The British Library and Hendrickson's have published a collection of essays that constitutes an important reappraisal of the history of the Codex Sinaiticus, one of the "most important books in the world," for it includes the oldest complete copy of the New Testament.
The book, Codex Sinaiticus: New Perspectives on the Ancient Biblical Manuscript, is comprised of papers given at a past conference at the British Library. The essays cover many topics, including the historical setting of the manuscript, its subsequent history, and its importance today. The facsimile edition of the entire Codex, an introduction to the Codex by David Parker (Codex Sinaiticus: The Story of the World's Oldest Bible), and this third volume are the result of the Codex Sinaiticus Digitisation Project.
One of the essays was written by Archbishop Damianos of Sinai on The Shepherd of Hermas and its inclusion in Codex Sinaiticus. In the conclusion, he notes another dimension to the significance of the project:
…. I hereby wish that the whole program of the digital presentation of Codex Sinaiticus in its entirety, i.e. the Holy Scriptures, which is also the Book of Life, might constitute besides its abstract scientific and textual meaning an incentive for many to concern themselves with the Spirit that is hidden behind the Word; thus to give rise to springs of spiritual life in a world of objective calculations based on speed and superficial concerns but also of many subjective tribulations and passions.
The Codex Sinaiticus was preserved at St. Catherine's Monastery until the middle of the nineteenth century, after which parts were eventually distributed to four libraries. The largest portion is at the British Library.
A copy of the new book is available on Amazon and Amazon Smile (where a portion of the purchase price will go to non-profits of one's choice, including Friends of Mount Sinai Monastery; if you wish to sign up click here, then the link for the book is here).
About the Book (from the Publisher)
Codex Sinaiticus is one of the most important books in the world. Handwritten well over 1600 years ago, the manuscript contains the Christian Bible in Greek, including the oldest complete copy of the New Testament. Its heavily corrected text is of outstanding importance for the history of the Bible and the manuscript – the oldest substantial book to survive antiquity – is of supreme importance for the history of the book.
This collection of scholarly essays constitutes an important reappraisal of the history of the manuscript. Newly discovered archival material sheds light on the complex sequence of events which led to the Codex being dispersed across four libraries. The evidence relating to the production of the manuscript is assessed by several contributors, who pay careful attention to the thousands of corrections which were made to the text by several hands. The significance of Codex Sinaiticus for our understanding of the New Testament text is analysed in detail, with a number of articles showing how the manuscript helps us to understand the formation of the Christian canon in antiquity.