Wednesday, 08 July 2009 07:05

Ancient Bible available online

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An ancient Bible containing the earliest complete copy of the New Testament has been reassembled online.

The Codex Sinaiticus ('Sinai Book') was hand-written in Greek during the fourth century AD. Over 400 parchment leaves and a number of fragments remain in existence.

The surviving leaves and fragments are held by the British Library, the University Library in Leipzig, the National Library of Russia,  and the Monastery of Saint Catherine, Mount Sinai (from which it gets its name).

A 2005 agreement between the institutions led to a project to (among other goals) photograph and publish online the Codex Sinaiticus.

Each page and fragment has been photographed under even lighting for maximum clarity, and again under angled light to clearly show the surface characteristics.

The text has been transcribed and passages are being progressively translated into English, German and Russian.

The images and text are now displayed side by side on the Codex Sinaiticus web site. The final pages were added this week.

Apart from its religious significance, the Codex Sinaiticus is regarded as an outstanding example of early book production. It was produced in a period when books were generally replacing rolls of parchment or papyrus.

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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