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March 11, 2005


From Novosti:

The Codex Sinaiticus-the oldest of the full extant manuscript Bibles-will eventually appear in a digital form on an unprecedented venture. 

Representatives of the four academic institutions that are preserving Codex fragments have signed a contract in London to digitize this precious religious and literary monument. 

Made in Greek on parchment in the 4th century A.D., the Codex Sinaiticus contained the canonical Old and New Testament books and two apocryphal, the Gospel of Barnabas and the Shepherd of Hermas.

There are quite a bit of details about these documents that are almost always omitted when most modern “Biblical” scholar refers to them. A “fad” emerged in the 19th century, beginning in Germany, of criticizing the Bible, to the point of attempting to discrediting it completely, while still maintaining the lie that one was a “Christian”. One of the more avid critics of the Bible was German pseudo-theologian Lobegott Friedrich Konstantin Von Tischendorf. In his search for document that would disprove the Bible, Tischendorf rummaged through the trash at the Convent of St. Catherine, on Mount Sinai and discovered some old, manuscripts, in poor condition and heavily edited. The monks were in the process of burning them. 

The documents contained a complete New Testament, a large portion of the Septuagint, the Epistle of St. Barnabas, and a fragment of the Shepherd of Hermas. Tischendorf was allowed to copy them, and this copy became the basis for the Codex Sinaiticus.

Dr. F.H.A. Scrivener, who later published in 1864 A Full Collation of the Codex Sinaiticus, wrote about Tischendorf, “of the science of Comparative Criticism, as well as his own discredit for discernment and accuracy.’ . . . we cannot regard him as a man of sober and solid judgment.” Of the Codex Sinaiticus Scrivener wrote, “Codex is covered with alterations of an obviously correctional character—brought in by at least ten different revisers, some of them systematically spread over every page, . . . many of these being contemporaneous with the first writer”

In spite of the obvious flaws in the document, Liberal theologians have insisted that they are more valid than any later manuscripts, even after the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which pre-dated the Codex Sinaiticus, amply demonstrated that the accepted manuscript (referred to as the Textus Receptus) had been changed little over the centuries.

Most modern translations of the Bible are based largely on the Codex Sinaiticus and the equally corrupt Codex Vaticanus, (also discovered by Tischendorf) and are therefore unreliable. The King James and a few lesser known translations have not used these corrupt documents, and therefore do not contain the corruptions from Tischendorf manuscripts.

That the Codex Sinaiticus is now in digital form seems quite a waste of time given its history and origin. 

Posted by Danny Carlton at March 11, 2005 01:41 PM

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