Codex Sinaiticus Digitalus

Now that we are at my wife’s cousin’s house in Waco, our Internet reception is better, but still not perfect!  Even my iPhone was limited, as the 3G network in East Texas was rarely available and quite unreliable.  My apologies to those whose comments have been lingering in limbo until today.  🙂

This is just a quick post for those who might be interested: The entire Codex Sinaiticus is now digitized and online. You can find it here: www.codexsinaiticus.org.  Credit where it is due: I was alerted to this by this news item.  (Actually, the story behind the effort is a bit interesting, since the codex was split into four pieces for quite some time.)  On my iPhone the zoom function was not really operational, but it works fine here on my laptop.

The Sinaiticus is a significant document in that it is the oldest complete New Testament that we currently have.  It is not really the most accurate, however, compared to the majority of texts we have, and it has seen significant revision and editing in its day.  The stories behind the Sinaiticus and its “sister” the Codex Vaticanus are part of the reason I prefer the New King James translation of the Bible to the more popular New International Version and others (though no translation is perfect), but the documents are still fascinating and very valuable to those interested in Bible translation and in understanding how God’s word has been preserved through the millennia.

2 thoughts on “Codex Sinaiticus Digitalus

  1. Obviously, you’re familiar with Westcott and Hort. I prefer the KJV or NKJV as well. I like the Received Text, thank you.

  2. In a similar vein, the oldest copy of the Hebrew Masoretic Text (which I had the privilege to see in Jerusalem at the Shrine of the Book) is online as well:

    http://www.aleppocodex.org/

    The printed edition based on it and related manuscripts (given the fact that it was partially destroyed in 1948) is also on display there, and is available here:

    http://www.jerusalem-crown.com/
    http://www.jerusalem-crown.co.il/website_en/index.asp

    Interestingly, proponents of the Aleppo Codex and the Codex Sinaiticus alike argue from both age and authority, yet both were extensively edited according to the agendas of the editors. In the case of the Masoretic Text, the printed Letteris Edition is overall much better than the Jerusalem Crown Edition, especially in its melodic accentuation (something Aharon ben Asher, editor of the Aleppo Codex, didn’t really understand).

    The lesson here is that age especially is no guarantee of the accuracy or authority of a biblical manuscript.

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