Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Beauty of Books and Codex Sinaiticus

Last week I posted a video clip about the Sisters of Sinai who discovered our oldest copies of the Gospels in Syriac. The found the codex among the manuscripts at Saint Catherine's monastery on Mount Sinai.

Another famous codex found at the same monastery some 50 years earlier is the Codex Sinaiticus. It is 1600 years old and the oldest most complete Bible that we have. You can see the Bible and search it here.

Mark Goodacre has posted that BBC 4 is running a series called The Beauty of Books: Ancient Bibles. Unfortunately, it does not seem to work in the USA. If anyone knows how to get around the restrictions let me know.

Here are two videos that give a brief overview. The first discusses the discovery of Codex Sinaiticus, its content and the attempts to put it online. The second is a two minute clip from the BBC series.


  1. Thanks for the mention. It's easy to get around -- just google for Expat Shield. Cheers, Mark

  2. Thanks, John - the bottom is a must-see 2 minutes.

    The top video says the Old Testament is intact, he slipped, it is the New Testament that is (suspiciously, to some) fully complete.

    Helen Shenton of the British Library says this manuscript surprised the CSP, because it is in "phenomenally good condition". This video shows that supple condition very clearly. We have a supposed 1650 years of semi-continuous use, mostly in hot, dry desert climes, and yet ... easy-peasy page turning, almost like new.

    The parchment and ink are so amazing, and the anomalies and questions so fascinating, that I cordially suggest that our professionals revisit the question of when Sinaiticus was produced :) .

    Steven Avery
    Dutchess County, NY, USA