Source Pravda.Ru

Oldest Christian Bible Available Online

About 800 pages of the world's oldest surviving Bible have been pieced together and published on the Internet for the first time, experts in Britain said Monday.

The Codex Sinaiticus, written in Greek on parchment leaves in the fourth century, is available online in a project involving institutions in Britain, Germany, Egypt and Russia which held different parts of the ancient book, AFP reports.

Discovered in a monastery in the Sinai desert in Egypt, the handwritten Codex Sinaiticus includes two books that are not part of the official New Testament and at least seven books that are not in the Old Testament.

The New Testament books are in a different order, and include numerous handwritten corrections -- some made as much as 800 years after the texts were written, according to scholars who worked on the project of putting the Bible online. The changes range from the alteration of a single letter to the insertion of whole sentences.

And some familiar - very important - passages are missing, including verses dealing with the resurrection of Jesus, they said.

Juan Garces, the British Library project curator, said 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, CNN International reports.

Commenting on this Scot McKendrick, head of Western manuscripts at the British Library, said the book "offers a window into the development of early Christianity and firsthand evidence of how the text of the Bible was transmitted from generation to generation," The Associated Press reports.