Monday, July 06, 2009

A wonderful resource

One of the things I enjoy most is studying the Bible, esp in it's ancient forms. Thus, with the release of the final digital version of a 4th century Bible, I'm pumped! Although it's appearance online may be a new thing to many, it's hardly new to scholars. Codex Siniaticus has a history akin to an Indiana Jones story, only it's too wild to be made into a movie - it's too unbelievable. And yet, it's true! Take a minute to read about it in the ABC news story about it and then go HERE to see it for yourself.

Written on animal skin with a primitive ink, it's a wonderful example of an ancient text. It hasn't been all in one place in approximately a century so having it all at one's fingertips is unbelievable. It was written by hand, one letter at a time, one word at a time, one line at a time. Some have suggested it may be one of the 50 copies Roman Emperor Constantine ordered his church historian Eusebius to create in 317 AD. At any rate, this excellent copy was found in the Sinai desert (thus the name) at St. Catherine's Monastery (yes, you can still visit there).

For those who are from Texas, I had the privilege of meeting one of the curators for this priceless manuscript a few years ago while I was in Washington, DC attending a symposium discussing these documents. Although he was living in Sinai, Egypt, he had a decidedly Texas accent. I chalked it up to hearing what I wanted to hear. Afterwards, I met with Father Justin and discovered he WAS from Texas and is a University of Texas Alumni! Hook 'em!

If you'd like to read more about this amazing manuscript and see it for yourself, visit this site for more info about it.

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