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 Joseph Thornton
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Codex Sinaiticus

A Facsimile

Published in 2010. Hardback, 832 pages, 340 x 420mm, 822 colour illustrations £495.00
weight about 20 lbs. (sorry no discount to anyone )

A beautiful facsimile of the world's oldest Bible.  ORDER HERE

In 1844 a researcher discovered the  Codex Sinaiticus in the Saint Catherine’s Monastery, it dates from the 4th Century,
which was at the time the oldest almost completely preserved manuscript of the Bible to have ever been discovered.
The monastery is the oldest continuously inhabited Christian monastery in the world. It predates the divisions of the
Christian world and its origins extend to late antiquity.  It’s library is one of the largest libraries of the oldest manuscripts
in the world, second only to the Vatican.


This high quality facsimile reunites the Codex Sinaiticus from its current locations around the world. Makes one of  the most significant Christian texts available.  Weighing 20lb, the Codex Sinaiticus is one of the world’s  most remarkable books. Written in Greek in the fourth century, it is the oldest surviving complete New Testament, and  one of the two oldest manuscripts of the whole Bible. No other early manuscript of the Christian Bible has been so extensively corrected, and the significance of Codex Sinaiticus for the reconstruction of the Christian Bible’s original text, the history of the Bible and the history of western book making is immense. Since 2002, a major international project has been creating an electronic version of the manuscript. This magnificent printed facsimile reunites the text, now divided between the British Library, the National Library of Russia, St Catherine’s Monastery, Mt Sinai and Leipzig University Library.  Codex Sinaiticus, a manuscript of the Christian Bible written in the middle of the fourth century, contains the earliest complete copy of the Christian New Testament. The hand-written text is in Greek. The New Testament appears in the original vernacular language (koine) and the Old Testament in the version, known as the Septuagint, that was adopted by early Greek-speaking Christians. In the Codex, the text of both the Septuagint andthe New Testament has been heavily annotated by a series of early correctors.The significance of Codex Sinaiticus for the reconstruction of the Christian Bible's original text, the history of the Bible and the history of Western book-making is immense. 
The name 'Codex Sinaiticus' literally means 'the Sinai Book'. It reflects two important aspects of the manuscript: its form and a very special place in its history. 'Codex' means 'book'. By the time Codex Sinaiticus was written, works of literature were increasingly written on sheets that were folded and bound together in a format that we still use to this day. This book format was steadily replacing the roll format which was more widespread just a century before when texts were written on one side of a series of sheets glued together to make a roll. These rolls were made of animal skin (like most of the Dead Sea Scrolls) or the papyrus plant (commonly used for Greek and Latin literature). Using the papyrus codex was a distinctive feature of early Christian culture. The pages of Codex Sinaiticus however are of prepared animal skin called parchment. This marks it out as standing at an important transition in book history. Before it we see many examples of Greek and Latin texts on papyrus roll or papyrus codex, but almost no traces of parchment codices. After it, the parchment codex becomes normative. During its history – particularly its modern history – parts of Codex Sinaiticus were also known by other names. The 43 leaves which are now at Leipzig University Library were published in 1846 as 'Codex Frederico-Augustanus' in honour of Frederick Augustus II, King of Saxony, who was the patron of the German Biblical scholar and editor of Codex Sinaiticus, Constantine Tischendorf. The 347 leaves now in The British Library were previously known as 'Codex Sinaiticus Petropolitanus', as they were kept in St Petersburg between 1863 and 1933. Codex Sinaiticus is generally dated to the fourth century, and sometimes more precisely to the middle of that century. This is based on study of the handwriting, known as palaeographical analysis. Only one other nearly complete manuscript of the Christian Bible – Codex Vaticanus (kept in the Vatican Library in Rome) – is of a similarly early date. The only manuscripts of Christian scripture that are definitely of an earlier date than Codex Sinaiticus contain small portions of the text of the Bible.As it survives today, Codex Sinaiticus comprises just over 400 large leaves of prepared animal skin, each of which measures 380mm high by 345mm wide. On these parchment leaves is written around half of the Old Testament and Apocrypha (the Septuagint), the whole of the New Testament, and two early Christian texts not found in modern Bibles. Most of the first part of the manuscript (containing most of the so-called historical books, from Genesis to 1 Chronicles) is now missing and presumed to be lost. The Septuagint includes books which many Protestant Christian denominations place in the Apocrypha. Those present in the surviving part of the Septuagint in Codex Sinaiticus are 2 Esdras, Tobit, Judith, 1 & 4 Maccabees, Wisdom and Sirach. The number of the books in the New Testament in Codex Sinaiticus is the same as that in modern Bibles in the West, but the order is different. The Letter to the Hebrews is placed after Paul's Second Letter to the Thessalonians, and the Acts of the Apostles between the Pastoral and Catholic Epistles. The two other early Christian texts are an Epistle by an unknown writer claiming to be the Apostle Barnabas, and 'The Shepherd', written by the early second-century Roman writer, Hermas. Codex Sinaiticus was copied by more than one scribe. Constantine Tischendorf identified four in the nineteenth century. Subsequent  research decided that there were three, but it is possible that a fourth (different from Tischendorf’s fourth scribe) can be identified. Each of the three undisputed scribes has a distinctive way of writing which can be identified with practice. Each also had a distinctive way of spelling many sounds, particularly vowels which scribes often wrote phonetically. One of them may have been a senior copyist.
Hardback, 832 pages, 340 x 420mm, 822 colour illustrations.