Codex Sinaiticus

The Codex Sinaiticus appeared out of obscurity around the middle of the 19th century when Tischendorf discovered it in Saint Catherine’s Monastery at Sinai in Egypt. Tischendorf believed it was created in the middle of the 4th century [2, p189]. He also believed that the Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus shared a common author [2, p189].

It is currently being held in the British Library with the shelfmark Add. MS 43725 [3, p375].

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1761 – Vitaliano Donati visits St. Catherine’s Monastery and records his experience in a journal that gets published in 1879. In this journal he possibly references the Codex Sinaiticus, but this idea is not certain.

1844 – Tischendorf discovers it in the monastery of St. Catherine on Mount Sinai.

1845 – Archimandrite Porphyrius Uspensky (1804–1885), at that time head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem, visits the monastery and the codex was shown to him, together with leaves which Tischendorf had not seen.

1846 – Captain C. K. MacDonald visits Mount Sinai, sees the codex, and buys two codices (495 and 496) from the monastery.

1846 – Tischendorf publishes their contents as the ‘Codex Friderico-Augustanus’ (in honor of Frederick Augustus and to keep secret the source of the leaves).

1853 – Tischendorf returns for the rest of the leaves but is denied them.

1859 – Tischendorf returns again but his time under the patronage of Tsar Alexander II of Russia. This time he is shown the codex.

1862 – Tischendorf prints an edition of the Sinaitic MS. in four volumes folio.

1863 – Silvester Davies quotes “a monk of Sinai who… stated that according to the librarian of the monastery the whole of Codex Sinaiticus had been in the library for many years and was marked in the ancient catalogues… Is it likely… that a manuscript known in the library catalogue would have been jettisoned in the rubbish basket?”

1911 – Kirsopp Lake publishes the complete New Testament of the codex.

1912 – Kirsopp Lake publishes the complete Old Testament of the codex.

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[1] –

[2] – Abbot, Ezra. “On the Comparative Antiquity of the Sinaitic and Vatican Manuscripts of the Greek Bible.” Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. 10, 1872, pp. 189–200. JSTOR, Accessed 17 July 2020.

[3] – Cross’ The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (2005). Accessed 17 July 2020.

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2 Comments on “Codex Sinaiticus

    • I hadn’t seen this specific presentation but I have seen David’s series on the codex and thought it was decent. Idk if Simonides was the forger but it is something I want to look into further when I’ve learned more about paleographic methods of authentication

      Liked by 1 person

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