Thursday, July 9, 2009

Want to see one of the oldest Christian Bibles?

The B-i-b-l-e, yes that's the codex for me . . . . Because we have so many Bibles available to us in our homes, and due to the wide variety of translations made available to us by the different publishers, it is often difficult for us today to imagine how special it is to have a Bible. But this has not always been the case. In the past, before printing presses and publishing houses, if one had a Christian Bible, it was hand copied, and it was more than likely in Greek. Ever wondered what one of those old Bibles looked like? Then you may be interested to check out a new website dedicated to the Codex Sinaticus.

The Codex Sinaticus is the oldest complete manuscript of the Christian Bible, which dates back to around 350 - 400 AD. "Codex" is a word that simply means, "book." The Codex Sinaticus, then, is the Sinai book. During the mid fourth century AD, the scroll format was being replaced by the method of folding sheets and bounding them together (much like what we do today) to facilitate reading and finding particular sections of the book.

Codex Sinaticus is one of the earliest witnesses to the Christian canon of scripture. It contains a complete Old Testament in Greek, which is called the Septuagint, with the inclusion of books that do not appear in the Hebrew canon that Protestants refer to as apocyphal. The New Testament of Codex Sinaticus provides one of the earliest collections of the 27 New Testament books as we have in our Bibles today. The arrangement in the codex is different, yet, all the books are present.

The Codex Sinaticus Project has made a virutal manuscript of the codex available to view online, including a tool that allows you to look at a specific passage by book. Check it out and read about it!

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