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Codex Sinaiticus Project

Codex Sinaiticus Project

Codex Sinaiticus Project

There was a nice story on NPR tonight (06 July, 2009) about this significant digitization effort:

[Scot] McKendrick, the British Library’s head of Western manuscripts, says the codex offers an insight into what was happening in the fourth century.

“This is the point at which Christianity is becoming authorized, accepted by authority, and this book very much reflects that,” he says. “It also reflects a point where there is still a discussion going on about which texts are in the Bible and which order they should be presented in.”

The Codex Sinaiticus Web site is a veritable treasure trove for researchers and others. The site grants access not only to images of the pages, but also to the new transcription of the text, McKendrick says, which allows scholars to search for word patterns, among other uses. The digitized version offers breathtaking detail of the codex, which is written by hand in Greek on animal skin.

“The Web site is wonderful in that it allows you to see that physicality, see a thumbprint of a 1,600-year-old scribe, an insect that bit the animal that the page has come from,” he says. “It’s like a window in that … critical era.”

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