Ancient bible meets the internet

The bible managed to survive sixteen centuries, but the web site didn't last the morning after heavy demand.

bible

Four national institutions have published an electronic version of Codex Sinaiticus, the world's oldest Christian bible, online.

Because of its age and condition, the bible was first published in the fourth century. It took four years and four institutions to gather the web version together and translate it.

Codex Sinaiticus has been launched on the web for the enjoyment of scholars and is made up of 800 pages and fragments - originally it had over 1460 pages. Now, each element of the bible has been converted into a high res image meaning that not only can its text be studied but also its materials. This has already yielded some results, according to those involved.

"The Codex Sinaiticus is one of the world's greatest written treasures," said Dr Scot McKendrick, head of western manuscripts at the British Library. "This 1600-year-old manuscript offers a window into the development of early Christianity and first-hand evidence of how the text of the bible was transmitted from generation to generation."

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

"The project has uncovered evidence that a fourth scribe along with the three already recognised worked on the text; the availability of the virtual manuscript for study by scholars around the world creates opportunities for collaborative research that would not have been possible just a few years ago," he added.

The British Library, National Library of Russia, St Catherine's Monastery, and the Leipzig University Library launched the website this morning - however, it is already struggling under the strain of users.

"Please note: this website is experiencing exceptional demand. If you are unable to connect to it, please bookmark and return later," said a note on the site.

Although we could access the main site we could not delve much deeper into its pages. Perennial favourites such as Leviticus offered us nothing but a network error, while mankind itself has survived better than the ragged pages of Genesis.

"The transcription includes pages of the Codex which were found in a blocked-off room at the Monastery of St Catherine in 1975, some of which were in poor condition," added Professor David Parker from the University of Birmingham's Department of Theology.

"This is the first time that they have been published. The digital images of the virtual manuscript show the beauty of the original and readers are even able to see the difference in handwriting between the different scribes who copied the text," he said.

Advertisement - Article continues below

"We have even devised a unique alignment system which allows users to link the images with the transcription. This project has made a wonderful book accessible to a global audience."

It's not the British Library's first archiving project - the UK institution has previously put 200 years of newspapers online.

Featured Resources

Digital Risk Report 2020

A global view into the impact of digital transformation on risk and security management

Download now

6 ways your business could suffer if you don’t backup Office 365

Office 365 makes it easy to lose valuable data regularly, unpredictably, unintentionally, and for good

Download now

Get the best out of your workforce

7 steps to unleashing their true potential with robotic process automation

Download now

8 digital best practices for IT professionals

Don't leave anything to chance when going digital

Download now
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/mobile/28299/how-to-use-chromecast-without-wi-fi
Mobile

How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi

5 Feb 2020
Visit/technology/artificial-intelligence-ai/354796/ai-identifies-11-earth-bound-asteroids
artificial intelligence (AI)

AI identifies 11 earth-bound asteroids

18 Feb 2020
Visit/operating-systems/27717/how-to-fix-a-stuck-windows-10-update
operating systems

How to fix a stuck Windows 10 update

12 Feb 2020
Visit/security/34616/the-top-ten-password-cracking-techniques-used-by-hackers
Security

The top ten password-cracking techniques used by hackers

10 Feb 2020