The Septuagint has held the title of the oldest translation of the Bible for quite awhile, but it was limited in the sense that it only contained the Old Testament.
Apparently, that's all about to change now that the earliest surviving Christian Bible -- the 1,600-year-old Codex Sinaiticus -- is now online. It is said to even include the oldest complete copy of the New Testament.
Now high-resolution digital images of the recovered pages of the 4th century book -- written in Greek on parchment leaves -- have been made available at www.codexsinaiticus.org.
To celebrate the virtual re-unification of all extant leaves of Codex Sinaiticus, July 6th-7th 2009, the British Library is hosting an academic conference on topics relating to Codex Sinaiticus. A number of leading experts have been approached to give presentations on the history, text, conservation, paleography and codicology, among other topics, of Codex Sinaiticus.
The parts of this story that caught my eye?
> The name 'Codex Sinaiticus' literally means 'the Sinai Book'. It reflects two important aspects of the manuscript: its form and a very special place in its history.
> In the Codex, the text of both the Septuagint and the New Testament has been "heavily annotated by a series of early correctors".
> No other early manuscript of the Christian Bible has been so extensively corrected.
> A glance at the transcription will show just how common these corrections are. They are especially frequent in the Septuagint portion. They range in date from those made by the original scribes in the fourth century to ones made in the twelfth century. They range from the alteration of a single letter to the insertion of whole sentences.
> The Greek Septuagint in the Codex includes books not found in the Hebrew Bible and regarded in the Protestant tradition as apocryphal, such as 2 Esdras, Tobit, Judith, 1 & 4 Maccabees, Wisdom and Sirach. Appended to the New Testament are the Epistle of Barnabas and 'The Shepherd' of Hermas.
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