codex-sanaiticusThe Codex Sinaiticus was “rediscovered” on this day 154 years ago in the monastery of Saint Catherine, which is located at the foot of Mount Sinai in Egypt. The codex is one of the best surviving ancient handwritten copies of the Greek Bible. It is dated to between 325 and 360AD, and some scholars believe that it may have been one of the 50 copies of the Bible that the Emperor Constantine commissioned from the historian Eusebius.

The Codex Sinaiticus was separated into numerous different fragments, but the known parts include parts of the Old Testament including parts of the deuterocanonical apocrypha, almost all of the New Testament starting with the four Gospels, then followed by the epistles of Paul (including Hebrews), then the Acts of the Apostles, then the general epistles (letters of James, Peter, John and Jude),  then the Revelation, and finishing with the apocryphal writings the Epistle of Barnabas and the Shepherd of Hermas.

Like some other early manuscripts, the Codex Sinaiticus omits the story of the woman caught in adultery (John 7:53 to 8:11) and the long ending to the Gospel of Mark (Mark 16:9-20). The manuscript also contains numerous other minor omissions and textual variants when compared with other ancient manuscripts.

2 Responses to “Codex Sinaiticus”

  1. James Snapp, Jr. says:

    Whaddaya mean, “like most other early manuscripts” it omits Mark 16:9-20? Only one other early Greek manuscript, Codex Vaticanus, does not include any text from Mark 16:9-20. When we collect all manuscripts of Mark 16, in all languages, produced before the year 700, the number of copies that do not contain any text from verses 9-20 is exactly five (Vaticanus, Sinaiticus, the Sinaitic Syriac, the Old Latin Codex Bobbiensis, and one Sahidic copy). (Also, it’s “Sinaiticus,” as you spelled in the title, not “Sanaiticus.”)

  2. john says:

    Thank you for pointing out my spelling error, which I have corrected. I have also changed “most other early manuscripts” to “some other early manuscripts”. The NIV contains the statement “The earliest manuscripts and some other ancient witnesses do not have verses 9–20”. The CEB, CEV, ESV, Good News, HCSB, J B Phillips, Message, NASB, NCV, NET, NLT, and NRSV translations all contain footnotes doubting the reliability of the verses.

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