The Codex Sinaiticus lives again!

Check this out: Scholars plan to reunite ancient Bible — online

and Codex Sinaiticus, the world’s oldest Bible, goes online

Very cool — The British Library is heading up a project to digitally re-unite the scattered parts of the Codex Sinaiticus and making the whole manuscript available on the web, beginning July 24th at http://www.codexsinaiticus.org/

It’s true that the Codex Sinaiticus, as the first article indicates, is the oldest surviving WHOLE copy of the New Testament, but many 1st and 2nd century fragments are extant as well. The textual apparatus of editions of the Greek New Testament tell the reader what variants are in the Codex Sinaiticus, but it would be virtually impossible to piece those variants together in order to read it as a unique text. And, as the first article indicates, a scholar would have to beg the British Library for access to its portion of the actual manuscript, and even then, it’s of course only a portion.

Oh, and I love the article’s point that

The Codex itself is a fascinating artifact, representing the best of Western bookmaking, Garces said. The parchment was arranged in little multipage booklets called quires, which were then numbered in sequence.

“It was the cutting edge of technology in the 4th century,” [James Davila] said.

Technology, then and now, is very cool in moments like these. :-)

Luke 6.27 Codex Sinaiticus

Luke 6.27 Codex Sinaiticus

P.S. There are a lot of facsimiles already online. Here’s Luke 6:27 (“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you…”)

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