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Encyclopedia > Codex Sinaiticus
A portion of the Codex Sinaiticus, containing Esther 2:3-8.
A portion of the Codex Sinaiticus, containing Esther 2:3-8.

Codex Sinaiticus (London, Brit. Libr., Add. 43725; Gregory-Aland nº א (Aleph) or 01) is a 4th century uncial manuscript of the Greek Bible, written between 330–350. While it originally contained the whole of both Testaments, only portions of the Greek Old Testament or Septuagint survive, along with a complete New Testament, the Epistle of Barnabas, and portions of The Shepherd of Hermas (suggesting that the latter two may have been considered part of Biblical canon by the editors of the codex). Along with Codex Vaticanus, Codex Sinaiticus is one of the most valuable manuscripts for textual criticism of the Greek New Testament, as well as the Septuagint. For most of the New Testament, Codex Sinaiticus is in general agreement with Codex Vaticanus and Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus, attesting an Alexandrian text-type, but in John 1:1-8:38, Codex Sinaiticus is in closer agreement with Codex Bezae in support of a Western text-type. A notable example of an agreement between the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus texts is that they both omit the phrase "without cause" from Matthew 5:22. Download high resolution version (366x768, 86 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (366x768, 86 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... The Book of Esther is a book of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) and of the Old Testament. ... As a means of recording the passage of time, the 4th century was that century which lasted from 301 to 400. ... The Book of Kells, c. ... This Gutenberg Bible is displayed by the United States Library of Congress. ... Note: Judaism commonly uses the term Tanakh. ... The Septuagint: A page from Codex vaticanus, the basis of Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brentons English translation. ... John 21:1 Jesus Appears to His Disciples--Alessandro Mantovani: the Vatican, Rome. ... The Epistle of Barnabas is a Greek treatise with some features of an epistle containing twenty-one chapters, preserved complete in the 4th century Codex Sinaiticus where it appears at the end of the New Testament. ... The Shepherd of Hermas is a Christian work of the first or second century which had great authority in ancient times and was considered by some as one of the books of the Bible. ... The biblical canon is a list of books written during the formative periods of the Jewish or Christian faiths. ... First page of the Codex Argenteus A codex (Latin for block of wood, book; plural codices) is a handwritten book, in general, one produced from Late Antiquity through the Middle Ages. ... Page from Codex Vaticanus Graece 1209, B/03 The Codex Vaticanus (The Vatican, Bibl. ... Textual criticism or lower criticism is a branch of philology or bibliography that is concerned with the identification and removal of errors from texts. ... Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus, at the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus is an early 5th century Greek manuscript of the Bible, the last in the group of the four great uncial manuscripts of the Greek Bible (see Codex Sinaiticus, Codex Alexandrinus and Codex Vaticanus). ... The Alexandrian text-type (also called Neutral or Egyptian) is a group of early manuscripts of the New Testament in the original Greek. ... A sample of the Greek text from the Codex Bezae The Codex Bezae Cantabrigensis (Gregory-Aland no. ... The Western text-type is a diverse group of manuscripts of the New Testament whose text is similar to that of early Christian writers in Rome and Gaul, including Justin Martyr and Irenaeus. ...



The entire codex consists of 346½ folios, written in four columns. Of these, 199 belong to the Old Testament and 147½ belong to the New Testament, along with two other books, the Epistle of Barnabas and part of The Shepherd of Hermas. The books of the New Testament are arranged in this order: the four Gospels, the epistles of Paul, the Acts of the Apostles, the General Epistles, and the Book of Revelation. Old book binding and cover Bookbinding is the process of physically assembling a book from a number of separate or bifoliate sheets of paper or other material. ... The Epistle of Barnabas is a Greek treatise with some features of an epistle containing twenty-one chapters, preserved complete in the 4th century Codex Sinaiticus where it appears at the end of the New Testament. ... The Shepherd of Hermas is a Christian work of the first or second century which had great authority in ancient times and was considered by some as one of the books of the Bible. ... For the genre of Christian-themed music, see gospel music. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The Acts of the Apostles (Greek Praxeis Apostolon) is a book of the Bible, which now stands fifth in the New Testament. ... General epistles are books in the New Testament in the form of letters. ... Visions of John of Patmos, as depicted in the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. ...

Of its prior history, little is known. It is speculated to have been written in Egypt and is sometimes associated with the 50 copies of the scriptures commissioned by Roman Emperor Constantine after his conversion to Christianity. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Head of Constantines colossal statue at Musei Capitolini Gaius Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus[1] (February 27, 272–May 22, 337), commonly known as Constantine I, Constantine the Great, or (among Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic[2] Christians) Saint Constantine, was a Roman Emperor, proclaimed Augustus by his troops on... Christianity is a monotheistic[1] religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament. ...

A paleographical study at the British Museum in 1938 found that the text had undergone several corrections. The first corrections were done by several scribes before the manuscript left the scriptorium. In the sixth or seventh century many alterations were made, which, according to a colophon at the end of the book of Esdras and Esther states, that the source of these alterations was "a very ancient manuscript that had been corrected by the hand of the holy martyr Pamphylus" (martyred AD 309). From this is concluded, that it had been in Caesarea Maritima in the 6th or 7th centuries.[1] Uncorrected is the pervasive iotacism, especially of the ει diphthong. Palaeography (British) or paleography (American) (from the Greek palaiós, old and graphein, to write) is the study of ancient and medieval manuscripts, independent of the language (Koine Greek, Classical Latin, Medieval Latin, Old English, etc. ... The centre of the museum was redeveloped in 2000 to become the Great Court, with a tessellated glass roof by Buro Happold and Foster and Partners surrounding the original Reading Room. ... In publishing, a colophon describes details of the production of a book. ... 1. ... The Book of Esther is a book of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) and of the Old Testament. ... Pamphilus, presbyter of Caesarea (late 3rd century – martyred February 409), chief among Biblical scholars of his generation, was the friend and teacher of Eusebius, who recorded details of his career in a three-book Vita that has been lost. ... For the car known as the 309, see Peugeot 309. ... Caesarea Palaestina, also called Caesarea Maritima, a town built by Herod the Great about 25 - 13 BC, lies on the sea-coast of Israel about halfway between Tel Aviv and Haifa, on the site of a place previously called Pyrgos Stratonos (Strato or Stratons Tower, in Latin Turris Stratonis). ... Iotacism is the process by which a number of vowels and diphthongs in Ancient Greek converged their pronunciation to sound like iota in Modern Greek. ...


The Codex Sinaiticus was shown to Constantin von Tischendorf on his third visit to the Monastery of Saint Catherine, at the foot of Mount Sinai in Egypt, in 1859. The first two trips had yielded parts of the Old Testament, some found in a basket of manuscript pieces, which Tischendorf was told by a librarian "were rubbish which was to be destroyed by burning it in the ovens of the monastery".[2] Tischendorf had been sent to search for manuscripts by Russia's Tsar Alexander II, who was convinced there were still manuscripts to be found at the Sinai monastery. In May 1875, during restoration work, the monks of St. Catherine's monastery discovered a room beneath the St. George Chapel which contained many parchment fragments. Among these fragments were twelve missing leaves from the Sinaiticus Old Testament. Lobegott Friedrich Constantin (von) Tischendorf (Langenfeld, Saxony January 18, 1815 – December 7, 1874 in Leipzig) was a noted German Biblical scholar who recovered the Codex Sinaiticus, a Greek manuscript of the New Testament, in 1859. ... St. ... View from the summit of Mount Sinai Sinai Peninsula, showing location of Jabal Musa Mount Sinai (Arabic: طور سيناء), also known as Mount Horeb, Mount Musa, Gebel Musa or Jabal Musa (Moses Mountain) by the Bedouins, is the name of a mountain in the Sinai Peninsula. ... 1859 (MDCCCLIX) is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar). ... Monomakhs Cap symbol of Russian autocracy, the crown of Russian grand princes and tsars Czar and tzar redirect here. ... Alexander II (1818-1881) Alexander (Aleksandr) II (Russian: Александр II Николаевич) (April 17, 1818–March 13, 1881) was the Emperor (tsar) of Russia from March 2, 1855 until his assassination. ...

The story of how von Tischendorf found the manuscript, which contained most of the Old Testament and all of the New Testament, has all the interest of a romance. Von Tischendorf reached the monastery on January 31; but his inquiries appeared to be fruitless. On February 4, he had resolved to return home without having gained his object: January 31 is the 31st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... February 4 is the 35th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ...

On the afternoon of this day I was taking a walk with the steward of the convent in the neighbourhood, and as we returned, towards sunset, he begged me to take some refreshment with him in his cell. Scarcely had he entered the room, when, resuming our former subject of conversation, he said: "And I, too, have read a Septuagint" — i.e. a copy of the Greek translation made by the Seventy. And so saying, he took down from the corner of the room a bulky kind of volume, wrapped up in a red cloth, and laid it before me. I unrolled the cover, and discovered, to my great surprise, not only those very fragments which, fifteen years before, I had taken out of the basket, but also other parts of the Old Testament, the New Testament complete, and, in addition, the Epistle of Barnabas and a part of the Shepherd of Hermas.[3]

After some negotiations, he obtained possession of this precious fragment, and conveyed it to Tsar Alexander, who appreciated its importance and had it published as nearly as possible in facsimile, so as to exhibit correctly the ancient handwriting. The Tsar sent the monastery 9,000 rubles by way of compensation. The ruble or rouble is a unit of currency. ...

Regarding Tischendorf's role in the transfer to Saint Petersburg, there are several views. Although when parts of Genesis and Book of Numbers were later found in the bindings of other books, they were amicably sent to Tischendorf, the codex is currently regarded by the monastery as having been stolen, a view hotly contested by several scholars in Europe. In a more neutral spirit, New Testament scholar Bruce Metzger writes: Genesis (Hebrew: ‎, Greek: Γένεσις, having the meanings of birth, creation, cause, beginning, source and origin) is the first book of the Torah, the first book of the Tanakh and also the first book of the Christian Old Testament. ... The Book of Numbers is the fourth of the books of the Pentateuch, called in the Hebrew ba-midbar במדבר, i. ... Bruce Metzger pictured on the cover of his autobiography Reminiscences of an Octogenarian Bruce Manning Metzger (born 1914) is a professor emeritus at Princeton Theological Seminary and Bible editor who serves on the board of the American Bible Society. ...

Certain aspects of the negotiations leading to the transfer of the codex to the Czar's possession are open to an interpretation that reflects adversely on Tischendorf's candour and good faith with the monks at St. Catherine's. For a recent account intended to exculpate him of blame, see Erhard Lauch's article 'Nichts gegen Tischendorf' in Bekenntnis zur Kirche: Festgabe für Ernst Sommerlath zum 70. Geburtstag (Berlin, c. 1961); for an account that includes a hitherto unknown receipt given by Tischendorf to the authorities at the monastery promising to return the manuscript from St. Petersburg 'to the Holy Confraternity of Sinai at its earliest request', see Ihor Ševčenko's article 'New Documents on Tischendorf and the Codex Sinaiticus', published in the journal Scriptorium, xviii (1964) pp. 55–80.[4]

For many decades, it was preserved in the Russian National Library. In 1933, the Soviet Union sold the codex to the British Library for £100,000. Visit of Alexander I to the library in 1812. ... Year 1933 (MCMXXXIII) was a common year starting on Sunday. ... British Library Ossulston St entrance, with distinctive red logo. ...

Present location

The codex is now split into four unequal portions: 347 leaves in the British Library in London, 12 leaves and 14 fragments in St. Catherine's Monastery of Sinai, 43 leaves in the Leipzig University Library, and fragments of 3 leaves in the Russian National Library in St Petersburg. The University of Leipzig is one of the oldest universities in Europe. ... Visit of Alexander I to the library in 1812. ... Saint Petersburg (Russian: Санкт-Петербу́рг, English transliteration: Sankt-Peterburg), colloquially known as Питер (transliterated Piter), formerly known as Leningrad (Ленингра́д, 1924–1991) and...

In June 2005, a joint project to produce a new digital edition of the manuscript (involving all four holding libraries) and a series of other studies was announced. This will include the use of hyperspectral imaging to photograph the manuscripts to look for hidden information such as erased or faded text.[5] This is to be done in cooperation with the British Library. Imaging spectroscopy is defined as being the simultaneous acquisition of spatially coregistered images, in many, spectrally contiguous bands, in an internationally recognized system of units from a remotely operated platform (Schaepman, 2005). ...

This entry incorporates text from the public domain Easton's Bible Dictionary, originally published in 1897. Eastons Bible Dictionary generally refers to the Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, by Matthew George Easton M.A., D.D. (1823-1894), published three years after Eastons death in 1897 by Thomas Nelson. ...


  1. ^ Bruce A. Metzger, the Text of the New Testament, it's Transmission, Corruption and Restoration, Oxford University Press, 1992, p. 46.
  2. ^ Skeat, T. C. "The Last Chapter in the History of the Codex Sinaiticus." Novum Testamentum. Vol. 42, Fasc. 3, Jul., 2000. p. 313
  3. ^ See Constantin von Tischendorf, The Discovery of the Sinaitic Manuscript, Extract from Constantin von Tischendorf, When Were Our Gospels Written? An Argument by Constantine Tischendorf. With a Narrative of the Discovery of the Sinaitic Manuscript [New York: American Tract Society, 1866].
  4. ^ Bruce A. Metzger, The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption and Restoration, Oxford University Press, 1992, p. 45.
  5. ^ Oldest known Bible to go online. BBC.com. August 3, 2005. Accessed June 08, 2006.

External links

  • Codex Sinaiticus page at bible-researcher.com
  • Earlham College facsimile of Codex Sinaiticus
  • British Library Catalogue entry
  • A real-life Bible Code: the amazing story of the Codex Sinaiticus

  Results from FactBites:
Showcases :: Codex Sinaiticus (0 words)
The word ‘Sinaiticus’ derives from the fact that the Codex was preserved for many centuries at St Catherine’s Monastery near the foot of Mount Sinai in Egypt.
The Codex is the remains of a huge hand-written book that contained all the Christian scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, together with two late first-century Christian texts, the Shepherd of Hermas and the Epistle of Barnabas.
The ambition of the Codex to include the entire canon of Christian scriptures coincides with the adoption of Christianity by Emperor Constantine the Great and an attempt to define once and for all, or 'codify', the texts that qualified as sacred scripture.
ITSEE: The Codex Sinaiticus Project (524 words)
Codex Sinaiticus is one of the two most ancient copies of the entire Bible in Greek.
The project will thus create a "virtual Codex Sinaiticus" providing a unique research tool for scholars and explaining it to the many non-specialists who are intrigued by this unique artefact.
A transcription of the New Testament part of the codex, which uses similar technology to the project, may be seen here.
  More results at FactBites »



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