Medieval manuscripts blog

Bringing our medieval manuscripts to life

24 January 2011

Codex Sinaiticus Facsimile Published

The printed facsimile of Codex Sinaiticus, the fourth-century biblical manuscript containing the oldest surviving complete New Testament, has just been published by British Library Publishing. It is the last major output of the international Codex Sinaiticus Project which began in November 2002 and involved close collaboration between us here at the British Library and the other three institutions which hold parts of the manuscript: Leipzig University Library, St Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai, and the National Library of Russia. The printed facsimile reunites the surviving parts of the Codex, as does the project's website, completed in July 2009. New digital photography of the whole manuscript during the project provided the images for both the website, with its new electronic transcription of the text, and for the facsimile.

The printed facsimile of Codex Sinaiticus.  

The facsimile is an enormous and extremely heavy book. It has 832 very large pages measuring 340 x 420 mm and retails for £495. I can't swear that it's available in all good bookshops, but it's definitely available in the British Library shop.

Our collaborator on the Codex Sinaiticus Project, Professor David Parker of the University of Birmingham, who led the creation of the new electronic transcription for the project's website, recently published his brilliant book, Codex Sinaiticus: The Story of the World's Oldest Bible. It's also available through the BL's online (and onsite) shop, for only £20!


Very, very nice facsimile and wonderful, that all partners did agree to publish this tremandous treasure of Biblehistory!
BUT the colour is not identical with the Original and why is the facsimile smaller then the original pages? All pages have a lot of white unprinted material around printed leafes and it was not necesarry to reduce the size for 5%. The attached booklet is a little bit dissapointing and it lacks a lot of information. Compared with the 1:1 facsimile of the Codex Vaticanus (which is of course much more exppensive)This facsimile is not so original like that Vaticanus but it is for the first time, that the pages from the findings in St. Catherine Monastery from 1975 are published and this alone is the facsimile worth.
Thanks a lot for this bible!
Alexander Schick
Qumran- & Bibleexhibition Sylt

The Leipzig pages were made darker to match the British Library pages. My conjecture is that the editors did not want people noticing the colour disparity, which might indicate that the manuscript was artificially coloured between 1844 and 1859.

Nobody at the British Library or at Hendrickson has taken responsibility for this tampering.

In producing the facsimile, the British Library worked closely with the facsimile publishers, Hendrickson, to achieve the optimal balance between faithfulness to the original manuscript and legibility of the text.

Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts, The British Library

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