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Reuters is reporting that a 1,600-year-old version of Bible goes online

BERLIN – More than 1,600 years after it was written in Greek, one of the oldest copies of the Bible will become globally accessible online for the first time this week.

From Thursday, sections of the Codex Sinaiticus, which contains the oldest complete New Testament, will be available on the Internet, said the University of Leipzig, one of the four curators of the ancient text worldwide.

High resolution images of the Gospel of Mark, several Old Testament books, and notes on the work made over centuries will appear on www.codex-sinaiticus.net as a first step towards publishing the entire manuscript online by next July.

In a usable form the link is: www.codex-sinaiticus.net.

This is one of the great things about the ‘Net, making rare objects available to a huge audience, rather than being hidden away in vaults. It’s an issue that both Michael at Musing’s musings and Keith at Invisible Library addressed this from different directions today. Michael has managed to convince his university to obtain a cuneiform tablet, and Keith is pushing for libraries to use the Internet. Digitized presentations of rare texts makes them available without endangering them, and people can find out what your institution has in its collections.


1 Kryten42 { 07.23.08 at 12:54 am }

Ohhhhhhhhhhhh! I love it!! 😀

I can hear the shrill screams of anguish by Catholics and other assorted *Christian* *faith’s* now!!!! 😀 😀 And DON’T get me started on the Book of Moron the morons in Utah etc love!

I hope there is a hell, and I hope I get there so I can spend eternity laughing at all the others that thought they had a shortcut to Heaven! LOL I’ll be the only one there happy. 😉


2 Michael { 07.23.08 at 7:55 am }

The only screams you’re likely to hear from Catholics about this, Kryten, are squeals of joy. Sinaiticus isn’t a threat to our faith–it’s one of the foundations on which it’s based. If you look at the apparatus criticus in any scholarly edition of the Greek Scriptures, you’ll find the sigil for Sinaiticus (the Hebrew letter aleph) all over the place.

3 Kryten42 { 07.23.08 at 8:18 am }

Hah! I can assure you, you will NOT be hearing any joy about this from HQ in Rome m8! LOL The last thing the masters want, is for people to read it for themselves. Though, I suppose there will be very few who could read the ancient tongue… so they will probably downplay it somewhat, especially as they will probably have a big hand in any translations… so they probably don’t have much to worry about at that. The sheeple are safely theirs. I was one… once.

The one thing the Papal Palace hate most, is a Catholic that can read and understand the Bible and figure out their hypocrisy for themselves. There have been many of us. 🙂

4 Steve Bates { 07.23.08 at 11:19 am }

Kryten, as one who is neither Catholic nor even Christian, I cannot evaluate your dissatisfaction with the Catholic Church; that’s your business. But please do not confuse your theological and personal dissatisfaction with any failure by Catholic scholars, either in craft or in good intentions, when it comes to researching and disseminating knowledge about their own faith.

As a retired professional performer of old music (and by “old” I mean centuries old), I’ve had occasion to work with Catholic scholars on many occasions, and have found them not only well-educated and diligent in their areas of research but also unfailingly helpful to people like me who need to learn more about the historical particulars of their traditions. If there’s anybody hiding any written knowledge, or trying to prevent laypeople (or even infidels like me) from learning more about Catholicism, it certainly isn’t the Catholic academic community.

5 Badtux { 07.23.08 at 5:30 pm }

As a sometime-student at Jesuit institutions, I can assure you that at least in the Catholic academic community there is no effort to keep Catholics from studying any and all historical documentation, including early versions of the Bible. I do not know why anybody thinks that the current-day Catholic church might try to “hide anything” or discourage study of the Bible. That was not my experience at all.

– Badtux the Catholic Penguin