Now surf the oldest Christian Bible
Thanks to a painstaking conservation project involving institutions, the surviving pages of the world's oldest Bible have been reunited - digitally. Scholars will be able to view about half of the 1,600-year-old Codex Sinaiticus, meaning The Sinai Book, in one place for the first time.art and culture Updated: Jul 06, 2009 18:18 IST
The oldest surviving Christian Bible has been launched on the Internet, thanks to a painstaking conservation project involving institutions in the UK, Germany, Egypt, and Russia.
High-resolution digital images of the pages in the fourth-century book, considered to be one of the most important texts in the world, have been created to view online.
Scholars will be able to view about half of the 1,600-year-old Codex Sinaiticus, meaning The Sinai Book, in one place for the first time since the manuscript has its home in four different libraries across the globe.
Dr. Scot McKendrick, head of Western manuscripts at the British Library, said that the wide availability of the document would boost many research opportunities.
"The Codex Sinaiticus is one of the world''s greatest written treasures. This 1,600-year-old manuscript offers a window into the development of early Christianity and first-hand evidence of how the text of the Bible was transmitted from generation to generation," the Scotsman quoted him as saying.
He added: "The availability of the virtual manuscript for study by scholars around the world creates opportunities for collaborative research that would not have been possible just a few years ago."
Edinburgh University’s Professor Timothy Lim, an expert on biblical manuscripts including the Dead Sea Scrolls, also said: "Gathering all the parts together will allow people to talk about it as a whole and learn more about it and improve speed of access. The actual pages are not that difficult to read so now if you are holding a lecture, you can display a page and examine it there and then."
The British Library has also put an exhibition running until September 7 to mark the online launch of the manuscript that contains the oldest complete New Testament, and one of the oldest Greek translations of the parts of the Old Testament.