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The British Library gives greatest treasure away

Updated: Sep 2, 2021

Ok…it will only be temporarily.

However, the fact is that one of the world’s most important books will go to the British Museum. The Codex Sinaiticus has only been lent once before, in 1990,  also to the British Museum.

This time it will be part of an exhibition exploring 1,200 years of Christian, Islamic and Jewish faith in Egypt after the pharaohs.

Codex Sinaiticus is dating back to the 4th century AD, shortly after the reign of the Emperor Constantine the Great, and contains the earliest complete manuscript of the New Testament. It is handwritten in Greek by four different scribes (the number has never been confirmed) and contains some 27,000 corrections. It is, however, still a very fine book despite the activity going on between lines, and all over the place. In 1933 the Codex Sinaiticus was bought from the Soviet Union.

Dr. Scot McKendrick, head of western manuscripts at the Library, told The Guardian: “Since it arrived in the 1930s it has always been one of the greatest treasures in the collection.”

Since 2009 the codex has been made available in an online version.

The reason for that is simple. The Museum wanted to make it accessible for as many people as possible that are not able to see it in person. The very same reason why Willy Wiedmann’s son took on the mission to digitalize „The Wiedmann Bible“. It is surely not the world’s oldest but definitely the world’s longest painted Bible. With a total length of a little over mile, it is hard to be fit into a bag. Therefore an online version has been made available which you can find here: The Wiedmann Bible


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