Institutions working to put oldest New Testament online

.- The British Library, the Monastery of St. Catherine of Sinai, the National Library of St. Petersburg, the University Library of Leipzig, and other institutions are collaborating to put online the entire Sinaiticus Codex, the oldest complete New Testament text and “one of the testimonies on which our knowledge of Biblical Greek is based.”

In an interview with the Vatican newspaper, Franceso D’Auito, professor of Philology and Byzantine History at Rome’s Tor Vergata University and a specialist in ancient and Medieval Greek manuscripts of the Bible, explained that the work so far has been a joint effort between the British Library, the Monastery of St. Catherine of Sinai, the National Library of St. Petersburg, the University Library of Leipzig, and other contributors.

D'Auito said the project should be completed in 2010, when the entire Codex will be available online, free of charge, for any user to access.

He pointed out the importance of the Sinaiticus Codex, which “is one of the few very ancient manuscripts that are the basis of all of our Greek editions of the Bible. Copied in four columns (in two poetic books), it also contains two patristic texts: the Letter of Barnabas and the Shepherd of Hermus.”

Together with the Vaticanus Codex and Alexandrinus Codex, the Sinaiticus Codex “allows us to get as close as possible to the date of the translation from Hebrew to ancient Greek,” said D’Auito.

More information on the Project can be found at: www.e-manuscripts.org.  The entire Sinaiticus Codex will be available at www.codexsinaiticus.org.

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