Examine a Greek Manuscript of the Bible Close Up

Digital resources online have transformed the way we understand the world. In a previous age, ancient events, texts and artefacts would only have been available to those who could personally visit major museums, or in photographs and descriptions in (often expensive) books.

Now anyone can observe (in a digital video reconstruction) the slow but devastating effects of eruption of Vesuvius or view the amazing exhibits in the British Museum from anywhere and without cost. To me, as a teacher of Greek, one of the most fascinating resources is the Codex Sinaiticus online. This manuscript, dating from the fourth century AD, is an important part of the manuscript evidence for both the New Testament and the Greek version of the Old Testament. The online version allows you to select a specific passage to view, and then to zoom in to see the details of the text, including ‘Nomina Sacra’ (abbreviations of key words, such as ‘God’ and ‘Jesus’) and scribal changes to the original text, inserted above the lines.

I urge readers of Greek to explore this amazing resource, but I also encourage anyone interested in the Bible to have a look at this remarkable document so that you can understand more fully the ways in which the Bible has been passed on through the ages.

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