As much as the title might sound like one, this is not a new MMORPG. One of the world’s oldest surviving bible, the Codex Sinaiticus is going online.
First let’s delve into some of the history here. The Codex Sinaiticus was written some time between 330 and 350 CE in uncial Greek. Along with the Codex Vaticanus, it is one of the oldest examples of a christian bible that we have and is sometimes associated with the fifty copies of the bible reputedly commissioned by Constantine upon his conversion. It contains portions of the Old Testament (the rest was lost to deterioration), a complete New Testament, the Epistle of Barnabas and portions of The Shepherd of Hermas. These last two are very interesting as they normally are not considered canonical by modern churches. In fact, the canonicity of The Shepherd of Hermas was apparently a source of dispute among early christian leaders.
There are a few pieces of interest in this codex, such as the fact that the Pericope Adulterae, or the Tale of the Adulteress, is not found here or in any of the earliest examples we have of the Gospel of John. I personally always liked the story as I took it to mean, take into consideration your own faults before you judge another. But then again I’m just as guilty of interpreting this through my own lens as any christian.
What I find fascinating is the method by which they scanned these extremely fragile documents into electronic form. Obviously they could not have employed your average scanner as that would have destroyed the documents. They are employing hyperspectral imaging to accomplish this.
According to wikipedia:
Hyperspectral imaging collects and processes information from across the electromagnetic spectrum. Unlike the human eye, which just sees visible light, hyperspectral imaging is more like the eyes of the mantis shrimp, which can see visible light as well as from the ultraviolet to infrared. Hyperspectral capabilities enable the mantis shrimp to recognize different types of coral, prey, or predators, all which may appear as the same color to the human eye.
Using this method, it is hoped that they can retrieve text that may have faded over the centuries.
All in all this is very cool. Now I have a place to point fundies who say that the King James Version is the true word of god. “Umm… Excuse me… This one is much older and has different contents. Please review.” Or maybe I’ll just download them on cheap thumb drives and offer them to the campus preachers.
Well that’s all for this post. I’ll swing back in later.
Ya Hya Chouhada Mua’dib!!!