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British Library Puts Oldest Surviving Bible Online

kdawson posted about 5 years ago | from the greek-to-me dept.

The Internet 568

Peace Corps Library writes "BBC reports that about 800 pages of the earliest surviving Christian Bible, the 1,600-year-old Codex Sinaiticus manuscript, have been recovered and put on the Internet. 'The Codex Sinaiticus is one of the world's greatest written treasures,' says Dr. Scot McKendrick, head of Western manuscripts at the British Library. 'This 1,600-year-old manuscript offers a window into the development of early Christianity and first-hand evidence of how the text of the Bible was transmitted from generation to generation.' The New Testament of the Codex Sinaiticus appears in Koine Greek, the original vernacular language, and the Old Testament in the version, known as the Septuagint, that was adopted by early Greek-speaking Christians. For 1,500 years, the Codex Sinaiticus lay undisturbed in a Sinai monastery until it was found in 1844 and split between Egypt, Russia, Germany, and Britain. It is thought to have survived because the desert air was ideal for preservation and because the monastery, on a Christian island in a Muslim sea, remained untouched, its walls unconquered. The British Library is marking the online launch of the manuscript with an exhibition which includes a range of historic items and artifacts linked to the document. 'The availability of the virtual manuscript for study by scholars around the world creates opportunities for collaborative research that would not have been possible just a few years ago.'"

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First Post? (-1, Troll)

slack_justyb (862874) | about 5 years ago | (#28611127)

Okay you can safely mod me down.

Re:First Post? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28611255)

Linux just isn't ready for the desktop yet. It may be ready for the web servers that you nerds use to distribute your TRON fanzines and personal Dungeons and Dragons web-sights across the world wide web, but the average computer user isn't going to spend months learning how to use a CLI and then hours compiling packages so that they can get a workable graphic interface to check their mail with, especially not when they already have a Windows machine that does its job perfectly well and is backed by a major corporation, as opposed to Linux which is only supported by a few unemployed nerds living in their mother's basement somewhere. The last thing I want is a level 5 dwarf (haha) providing me my OS.

me too (-1, Troll)

nausea_malvarma (1544887) | about 5 years ago | (#28611279)

shitdick asspussy cock fuck

Re:me too (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28611607)

which is the verb?

Crowdsource it (4, Funny)

Viadd (173388) | about 5 years ago | (#28611129)

But is it wiki'd so that people can make corrections to it?

Re:Crowdsource it (5, Funny)

hansraj (458504) | about 5 years ago | (#28611185)

Yes, but you need to be in God-mode for the editing feature to be enabled.

Re:Crowdsource it (4, Funny)

davegravy (1019182) | about 5 years ago | (#28611281)

That's a redundant security feature. God won't allow changes to the work that are not intended by Him.

Re:Crowdsource it (4, Insightful)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | about 5 years ago | (#28611839)

And since God is infallible, there are no changes that were not intended by Him!

Written Before Christianity Was PAGANIZED (4, Interesting)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | about 5 years ago | (#28611319)

1600 years old, from earlier manuscripts that pre-date Constantine's adoption of Christianity as a state religion.

It has no mention of a resurrection.

For example, St Mark's Gospel ends 12 verses before later, revised, versions - omitting the appearance of the resurrected Jesus Christ.

The incorporation of Osiris/Attys/Adonis/Mithras cultism, which dominated the eastern empire with it's symbolic resurrection theology was key to the success of Constantine's venture. It was so deeply held a belief, the bishops under Constantine may not even have realized they were fabricating and innovating.

Re:Written Before Christianity Was PAGANIZED (1, Flamebait)

grub (11606) | about 5 years ago | (#28611455)


Oh dear, all the cults that have built up a belief system based on some come-back-to-life myth are going to be pissed.

.

Re:Written Before Christianity Was PAGANIZED (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28611515)

By the looks of GPs moderation, they are.. and they're here! Rabid christians! Run for your life!

Re:Written Before Christianity Was PAGANIZED (-1, Troll)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | about 5 years ago | (#28611759)

God is my favorite fictional character.

Religion is beautiful from artistic and literary standpoints, but everything goes wrong when people actually believe that shit.

J.S. Bach wrote some good shit in God's name as he fooled around with maids in the wine cellar and beat up his bassoon player in a streetfight. Fortunately people no longer need to evoke god in order to have an audience appreciate their art. In fact, quite the opposite. Christian "rock" music? WaHAHAHAhahahah! And the Muslim shit ain't all that good either, unless you like buzzing and droning yourself into a hateful trance.

Re:Written Before Christianity Was PAGANIZED (1)

JustOK (667959) | about 5 years ago | (#28611669)

I'm watching the MJ Memorial live and I....omg he popped out of his casket!!!!! He's alive!!!!!!

Re:Written Before Christianity Was PAGANIZED (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 5 years ago | (#28611629)

...Yet why would many of the followers of Christ before that time go to their deaths believing it if it were a lie? I mean, if you helped lead a lie about a resurrection would you die because of it? Or would you simply shut up when people threatened you? Yet there is no evidence that any of them did that. Why would Paul write so strongly about the resurrection even in prison? Heck, why would Paul leave his life of luxury as a Jewish leader stoning Christians if he didn't experience something supernatural?

Re:Written Before Christianity Was PAGANIZED (0)

frosty_tsm (933163) | about 5 years ago | (#28611863)

If only I had mod points as this is a well-written retort to a troll post.

Re:Written Before Christianity Was PAGANIZED (-1, Troll)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | about 5 years ago | (#28611865)

You can believe in Jesus as the embodiment of God on earth without a material resurrection. You can experience the direct presence of God - as directed and refined through Jesus' perfect realization of the Holy Spirit - without a material resurrection.

God is alive, and all else is dead in contrast.

Material resurrection is for scholars, theologians and other ignorant classes of people, who are attached to their own material beings at the expense of their spiritual reality. Consequently they value a material resurrection as a superior state, tho' it represents an inferior condition.

To them, they look towards an afterlife that differs little from the present material life, except in enhancement of those qualities in this life towards which they have attached a superior value.

There is no material correlation to the experience of a next world. No one is waiting for you, other than God. No one will be reunited, except for the spirit with God.

Other than this can only be described as paganism.

Re:Written Before Christianity Was PAGANIZED (2, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | about 5 years ago | (#28611893)

if you helped lead a lie about a resurrection would you die because of it? Or would you simply shut up when people threatened you?

Let's see....

Crusades, kill the infedels.
Spanish Inquizition, kill those that dont agree, infedels.

Catholic church rips you a new anus when you question them, damned infidels!

The holy catholic church is incredibly powerful. Anyone challenging their stance is put as a nutjob to the world. (I wish we could go back to killing infidels!)

Re:Written Before Christianity Was PAGANIZED (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28611939)

because Constantine rejected Transubstantiation dude.

Re:Written Before Christianity Was PAGANIZED (3, Interesting)

RDW (41497) | about 5 years ago | (#28611631)

'It has no mention of a resurrection.'

I see this is currently modded as 'Troll', since the Codex obviously has many such references. However, the other possibility is that Philip is unwittingly viewing the manuscript using an Evil Tool of the Devil [blogspot.com] .

Re:Written Before Christianity Was PAGANIZED (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | about 5 years ago | (#28611699)

If you ever see Bill Moyers' interview with Joseph Campbell (The Power of Myth), he actually shows you statues of Osiris and Horus that inspired images of Mary and baby Jesus.

Re:Written Before Christianity Was PAGANIZED (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28611797)


FTA: "it should be no surprise that the ancient text is not quite the same as the modern one, since the Bible has developed and changed over the years."

Isn't the bile-ball supposed to be the unerring word of a god? How the fuck does that change? Christian fuckheads are going to be screaming over this. lolol

Re:Written Before Christianity Was PAGANIZED (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28611883)

It's true that Sinaticus's version of Mark doesn't contain a narration of the resurrection, or any post-resurrection appearances. However, its text assumes and implies as an absolute certainty that the resurrection is going to happen -- Jesus predicts his death, he tells the story of the temple being torn down and built up again in three days, and so on. So while it's interesting that the shorter ending of Mark is different, even though Mark is the oldest gospel, and even though most scholars think that the non-resurrection version is closer to what the original author wrote, we still don't have a version of any of the gospels that doesn't presume the resurrection as the basis of Christianity.

Re:Crowdsource it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28611355)

Unfortunately, <ref>because I said so</ref> is considered valid citation.

Re:Crowdsource it (0, Offtopic)

haifastudent (1267488) | about 5 years ago | (#28611337)

That would just start another Texas war:
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2007/07/25/texas-doomed/ [discovermagazine.com]
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2009/03/26/texas-from-saved-to-doomed-in-just-6-hours/ [discovermagazine.com]

And maybe Arizona too:
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2009/07/06/arizona-is-6000-years-old/ [discovermagazine.com]

In any case, when Phil posts about astronomy (like the name of the blog suggests) it is a great read.

Someone uploaded a book!?!? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28611163)

...Why is this news again? I forgotted.

Re:Someone uploaded a book!?!? (1)

mercosmique (1415693) | about 5 years ago | (#28611209)

Well, unlike most regular books that are uploaded, having this one accessible on the net 'creates opportunities for collaborative research that would not have been possible just a few years ago.'

Re:Someone uploaded a book!?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28611615)

That colaborative research cant be done in the US.
There is no record of many of the authors dying so the work may still be copyrighted for the next 70+ years.

On a side note.. as there is no mention of the resurection in this bible.. so it cant be used as prior art to prove all the
zombie films & games coming out recently are all unoriginal drivel.

Genesis I (5, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 5 years ago | (#28611175)

1 In the begining was the psot. And it was frist.
2 And yea, I faileth it.

Re:Genesis I (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 5 years ago | (#28611361)

Mod not down, lest ye be metammodded.

Re:Genesis I (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28611529)

Mod not down, lest ye be metammodded.

What a self serving troll. Not even as funny as the lolcat bible [lolcatbible.com] .

Potential for translations (5, Funny)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | about 5 years ago | (#28611187)

I'm really interested to see what different translators come up with. Now that it's been made available, there is going to be a wonderful opportunity to compare translations and interpretations from a much more 'original' source.

Though, I have this nagging feeling that "And it was Good" might also be interpreted as "Sorry for the inconvenience."

Re:Potential for translations (1)

Gocho (16619) | about 5 years ago | (#28611321)

A translation will only be recognized by the Catholic Church if 70 million translators come up with the the exact word-for-word document while working in isolation.

Re:Potential for translations (5, Interesting)

jwthompson2 (749521) | about 5 years ago | (#28611323)

The text of Sinaiticus has been reviewed by scholars already and is part of the critical apparatus used to construct the UBS and NA modern Greek texts of the New Testament. Never mind that we also have manuscripts of individual books that predate even Sinaiticus by 200 years. This is an interesting development in terms of making the text more broadly available, but the impact of Sinaiticus on the actual translations we use today has already happened.

From the standpoint of textual criticism and biblical translation this is a non-story. From the standpoint of broad accessibility this is a great development. Remember that serious scholars have been able to get facsimiles for this text for years...

Re:Potential for translations (2, Funny)

peragrin (659227) | about 5 years ago | (#28611329)

Actually I plan on pointing out the major discrepencies as a sign that the bible is in fact fallible and has been manipulated to change it's message over the centuries. With several additonal books that aren't in the current versions one has to wonder why the "words of god" Would be left out. I don't ever expect a reasonable answer. Because trolling religous nutjobs is always fun until they hang you for being a heretic.

Re:Potential for translations (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 5 years ago | (#28611517)

Actually I plan on pointing out the major discrepencies as a sign that the bible is in fact fallible and has been manipulated to change it's message over the centuries.

What major discrepancies? Yes, there have been a few changes over the years by different translators, typos, etc. But I don't think any of them could be considered major. There are many different ways to translate things from any language. And there weren't any copiers back when the first books first came out. Yes, we can't pretty much be guaranteed that Paul's letters that are in the bible differ slightly from those Paul himself wrote. However, the message is kept constant. If you question the bible with several old sources, you would have to put the same scrutiny in a lot of other historical texts to make sure they haven't been manipulated through the ages where we have a whole lot less evidence than with the bible.

With several additonal books that aren't in the current versions one has to wonder why the "words of god" Would be left out.

...Because they contain contradictions compared to the other books? And how do you mean that they have been left out? Any person who has had any type of Christian training for anything high ranking has studied the books. Just because they aren't in everyone's Wal-Mart bibles doesn't mean that they aren't studied, just that most Christians and the early church doubted that they came from God.

Solve it once and for all (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | about 5 years ago | (#28611763)

Just copy and paste the whole thing into bablefish and click translate.

Re:Potential for translations (-1, Flamebait)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | about 5 years ago | (#28611571)

Actually I plan on pointing out the major discrepencies as a sign that the bible is in fact fallible and has been manipulated to change it's message over the centuries.

And...? I mean, your point being...?

There's many, many Christian denominations which recognize the Bible as being fallible and contradictory (One of them got to be pretty big, actually: They call themselves the Roman Catholic Church). These denominations rely upon theologians a lot smarter than you or I to tie the last 2000 years of Christian writings together.

But keep talking and carrying on as if Christians care about your ill-informed rants. I understand that Psychobabble is one of the Atheist Fundamentalist sacraments, and you've got freedom to practice your (rather strident and bigoted) religion same as anyone else. But please, don't believe the Christians think of you as a "heretic." Most likely they're not thinking of you at all.

Re:Potential for translations (3, Informative)

jwthompson2 (749521) | about 5 years ago | (#28611601)

The additional books are typical for this period of church history. In the fourth century the church was hashing out the canon of Scripture as evidenced by Sinaiticus, Vaticanus and the various letters that circulated from church leaders discussing the issue. What is more interesting is that Sinaiticus doesn't exclude any of the now recognized books, it only adds to the list. And never mind that certain Christians still hold that these other books are at least useful if not wholly inspired works. If you take the historical context into account your "discrepancies" and objections are not nearly as substantial, especially if you entertain the idea that God works through the processes of history.

Re:Potential for translations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28611869)

Nice rant from a christian apologist.

Re:Potential for translations (4, Insightful)

camperdave (969942) | about 5 years ago | (#28611693)

Variants in the text are already noted in the footnotes of most bible translations. As another poster mentioned earlier, this is a non-event as far as textual criticism goes. Scholars have had access to photographic copies and to the genuine article for decades. What makes this newsworthy is that now non-scholars have some access.

Re:Potential for translations (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 5 years ago | (#28611917)

Those aren't discrepancies.

It's just a fork.

Re:Potential for translations (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 years ago | (#28611333)

Unfortunately, hosting images on the net is substantially easier than disseminating knowledge of Koine Greek, so that will be a largely theoretical benefit.

Don't get me wrong, a world where I could, with enough effort, check is better than a world where I can't check at all(and a world where I can check with less effort is better than one where I can check only with more effort); and I suspect that this will be a boon for any scholars who don't have the time, money, or access to go to the British Library, put on the white cotton document gloves, and see the thing in person. It just seems like one of those situations where the fact that "information" is far easier than "knowledge"(much less "understanding") becomes an issue.

It's not just NT Greek (3, Insightful)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | about 5 years ago | (#28611915)

You also need to understand the world view of the people who were writing it. Understanding NT Greek is a lot more than just a reading knowledge. It's the "lifetime study" category of things, which is why this document is of very little use to so many people. (And no, I know just enough to have an idea of the sheer amount I don't know.) It's a bit like putting the data from the LHC on line for anybody to look at; very few if any people who don't currently have access will be able to draw any meaningful conclusions from it.

Re:Potential for translations (1)

loteck (533317) | about 5 years ago | (#28611435)

Indeed, it has already been noted that "some [cnn.com] familiar -- very important -- passages are missing, including verses dealing with the resurrection of Jesus". With the Christian faith being so dependent on the Bible being "God's perfect word", one wonders what the religion will look like in another few hundred years given its rampant re-translation and re-interpretation. The Bible that we read today is vastly, vastly different than the one on display in TFA.

Re:Potential for translations (1)

pluther (647209) | about 5 years ago | (#28611681)

It'll probably look like Catholicism, or other branches which place higher importance on faith, tradition, and study than on "literal" interpretations of one book.

Not all, or even the majority, of Christians are fundamentalists. They're just the loudest, and the ones most commonly found preaching on TV.

Re:Potential for translations (1)

JustOK (667959) | about 5 years ago | (#28611685)

or "Thanks for all the fish."

I found one!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28611195)

There's a misspelling on page 3.

/. is (1, Troll)

Sybert42 (1309493) | about 5 years ago | (#28611241)

atheist.

Wow, that took awhile! (0, Redundant)

filesiteguy (695431) | about 5 years ago | (#28611247)

Honestly, I remember reading some /. article a few years back about this coming online back in '05 (?) and being very disappointed it wasn't there yet.

Of course, it would help if I read Koine Greek...

Celebrate! (4, Funny)

i.r.id10t (595143) | about 5 years ago | (#28611249)

..... and the old priest looked at the original copy, and came out crying.

When asked why, he looked at the young novice and said "the word is CELEBRATE not CELIBATE"

Re:Celebrate! (4, Informative)

Matimus (598096) | about 5 years ago | (#28611597)

I know you are joking, but the Bible says nothing about priests or celibacy. That was invented by the catholic church in the 12th century so the church could get around paying for the children of priests.

Celibacy was not the intent (3, Interesting)

mangu (126918) | about 5 years ago | (#28611887)

If you look into 1 Timothy, chapter 3 -

"2: A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
3: Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
4: One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
5: (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)"

you will see that it was not the intention of the church founders that priests should be celibate.

 

I demand you mod this comment down (-1, Offtopic)

nausea_malvarma (1544887) | about 5 years ago | (#28611253)

because it's full of curse words. PISSFUCK SHITCOCK MOTHERFUCKER

Finally... (3, Insightful)

jasonhfl (657075) | about 5 years ago | (#28611263)

a good use for technology instead of just another way to twitter/facebook/blog what you had for lunch.

Re:Finally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28611371)

a good use for technology instead of just another way to twitter/facebook/blog what you had for lunch.

J35U5: Ate bread, fish. Drank wine with some whores.

Re:Finally... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 5 years ago | (#28611747)

a good use for technology instead of just another way to twitter/facebook/blog what you had for lunch.

Please don't use the word "blog" in connection with lunch. Ralph either, for that matter. Now my stomach's queazy...

Is it copyrighted? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28611311)

Is it copyrighted? And if not, why not>.. we must allow the original authors and their heirs to make a decent living from this document. I hereby declare that I will be lobbying congress for a 1600-year extension to the current copyright period.

Re:Is it copyrighted? (1, Funny)

Gocho (16619) | about 5 years ago | (#28611351)

Disney? Is that you?

Re:Is it copyrighted? (2, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 years ago | (#28611391)

How do you calculate "life of author" if the author exists outside of time? Should we just assume that the clock starts ticking in 1882? [wikipedia.org]

Re:Is it copyrighted? (1)

funkatron (912521) | about 5 years ago | (#28611519)

You seem to have confused the author with one of the protagonists.

Re:Is it copyrighted? (2, Funny)

BotnetZombie (1174935) | about 5 years ago | (#28611567)

1. Author: God
2. Lifespan: Eternal
3. Copyright: Eternity + 50 years
4. ???
5. Profit!

Sweet (0, Troll)

sys.stdout.write (1551563) | about 5 years ago | (#28611353)

I always wondered what the Greek word for "sodomy" was..

Re:Sweet (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 5 years ago | (#28611595)

Translated from English to Greek and back, it translates as "Greek"

Why did the little Greek boy leave home? He didn't like the way he was being reared. Why did he come back? He didn't want to leave his little friends behind.

Re:Sweet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28611723)

Interesting. In Spain "un griego" is an act of sodomy. "Un frances" is a BJ :P.

Re:Sweet (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | about 5 years ago | (#28611745)

A slow Tuesday.

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28611359)

Jesus Christ!

The validity of this manuscript ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28611383)

The way this manuscript is being spun is as if this document supersedes individual manuscripts (basically all the books in the bible) that date from the first, second and third centuries for the NT and many from the OT that date as far back as the fourth century BCE. What's up with that?

Re:The validity of this manuscript ... (4, Informative)

schmidt349 (690948) | about 5 years ago | (#28611563)

If there's a substantial OT manuscript dating to the 4th cent. BCE on consensus then I'd love to see it.

The reason why Sinaiticus is so important is because it substantially a transcript of what is agreed to be the most accurate record of the original text of the New Testament. It's called the "Alexandrian text-type." Almost all of the tiny fragments that predate the fourth century (and they are very scanty indeed) agree with the text of Sinaiticus extensively. As a result, Bible scholars believe that the alterations we find in later manuscripts are untrustworthy corruptions rather than viable alternate readings.

As to the textual corruption that took place in the late first and second centuries AD we have very little evidence and therefore no remedy. Christians believe that God would not have permitted His word to be corrupted beyond our ability to understand it. I am an atheist and work extensively on ancient Greek textual criticism so you can imagine I do not have much patience for this point of view, but the fact is that the New Testament is the most well-attested ancient Greek or Latin text still in existence. Even Vergil's Aeneid, for which we have three manuscripts predating the fifth century CE, is not supported so well, and in the cases like the tragedies of Sophocles we are on much shakier footing.

Re:The validity of this manuscript ... (2, Insightful)

jwthompson2 (749521) | about 5 years ago | (#28611727)

The oldest complete Old Testment dates to the medieval period. The oldest complete manuscripts of a single book are part of the Dead Sea Scrolls which date to the second or third century AD. There are pieces of OT books in artifacts that are from the BC period, but not much.

We, honestly, know a lot more about the NT than we do the OT because of the larger manuscript collection.

Ancient Manuscripts in a Digital Age (4, Interesting)

schmidt349 (690948) | about 5 years ago | (#28611385)

Sinaiticus is arguably one of the most important discoveries in the history of the textual transmission of the New Testament. Add an exciting controversy involving either idiot Greek monks who had quite literally dumped it in the wastepaper bin or a conniving Russian manuscript hunter-turned-thief making up lies to cover his crimes and you've got a great story that never fails to turn up fundraising dollars.

That said, I wish they could produce software for the examination of the codex that doesn't suck. But because they refuse to release the database of manuscript photos for public download (even though, at least in the United States, those images are uncopyrightable and therefore in the public domain) enterprising folks like me can't build a better system and give it away to people. So you have to suffer with their terrible system if you want to examine the manuscript. It's typical conservator behavior, building unnecessary walls against access to information that should be free.

We really really need to start making sure that digital copies of the ancient literary patrimony are available for free with no conditions -- i.e., in the public domain, but apparently everyone is too interested in fighting for scarce research grant dollars to produce something that all of their academic competitors could use.

Re:Ancient Manuscripts in a Digital Age (1)

that IT girl (864406) | about 5 years ago | (#28611525)

Which, if you actually read the Bible, is exactly the opposite of what it says to do. "Go and share this with everyone," it says.

Not saying these people would be trying to follow it anyway, just... ironic.

Re:Ancient Manuscripts in a Digital Age (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 5 years ago | (#28611655)

But because they refuse to release the database of manuscript photos for public download (even though, at least in the United States, those images are uncopyrightable and therefore in the public domain) enterprising folks like me can't build a better system and give it away to people. So you have to suffer with their terrible system if you want to examine the manuscript.

What am I missing? If you have all the images in some sort of reasonable format and the images organized linearly (page 1, page 2 .... )what other info do you need?

Re:Ancient Manuscripts in a Digital Age (1)

schmidt349 (690948) | about 5 years ago | (#28611719)

We need to be able to download the full-resolution digital images of the manuscript (or something reasonable, say, 150DPI downsamples) and then redistribute them without restriction. But the British are the absolute worst monsters in terms of copyright restriction, and there's no way the British Library would ever permit that kind of freedom with the images.

Re:Ancient Manuscripts in a Digital Age (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 5 years ago | (#28611849)

That said, I wish they could produce software for the examination of the codex that doesn't suck.

You're a nerd, get on it!

We really really need to start making sure that digital copies of the ancient literary patrimony are available for free with no conditions

Agreed.

Bible 0.1.1-beta (1, Flamebait)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | about 5 years ago | (#28611399)

All these revisions ought to successfully reveal the "literal word of God" to be a pile of horsecrap. The "literal word of God" was decided by many committees of fallible men many times over that originated from unoriginal tall tales passed down by oral tradition for thousands of years.

Re:Bible 0.1.1-beta (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | about 5 years ago | (#28611753)

I'm not going to touch most of your point, since it'd be useless to do so, as you already had formed your opinion before getting your so-called revealing evidence. However, I have one minor point for you: you have quite the job cut out for you to convince the world that Jewish religion came from a bunch of tall tales decided by many committees of fallible men many times over, etc. The Jewish Old Testament is pretty old, far older than what the British library just put online.

So before you decide that - based on a 1600 year old book - that the whole thing is a load of bunk, you might want to reconcile the much older books with the much newer books and see how they fit together. Unless you want to claim that the Jewish OT books were written after the 1st century, too.

Re:Bible 0.1.1-beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28611803)

Uh. This people practice IGNORING REALITY as part of their religion. They haven't let facts interfere with their lunacy before, doubt they're going to start now.

Re:Bible 0.1.1-beta (1)

davegravy (1019182) | about 5 years ago | (#28611847)

Good luck proving to a believer that any "errors" made were not intended by God.

Re:Bible 0.1.1-beta (1)

kappa962 (1583621) | about 5 years ago | (#28611907)

Actually, these newly released manuscripts shed no new light on the subject. I don't think it has ever been disputed that the contents of the New Testament were canonized "by committee." Furthermore, it is generally assumed that "fallible men" were not only involved in the canonization, but also the actual writing. These things have never been contradictory to orthodox Christian belief.

Making the most of it (2, Insightful)

Spencerian (465343) | about 5 years ago | (#28611443)

This work should be helpful in the translation issues that some scholars and theologians have faced, or worse, perpetuate.

IMO, the most difficult problems in Bible translations is (1) bias based on a reader's idea of what things say and (2) literallist POVs that don't consider that idiom and metaphors in the text shouldn't be taken (ahem) as gospel. One example from a Catholic apologist is the modern statement "it's raining cats and dogs." We today know that means "it's raining very heavily." Write that down in a book, bury it for 2,000 years. What would people then think that phrase means. A literalist will honestly think that cats and dogs fell from the sky. A person skilled not only in translation but in the culture of the time knows it to be a figure of speech--and will NOT change the wording despite that understanding.

And that, in an oversimplified example, is why humankind went from one Christian church to over 23,000. It's become a matter of bad translation and/or interpretation.

Re:Making the most of it (2, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | about 5 years ago | (#28611801)

It does actually and literally rain cats and dogs. A few years ago I read about a storm where it rained frogs. That, indeed, is a BAD storm, one that contains tornados that can suck small animals ito the sky, where they'll land miles away. In 2006 it rained birds here in Springfield -- at least, judging by the vast number of dead birds in my neighborhood the next day. It also rained tree limbs, insulation, cardboard, nails, garbage, corrugated steel (which I saw in the tops of trees), and everything that wasn't nailed down and quite a few things that were nailed down. Two F-2 tornados make a category 1 hurricane look like a mild shower.

And that, in an oversimplified example, is why humankind went from one Christian church to over 23,000.

No, it went from one Christian church to many because the original was corrupted by men who pretended to be pious while actually being athiests, pulling all sorts of nonsense (like selling salvation). If your church is run by corrupt men, you need a new church.

Inferior translated holy works (0, Flamebait)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 5 years ago | (#28611489)

Contrast this book with the Holy Koran, which has not changed one iota since it was written, and is still readable in its original language. When the Holy Koran says something, it *means* it. "As for the man who steals and the woman who steals, cut off their hands as punishment for what they have earned, an exemplary punishment from God" is a real command from the real God who really exists (yes it's a translation into English, now get all po-mo on it). Other holy books go through revisions, get translated, have pages lost, etc etc - they can hardly be called the True Word of God at all. Mock all you want, this is deadly serious business to millions of people who share the world you live in. It is one more reason why the true followers of God look down on all other competing theologies.

Re:Inferior translated holy works (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 5 years ago | (#28611617)

So what you are saying is that anyone who does not speak the same dialect of Arabic as Mohamed cannot truly understand the word of God? Which effectively means that no one today understands the Koran because no one today speaks Arabic as it was spoken/written in the time of Mohamed.

Re:Inferior translated holy works (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 5 years ago | (#28611889)

Learn and understand [sacredlearning.org] . Memorizing the entirety of the Holy Koran in its original is common among clergy. Think about Classical Arabic like reading Chaucer or maybe Beowulf. And your reward isn't some moldy old piece of literature written by dead European white men, your reward is knowing exactly what God meant for you, and how He meant you to live your life. It's all there, right down to which hand to wipe with, and it is all 100% true and undistorted by the centuries.

Re:Inferior translated holy works (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 5 years ago | (#28611621)

The Qu'ran is over 500 years younger than much of the New Testament, and well over a thousand years younger than the Old Testament. That's like bragging that Macbeth is better than the Norse Sagas because we have a much better textual history for Shakespeare's plays than for Nordic mythology. In other words, it's a moronic, childish argument.

Re:Inferior translated holy works (2, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | about 5 years ago | (#28611689)

It is one more reason why the true followers of God look down on all other competing theologies.

Which is very nice, except everyone else also believes themselves to be true followers of God, has their own reasons for believing this and doesn't really care too much that the Koran hasn't changed.

(On a side note - the Koran may not have been translated but it must have been transcribed back in the days before printing presses. Further, I wonder if some words in Arabic have acquired slightly different meanings over the years....)

Re:Inferior translated holy works (1)

HikingStick (878216) | about 5 years ago | (#28611735)

I'll take the flame bait: http://www.answerbag.com/a_view/2564828 [answerbag.com] .

Looking at them solely as literary works, there are more extant copies of Christian epistles dating to within as few as 50 years of Christ than there for any ancient historical work. So, theology aside, there is greater likelihood that other texts are less corrupt than the Koran/Qur'an (the professed earliest texts of which are written in a dialect that did not appear in the historical record until at least 100 years after the texts were supposedly written).

Re:Inferior translated holy works (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28611757)

the real God who really exists

I'd like, no, love, to see you prove that.

No proof needed.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28611919)

...he'd rather just kill you for daring to question his religion.

Re:Inferior translated holy works (1)

jcdenhartog (840940) | about 5 years ago | (#28611779)

Not true, there is plenty of disagreement. You should read a book called 'Cracks In The Crescent', about a man who was a madrassa teaching assistant and muadhin (calls Muslims to pray) for Islam until he became disillusioned with all the discrepancies and contradictions. He provides countless examples to back up his point.

One of the more humorous examples is a story where he proves to several Muslims that Islam teaches that they will all go to hell.

Re:Inferior translated holy works (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | about 5 years ago | (#28611805)

Contrast this book with the Holy Koran, which has not changed one iota since it was written

The question is, who wrote it. I could write you a poem about the afterlife that had not been changed one iota. It means pretty much nothing though, because I'm nobody special.

Unchanged does not necessarily mean special, important, or true.

Finally (0, Redundant)

darqit (1040654) | about 5 years ago | (#28611507)

Took em long enough.

Can we now finally come to the conclusion religion is not all bad?

Can we now acknowledge some people need belief to help them in hard times? Or just give them direction or purpose?

Can we agree belief is not easily swept aside?

Can we believe that maybe there is a greater power out there?

If we can hopefully those ****ers can understand to value human life? And not fight wars in the name of The One, The True or whatever name is "hip" now. All religions in their purest from teach human live is precious and needs to be respected. ****ing act like it.

Yes I'm looking at you Iran, Israel, Europe, US and every other god-damn place. Just agree to disagree already. there are much more important issues that need solving.

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28611717)

But.... Their belief is wrong!

It's all Greek to me (3, Insightful)

192939495969798999 (58312) | about 5 years ago | (#28611537)

From the images they have of the document, it gives "its all Greek to me" a whole new meaning, and it prompts important questions, spiritally meaningful questions, like: What year did we invent the spacebar anyhow?

Table of Contents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28611653)

One of the more interesting aspects is the Biblical canon. It includes several books in modern Catholic Bibles but not Protestant Bibles. And several books not in either!

http://www.codex-sinaiticus.net/en/codex/content.aspx

Koine Greek huh? (1)

BitwiseX (300405) | about 5 years ago | (#28611705)

The New Testament of the Codex Sinaiticus appears in Koine Greek, the original vernacular language, and the Old Testament in the version, known as the Septuagint, that was adopted by early Greek-speaking Christians.

I just hope they aren't using Recaptcha [recaptcha.net] to digitize the text....My Koine Greek is a little rusty, and I'd like to be able to join forums..

Excellent news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28611711)

This is excellent news.

I've always wondered what bullshit smells like when it's fresh from the anus.

Be on the alert! (1)

TigerPlish (174064) | about 5 years ago | (#28611837)

Unconfirmed reports suggest that a half-japanese, half-english woman is making tremendous speed towards the British Library right now, and other reports further suggest this woman's sole interest is this bible.

Her appearance was given as short, well-built, blue-eyed, long shaggy unkempt black hair, rather mannish-looking squarish glasses, and an ability to manipulate paper in remarkable ways.

If spotted ring up the Paper Sisters Detective Co.

ta3uo (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28611855)

vioLated. In the

Info pulled from CNN article??? (1)

burtosis (1124179) | about 5 years ago | (#28611899)

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/07/24/online.bible/ [cnn.com]

Unless I am totally high, I remember the CNN article to have wording almost identical to this source when orginally posted:

http://www.bilalaliproductions.com/religion/oldest-known-bible-goes-online/ [bilalaliproductions.com]

Correct me if I am wrong (or hell this is /. correct me in any case) but I wonder if it hit too close to home to most of thier US audience. It will be nice when people are able to get all of this messy business of imperfect copying and editing proceedures mucking up the details. Not being a scholar, I was a bit suprised to find most (if not all) of the resection references to be missing. But I am sure a small detail like that won't shake anyones faith in what is real...

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