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Old 07-07-2009, 07:32 AM   #1
ktinkel
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Default Earliest bible pages viewable on-line

Fragments of the 1600-year old Codex Sinaiticus manuscript — some 800 pages — have been recovered and scanned by a consortium of institutions in the U.K., Germany, Egypt, and Russia, according to this BBC article: “Historic Bible pages put online.”

The exhibit shows one page at a time, with the fragments shown as they appear on the page, the location of which is provided (chapter and verse), with a transcription. The image can be zoomed (very slowly, section by section). Once zoomed, you can slide around to look at all the sections. There are other viewing choices, including standard or raking light; the latter is more realistic, the former easier to view.

There is also a panel to show translations into Russian, English, Dutch, or Greek, but I did not find any translated pages as I browsed. The text is in what my semi-tutored eye would say is Greek (?) uncials.

The pages are beautiful. If you are interested in calligraphy or letter forms in general, or the Christian bible in particular, you will appreciate this online exhibit.

   
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Old 07-13-2009, 09:54 PM   #2
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I figured out some of this. To see a translation, I searched the translation for a phrase (ex. "born again"). Then looked for the corresponding verse in the Greek text. Clicking the Greek text placed a red rectangle around the corresponding word in the Codex Sinaiticus. Of course, I could not do this word for word because I don't speak Greek.

I guess I could have used an electronic KJV linked to Strong's Greek Dictionary to do word for word. But too much work for me these days.
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Old 07-14-2009, 06:30 AM   #3
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I figured out some of this. To see a translation, I searched the translation for a phrase (ex. "born again"). Then looked for the corresponding verse in the Greek text. Clicking the Greek text placed a red rectangle around the corresponding word in the Codex Sinaiticus. Of course, I could not do this word for word because I don't speak Greek.

I guess I could have used an electronic KJV linked to Strong's Greek Dictionary to do word for word. But too much work for me these days.
Too much work for anyone but scholars, I bet!

Clever, though.

   
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Old 07-14-2009, 08:11 AM   #4
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The first few pages I looked at are pretty badly moth-eaten: tiny fractions of the page remaining. Makes one wonder how they interpolate the missing material--presumably other existing "codices" provide enough redundancy to fill in the blanks?

   
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Old 07-14-2009, 08:43 AM   #5
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The first few pages I looked at are pretty badly moth-eaten: tiny fractions of the page remaining. Makes one wonder how they interpolate the missing material--presumably other existing "codices" provide enough redundancy to fill in the blanks?
Interesting question. Maybe they refer to later documents (possibly copied from this one)?

   
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Old 07-14-2009, 10:18 AM   #6
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There's also Codex Vaticanus and many other documents to go by.
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Old 07-14-2009, 11:41 AM   #7
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There's also Codex Vaticanus and many other documents to go by.
Later versions, no?

Not that it matters. What I liked was the lovely uncial writing. It could be “’Twas brillig and the slithy toves … All mimsy were the borogroves …” and be as nice!

   
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Old 07-14-2009, 03:08 PM   #8
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There are the the Dead Sea scrolls and possible other Jewish scriptures that are older. As for the Christian writings, I don't know. There might be copies from when these were individual writings, and not assembled into a Bible.

Another thing to ponder is that a later copy can be more accurate than Codex Sinaiticus, if it was copied from a source (now lost) that was more accurate. Or, it can be more accurate if it corrects mistakes in Codex Sinaiticus.

But this is all speculation on my part. I really don't know.

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Old 07-14-2009, 04:31 PM   #9
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But this is all speculation on my part. I really don't know.
Me either.

All true. Or all possibly true. But the writing is lovely.

   
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Old 07-14-2009, 06:21 PM   #10
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I did some looking and found the Chester Beatty Library

Regarding the manuscripts in the Chester Beatty collection, the site says: "The Biblical Papyri, dating from the second to the fourth century AD, consist of the earliest known copies of the four gospels and Acts of the Apostles, the Letters of St Paul, the Book of Revelation and various very early Old Testament fragments."
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