Friday, January 28, 2011

Codex Sinaiticus on Air, "The Beauty of Old Books" (BBC 4)

A new BBC series, "The Beauty of Old Books" will take a look at the appeal and importance of books in history.

The first episode of four half hour programmes is to be broadcast on BBC Four on Monday 7 February,featuring Codex Sinaiticus and the Winchester Bible (12 cent.).

Other episodes will feature works such as the Luttrell Psalter, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.

Previously, BBC has broadcasted a series on old maps, "The Beauty of Maps." If you are in Britain you can watch this series on the BBC iPlayer (for a few more days).

I should also add in this connection that the new Hendrickson's facimile edition of Codex Sinaiticus is now being shipped out (I hope to get it soon).


  1. Once you get it, I suggest taking a close look at Matthew 28:19. Is that really a microminiature sigma at the end of the NS for PNEUMATOS, or just a punctuation mark?

    If it really is a sigma, look around and see if you can find any more like it.

  2. It looks like a sigma, or possibly omicron to me. It looks too big and round to be some form of punctuation mark.

    There are several micro sigmas on the same page, two are quite close to the same size: Matth 28:8 :
    μεγαλης and μαθηταις. The facsimile is easier to scan the page for these, but the website has better resolution. The facsimile was produced with the digital images on the website.

  3. For those wondering how I got my copy, my wonderful wife gave it to me for Christmas/My birthday (purchased at Christmas arrived near my birthday).

    This is dispite this comment;).

    bob "no longer pouting" relyea

  4. The programme on Sinaiticus is a bit disappointing - some nice pictures etc., but not much on the beauty of Sinaiticus, more on political dimensions (supposed connection with Constantine) and on the doctrinal difficulties of so many corrections etc. (and the short form of Mark).

  5. Also over-emphasis on Sinaiticus as the "ancestor" of all later Bibles. (which is plainly rubbish).

  6. I agree - disappointing. The usual BBC nonsense of trying to discredit Christianity - suggestions that Mark didn't believe Christ was God prior to baptism while the "orthodox" view was that he always was - completely ignoring the fact that the other Gospels even exist.

    Why can't they just present the facts without all this "big story" idiocy?

  7. Concerning the suggestion that "Mark didn't believe Christ was God prior to baptism while the 'orthodox' view was that he always was" the key textual problem in this connection is Mark 1:1.

    I noted that David Parker discussed an preferred (as Ehrman and others before him) the short version in his new book on Sinaiticus (perhaps this affected the BBC production - I haven't seen the program). Further, the short reading is printed in the new SBLGNT edition.

    I have a large article dealing with Mark 1:1 to be published in Journal of Theological Studies, probably in the April issue. Hopefully my extensive study of this problem can contribute to the discussion. I will present new evidence and argue for the longer version.

  8. Sounds good Tommy, my beef is not even in the discussion itself, but in the superficial way the BBC, National Geographic Society discuss these things, it's always as if it's the greatest discovery ever that blows the lid on the great Christianity conspiracy...blah, blah, blah, it's irresponsible and maddening.

    They take 2 and another 2 and add it up to 2000. They made Alef sound as if it discredited the previous 2000 years Christian "orthodoxy". You know Gospel of Judas all over again - more Dan Brown than Dan Wallace!!

    I encourage you men and woman to get into the media, so we can at least have educated discussion, though I doubt that is what the media want!

  9. Pete, yes I agree. However, I was under the impression that BBC was one of the better examples compared to other players.

    In fact, in the secular country I live in, this happens all the time. Christianity is continuously being discredited.

  10. PJ (not Williams)2/09/2011 9:49 pm

    Tommy you're probably correct in your assessment, I shouldn't complain too much.

    BTW just in case there is any confusion - I am not P.J. Williams :-) just a humble pastor with an interests in T.C.