Codex Sinaiticus: The Only Book On Earth With No Price

By N. Mark Castro

SCATTERED in 4 different countries on earth, the Codex Sinaiticus is the oldest parchment at 1,600 and considered to be the most valuable possession of the entire Christendom, from which all Catholic and Christian interpretations emanate. Until the discovery by Tischendorf of the Codex Sinaiticus text, the Codex Vaticanus was unrivaled.

The Codex Sinaiticus is named after the Monastery of Saint Catherine, Mount Sinai, where it had been preserved until the middle of the nineteenth century. The principal surviving portion of the Codex, comprising 347 leaves, is now held by the British Library, 43 leaves are kept at the University Library in Leipzig, while parts of the six leaves are held at the National Library of Russia in Saint Petersburg. Further portions remain at Saint Catherine’s Monastery, where it was originally discovered.

With only 300 years separating the Codex Sinaiticus and the original manuscripts of the New Testament, it is considered to be very highly accurate, as opposed to most later copies, in preserving obviously superior readings where many later manuscripts are in error.

For the Gospels, Sinaiticus is generally considered among scholars as the most reliable witness of the text (after Vaticanus); in the Acts of the Apostles, its text is equal to that of Vaticanus; in the Epistles, Sinaiticus is the most reliable witness of the text. According to another source, the Greek Septuagint in the Codex includes books not found in the Hebrew Bible and regarded in the Protestant tradition as apocryphal, such as 2 Esdras, Tobit, Judith, 1 & 4 Maccabees, Wisdom and Sirach. Appended to the New Testament are the Epistle of Barnabas and ‘The Shepherd’ of Hermas, making it more accurate than any other interpretations of any pastor peddling his ideas on Christianity.

WHO IS THIS ST. CATHERINE AND WHERE IS HER CRIB?

Saint Catherine of Alexandria, also known as Saint Catherine of the Wheel and The Great Martyr Saint Catherine is a Christian saint and virgin, who was martyred in the early 4th century at the hands of the pagan emperor Maxentius. According to her hagiography, she was both a princess and a noted scholar, who became a Christian around the age of fourteen, and herself converted hundreds of people to Christianity. The story goes that St. Catherine denounced the emperor (Maxentius, or perhaps his father Maximian; hagiographers are not quite sure) for persecuting Christians. Although the emperor could have killed her on the spot, instead he tried to refute her arguments but found himself unable to match her sharp intellect. Therefore he gathered fifty philosophers, intelligent minds from throughout the kingdom, thinking they would be able succeed where he had failed. He was wrong.

When the arguments were all over and the conversation complete, they all converted to the Christian faith.

In retaliation the emperor had them burned alive before executing St. Catherine, as well. Her miracle occurred when she was subjected to torture to die on the wheel yet lived, and was beheaded instead.  Legend has it that St. Catherine’s body was carried to the site of the monastery by angels.  It is said that monks found her remains in 800 AD.

Over 1,100 years following her martyrdom, St. Joan of Arc identified Catherine as one of the Saints who appeared to her and counselled her.

THE CRIB

During Roman times, a monastery was built at the foot of Mount Sinai, the place where it is believed that Moses received the 10 Commandments from God.  The emperor Justinian ordered that a monastery be built on this location.  The monastery enclosed the chapel of the Burning Bush, which was ordered to be built by Helena, Constantine I’s mother to mark the site where Moses was supposed to have seen the burning bush.  It is said that the bush that is located there is the original bush from the story.

Though more commonly known as St. Catherine’s Monastery, its real name is The Sacred and Imperial Monastery of the God Trodden Mount of Sinai.

The oldest record of monastic life at Sinai comes from the travel journal written in Latin by a woman named Egeria about 381-384. She visited many places around the Holy Land and Mount Sinai, where, according to the Hebrew Bible, Moses received the Ten Commandments from God. St. Catherine is the name of both the monastery and city located at an elevation of 1586 m, and it’s 120 km away from the closest city, Dahab.

GLOBAL IMPACT

Three years ago, CNN WORLD reported its findings about the Codex Sinaiticus revealing that “some familiar — very important — passages are missing, including verses dealing with the resurrection of Jesus.”

This is not to debate the authenticity of the resurrection of Jesus the Christ or his godhood. But it would do well to review how the preachers and pastors submit their interpretations of the holy books. Religion, after all, can be such a heady experience and we’ve seen how organized religion has failed its flock time and again: from sex scandals to grave abuse of financial contributions. Indeed, it has likewise contributed to mankind’s morality, but an argument can be said that all the existing global conflict can be attributed to the disparity of religion.

Sometimes you wonder if we are indeed created in the image and likeness of God … or we’ve created Him to be our own image and likeness based on the interpretations.

And while you’re at it … where in the entire original transcript can you find — from the Quran to the Holy Bible — that He is a He?

But that’s another story.

About Asmartrock

N. Mark Castro is the chief political communications strategist for PT AsiaLeads, a political and communications policy-making body based in Jakarta, Indonesia. He is also the Executive Director at the Southeast Asia Consulting Group, an investment advisory company assisting clients roll out their presence for the ASEAN Economic Integration in partnership with government. The views posted here are his own and do not in any way reflect the views of the companies he represents.

Posted on August 2, 2012, in General, Politics, Religion and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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