Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Use One of the Oldest Ancient Manuscripts in Your Bible Studies -- Codex Sinaiticus

Codex Sinaiticus was written in the 4th century between 325 and 360 CE. It could not have been written before 325 because it contains the Eusebian Canons and it could not have been written after 360 because of certain references to Church fathers in the margin. Some scholars believe that Codex Sinaiticus was one of the fifty copies of the Bible commissioned from Eusebius by Roman Emperor Constantine after his conversion to Christianity.

Codex Sinaiticus contains the earliest complete copy of the Christian New Testament. The hand-written text is in Greek. The New Testament appears in the original vernacular language (koine) and the Old Testament in the version, known as the Septuagint, that was adopted by early Greek-speaking Christians. In the Codex, the text of both the Septuagint and the New Testament has been heavily annotated by a series of early correctors.

Codex Sinaiticus was copied by more than one scribe. Constantine Tischendorf (the man who discovered the manuscript) identified four in the nineteenth century. Subsequent research decided that there were three, but it is possible that a fourth (different from Tischendorf’s fourth scribe) can be identified. Each of the three undisputed scribes has a distinctive way of writing which can be identified with practice. 

The significance of Codex Sinaiticus for the reconstruction of the Christian Bible's original text, the history of the Bible and the history of Western book-making is immense. By the middle of the fourth century there was wide but not complete agreement on which books should be considered authoritative for Christian communities. Codex Sinaiticus, one of the two earliest collections of such books, is essential for an understanding of the content and the arrangement of the Bible, as well as the uses made of it.

The Greek Septuagint in the Codex includes books not found in the Hebrew Bible and regarded in the Protestant tradition as apocryphal, such as 2 Esdras, Tobit, Judith, 1 & 4 Maccabees, Wisdom and Sirach. Appended to the New Testament are the Epistle of Barnabas and 'The Shepherd' of Hermas.

The Codex Sinaiticus Project is an international collaboration to reunite the entire manuscript in digital form and make it accessible to a global audience for the first time. Drawing on the expertise of leading scholars, conservators and curators, the Project gives everyone the opportunity to connect directly with this famous manuscript. 

The Codex Sinaiticus Project provides you with a very important cutting edge tool that you can use in your Bible studies. Keep in mind that prior to this tool, only scholars had access to this information. The website provides you with a way to view the actual manuscript along with a transcription and English translation of the text you are viewing when you click on “See The Manuscript” tab.

Go to The Codex Sinaiticus Project by clicking on --

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