Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Codex Sinaiticus: The Story of the World's Oldest Bible

Jim Spinti tells me that today, Eisenbrauns' "Deal of the Day" is

Codex Sinaiticus: The Story of the World's Oldest Bible
by David C. Parker

Publisher: Hendrickson Publishers
Publication date: 2010
Bibliographic info: 195 pages
Language(s): English
Cover: Cloth with Dustjacket
ISBN: 1-59856-576-1
ISBN13: 978-1-59856-576-8

List Price: $34.95
Your Price: $17.48

Get the book here.

Publisher's description
Despite its rather austere appearance, the Codex Sinaiticus is a treasure beyond price. Produced in the middle of the fourth century, its bound parchment pages hold the full canon of the Christian Bible and more—the handwritten Greek text of the earliest surviving copy of the complete koine New Testament; the earliest and best copies of some Septuagint texts, the Old Testament Scriptures as they were adopted by the first-century church; and two late first-century Christian texts, the Shepherd of Hermas and the Epistle of Barnabas. The sections are heavily marked by early correctors. Told here is the compelling story of how the Codex Sinaiticus was created and used in the ancient church; how it was preserved for centuries at the monastery of St. Catherine’s, Mount Sinai; its subsequent history and how its pages came to be divided and dispersed; and how it has been compiled again and made accessible to a worldwide audience for the first time. Publication in June 2009 coincides with the launch of the Codex Sinaiticus Project website, which includes a digitized “virtual edition” of one of the most famous and remarkable manuscripts in the history of the church, the Bible, and book production in general.
D. C. Parker’s outstanding research and excellent storytelling skills simultaneously illuminate the chronology of bookmaking in Western culture and the effects of that technology on the presentation of the biblical canon. Offering a fascinating look at the task of making a Bible in the year 350, he discusses how included books were chosen—or not; physical elements of production—layout, ink, parchment, binding, and budget; the jobs of scribes and correctors; and the role of annotators. As readers follow the travels of the pieces of the Codex Sinaiticus through the twentieth century, they’ll discover key personalities and places, and absorb the details of the current production of the Internet electronic edition of this singular document. 
I can tell you that I picked up my own signed copy in conjunction with this event.

For a review see here.


  1. The monastery of St. Helena of the Sinai Peninsula was built by the Russians in the mid of 19th century, as the only nunnery in the Middle East. But this idea, even in desolate place like Sinai region, proved to be inappropriate and the monastery became male. That building is 19th century and manuscripts attributed to this place are even from the early 20th century.

  2. What's that on the cover photo? Doesn't look like anything in the New Testament.

  3. Bogoizbrania, Codex Sinaiticus was found in St Catherine's monastery by Tischendorf in the 19th century. The oldest record of monastic life at Sinai dates to about 381-384.
    The monastery, however, was built by order of Emperor Justinian I in the 6th century.

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