Codex Sinaiticus online

A big hat tip to Fr Ray Blake for passing on news of the Codex Sinaiticus project.

The Codex Sinaiticus was written between 330 and 350. It contains the whole of the New Testament and about half of the Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) together with the epistle of Barnabas and the "Shepherd" of Hermas. the website has more about the content.

The British Library, the National Library of Russia, St Catherine's Monastery, and Leipzig Univeristy Library are collaborating on a project which involves historical research into the text, conservation of it, and digital photography of each of the leaves.

This means that the codex can be reunited "virtually" on the website. The photographs of the leaves are taken with standard, evenly distributed lighting, and with "raking" light, i.e. light from an angle which shows more clearly the physical characteristics of the leaves.

A further project has been a careful digital transcription of the text, using collating software to check inconsistencies between transcribers so that they can go back to the text and check again.

The whole lot is to be made available on the Codex Sinaiticus website. Several books including the Psalms, Jeremiah and the Gospel of Mark are already there to see and enjoy. Go to the "See the manuscript" tab and you can try the standard light and the raking light, and see the transcription either by verse or laid out as it is in the codex.

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