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Codex Sinaiticus: The Discovery of the World's Oldest Bible

Product no.: 978-1585093670
The author, Constantine Tischendorf, was one of the world’s leading biblical scholars of his time.

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Publisher's Synopsis
He spent much of his life searching for ancient biblical manuscripts, with his primary goal being to provide the world with the earliest scriptures in existence. Starting in 1844 Tischedorf’s greatest discovery was made. While visiting St. Catherine’s monastery in the Sinai, he found what would later be confirmed as the oldest complete New Testament bible ever found. Most of the Old Testament was included as well. This book is his entire first-hand account of this amazing discovery, followed by his assessment of its historical importance.

It took him three trips, altogether, to convince those in the monastery to trust him and allow this bible to be shared with the world. Most of it was brought to Russia, but it was later sold to the British Museum in 1933 after they bought it from the Russian government for 100,000 British pounds. The Mount Sinai Manuscript of the Bible, also included here in this Book Tree published edition, was written shortly after the arrival of the manuscript in England. It outlines the known history of this bible and its importance to the world. Today, after years of study by scholars, this codex has revealed what the original scriptures may have looked like and what portions could have been later added.

"Sinaiticus codex, usually designated by the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, is one of the most valuable of ancient MSS of the Greek New Testament. On the occasion of a third visit to the convent of St. Catherine, on Mount Sinai, in 1859, it was discovered by Dr. Tischendorf. He had on a previous visit in 1844 obtained forty-three parchment leaves of the LXX, which he deposited in the university library of Leipsic, under the title of the Codex Frederico-Augustanus, after his royal patron the king of Saxony. In the year referred to (1859) the emperor of Russia sent him to prosecute his search for MSS, which he was convinced were still to be found in the Sinai convent.

The story of his finding the manuscript of the New Testament has all the interest of a romance. He reached the convent on 31st January; but his inquiries appeared to be fruitless. On the 4th February he had resolved to return home without having gained his object. On that day, when walking with the provisor of the convent, he spoke with much regret of his ill-success. Returning from their promenade, Tischendorf accompanied the monk to his room, and there had displayed to him what his companion called a copy of the LXX, which he, the ghostly brother, owned. The MS was wrapped up in a piece of cloth, and on its being unrolled, to the surprise and delight of the critic the very document presented itself which he had given up all hope of seeing.

His object had been to complete the fragmentary LXX of 1844, which he had declared to be the most ancient of all Greek codices on vellum that are extant; but he found not only that, but a copy of the Greek New Testament attached, of the same age, and perfectly complete, not wanting a single page or paragraph. This precious fragment, after some negotiations, he obtained possession of, and conveyed it to the Emperor Alexander, who fully appreciated its importance, and caused it to be published as nearly as possible in facsimile, so as to exhibit correctly the ancient handwriting."        ~Easton Illustrated Dictionary

"By the end of the month of January I had reached the Convent of Mount Sinai. The mission with which I was entrusted entitled me to expect every consideration and attention. The prior, on saluting me, expressed a wish that I might succeed in discovering fresh supports for the truth. His kind expression of goodwill was verified even beyond his expectations.

After having devoted a few days in turning over the manuscripts of the convent, not without alighting here and there on some precious parchment or other, I told my Bedouins, on the 4th February, to hold themselves in readiness to set out with their dromedaries for Cairo on the 7th, when an entirely fortuitous circumstance carried me at once to the goal of all my desires.

On the afternoon of this day I was taking a walk with the steward of the convent in the neighbourhood, and as we returned, towards sunset, he begged me to take some refreshment with him in his cell. Scarcely had he entered the room, when, resuming our former subject of conversation, he said: 'And I, too, have read a Septuagint'--i.e. a copy of the Greek translation made by the Seventy. And so saying, he took down from the corner of the room a bulky kind of volume, wrapped up in a red cloth, and laid it before me. I unrolled the cover, and discovered, to my great surprise, not only those very fragments which, fifteen years before, I had taken out of the basket, but also other parts of the Old Testament, the New Testament complete, and, in addition, the Epistle of Barnabas and a part of the Pastor of Hermas.

Full of joy, which this time I had the self-command to conceal from the steward and the rest of the community, I asked, as if in a careless way, for permission to take the manuscript into my sleeping chamber to look over it more at leisure. There by myself I could give way to the transport of joy which I fat. I knew that I held in my hand the most precious Biblical treasure in existence--a document whose age and importance exceeded that of all the manuscripts which I had ever examined during twenty years' study of the subject."

Konstantin von Tischendorf, in full Lobegott Friedrich Konstantin Von Tischendorf, (born January 18, 1815, Lengenfeld, Saxon Vogtland [now Saxony, Germany]—died December 7, 1874, Leipzig), German biblical critic who made extensive and invaluable contributions to biblical textual criticism, famous for his discovery of the Codex Sinaiticus, a celebrated manuscript of the Bible.

Author Tischendorf, Constantine
Coauthor Trustees of the British Museum
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 112 pp.
Publisher Book Tree 2016
Browse these categories as well: The Historical Christ, Biblical Exegesis and Pseudepigrapha, Spiritual Biography and Autobiography, Noteworthy Releases 2016

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