The Codex Sinaiticus is the earliest complete manuscript of the Christian Bible. The Bible dates back to the middle of the fourth century. It has been written in Greek, strictly speaking the New Testament in koiné and the Old Testament in Septuagint, a dialect spoken by the Christians in this time. In both texts there have been made a lot of annotations by many editors over the centuries.
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 actual Codex Sinaiticus does not exist as a whole book, it consists of different sized parts which are spread over four places. They are located in:
- The British Library, UK
- Leipzig University Library, Germany
- St Catherine’s Monastery, Sinai
- The National Library of Russia, St Petersburg
Precisely that fact makes this digital edition so special.
The creation of a ‚virtual‘ Codex Sinaiticus permits scholars to see the manuscript as a whole, as never before possible.
Since the individual fragments are distributed in different places and the respective owners did not even want to provide their possession temporarily for the digitalisation, new international realisable standards had to be created. This challenge is also an advantage for future research of this kind.
- Creation of a scholarly, machine-readable transcription, linked by word to the manuscript images, is providing textual scholars with possibilities for research and analysis never before available.
- Future scholars will be able to develop and improve the same basic material as new tools become available.
- Different manuscript transcriptions may be linked or shared between projects, developing more sophisticated resources and avoiding duplication of efforts.
The edition consists of high-resolution facsimiles, transcription and translations in English, German, Greek and Russian.
The website has a good navigation and can be used intuitively.