and I think, among other things, it is-- it makes a poor beginning to shy away from small-T truths. Or maybe that's just me....
I don't think it's just you, but there is a big teaching in the church (the handful of churches that I've been through), that turns the idea of strong/weakness of faith on it's head and I think it explains reactions to stuff like this.

I would think that a strong faith is one that is ready to take all comers, evaluate claims and arguments against it, a faith that is willing to self doubt on the conviction that your faith will overcome.

They taught a strong faith as one that will not consider alternative ideas, one that is rooted in unmoving, uncompromising, absolute faith as it was revealed to them regardless of anything else, even internal contradictions. Strong faith is a refusal to examine alternative small-T truths - alternatives need not be considered if you are already certain that they're wrong.

Thus you get statements like 'The King James is the whole and complete Bible and all others are false testaments and the work of the devil.' as a sign of 'strong' faith.
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