Times Magazine introduced the Codex Sinaiticus project together with some facts about the book. Codex Sinaiticus is a manuscript containing the Christian Bible in Greek. It is said to be the first book in human history. It was handwritten, or transcribed, over 1600 years ago. Before that, manuscripts were written on sheets of animal skin or papyrus paper, sometimes glued together to form a roll, or scroll. Codex Sinaiticus is the first one found in bound book form.
The book got its name because it was found in Saint Catherines Monastery in Mount Sinai. During the nineteenth century, events of war and exploration caused parts of the books to be transferred to other countries. Today, the book is in four portions kept separately in the British Library, the Library of the University of Leipzig, the National Library of Russia in Saint Petersburg, and the Monastery of Saint Catherines. The Codex Sinaiticus project is a collaboration of these four institutions. They offered their kept portions to be digitized and made the book complete to be read online. At its website, we can now see the complete book of Codex Sinaiticus, together with the image of the original pages, a clear transcription, and translation in four languages.
In the first century, Christians were scattered by the Romans around the middle east, down to Egypt and up to Turkey. Each community had its own gospel claimed to be the words of god. When Constantine I legalized Christianity and made it a governing tool, all these gospels were gathered and made into one book, the precursor of the Bible. Codex Sinaiticus was one of such products at the time. However, the contents of various gospels were not unique and many were contradictory. As a result, some of the words of god were censored by men and many gospels not adhering to the story were banned. Some of them have now re-emerged like the Gospel of Philip and the Gospel of Judas, much to the amazement of the modern Christians who fiercely deny them. Codex Sinaiticus is the prime evidence of what the Bible was like back then. It contains many manuscripts which were subsequently censored out.
You may have heard from the preachers that the Bible is the best and correct book because it was edited thoroughly for over 200 years. Actually the Bible was edited by men as soon as Codex Sinaiticus was composed. Just imagine men changing the words of god, which is a grudge of the fundamentalists. The original manuscript shows that there were over 27,000 corrections in Codex Sinaiticus which include much erasures, additions, and substitutions. The Bible we are reading now is not what was said 2000 year ago.
Another question about the Codex Sinaiticus is why it was written in Greek. The words of god as spoken to the apostles, if you believe it was the case, were supposedly in Hebrew. There were no written text at that time and the gospels in their various form were probably passed on as verbal memory. Several hundred years later, gospel manuscripts appeared in Asia Minor (Turkey) and Egypt (Coptic) where ancient Greek was the dominant language. Thus manuscripts presented to the court were all in Greek. It is like we now in the 21st century write books on the history of the beginning of the Qing Dynasty more than 350 years ago. Some may say that the Codex Sinaiticus is a translation of the words of god. Translation is not a good word for the Bible because it means something derived from the words of other men. To make the delusion more believable, we have versions of the Bible instead. It is like King Jame’s staff also heard the words of god, likewise the Chinese version. I just read from the news that a new Chinese version of the Bible is being published. The author also claimed a revelation from god.