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World's Oldest Bible Going Online

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the what-the-web-is-good-for dept.

Books 1183

99luftballon writes "The British Museum is putting online the remaining fragments of the world's oldest Bible. The Codex Sinaiticus dates to the fourth century BCE and was discovered in the 19th century. Very few people have seen it due to its fragile state — that and the fact that parts of it are in collections scattered across the globe. It'll give scholars and those interested their first chance to take a look. However, I've got a feeling that some people won't be happy to see it online, since it makes no mention of the resurrection, which is a central part of Christian belief."On Thursday the Book of Psalms and the Gospel According to Mark will go live at the Codex Sinaiticus site. The plan is to have all the material up, with translations and commentaries, a year from now.

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fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24300839)

fp for gnaa

Woohoo (0, Offtopic)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 6 years ago | (#24300843)

First comment on the oldest bible. Now that's something !

Oh noes! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24300845)

I'd like to know how the truly religious cope the fact that the book they read today has been rewritten over and over and perverted so many times that it can hardly reflect what was 'supposed' to be there.

Oh wait, faith.

...grumble grumble...

Re:Oh noes! (5, Funny)

dvice_null (981029) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301011)

"It's too risky for anybody to translate that [The Bible] into other languages. Mistakes can creep in... and that can lead to heresy. True Christians should only read English."

"If your original Hebrew disagrees with my original King James --- your original Hebrew is wrong. If your original Hebrew agrees with my original King James, your original Hebrew is right."

http://wanusmaximus.livejournal.com/1131751.html [livejournal.com]

Re:Oh noes! (4, Insightful)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301141)

There are people who do believe that the King James version is the "inspired" Word of God. I don't fully understand why would they consider a translation the "inspired" one.
From a religious point of view, if there is anything inspired, it would be the first version in its original language. So the closer you get to the original ones, theoretically would be the better.
This news is great, we could actually see one of the oldest copies around. Part of me truly wonders how many more manuscripts (religious or not) would have been available today if people back then don't have the habit of burning every piece of paper they dislike.

Re:Oh noes! (5, Insightful)

g4b (956118) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301273)

inspired in this case does not mean it is "over other books", or "very special" - it means, that the rough parts of translation were made in such a right sense, that it kind of reflects the original meaning.

inspired also means, it is not translated word by word. which would be very dangerous for people, reading a book that old, withouth knowing about the habits in this era, can lead to extreme one sided reading of the bible, and a lot of misunderstandings.

Satan, the Dark Lord, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24301329)

Approves !!

Any game that Rod and Todd like is good enough for him, He sayeth !!

Original (4, Interesting)

reiisi (1211052) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301277)

Yeah, the closer we can get to the original, the closer we can get to the Original.

But the King James version is itself considered to have been the work of inspired men, so there would be some point in putting more stock by the King James version than by random early texts whose authors may or may not be known to have been inspired.

(And then, there are some of us who believe that, even if you had the originals and were fluent in the original language, you'd still have to read under inspiration from God to get a full and perfect understanding of the text.)

Re:Oh noes! (1, Troll)

Bertie (87778) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301345)

Truth is that they just like it because the King James Bible has more of the sort of blood-and-thunder language that appeals to these sorts. The old-fashioned English it uses sounds kinda scary to the modern ear and that's how they like it.

re-written (5, Interesting)

reiisi (1211052) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301231)

Some of us cope by not believing in inerrancy in the first place.

And, for some of us, the idea that the copying and translation has introduced both unintentional errors and intentional variation is not particularly news.

Re:re-written (1)

VoidCrow (836595) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301265)

Well, please try to put that point across to people who *do* believe in the inerrancy. They give the rest of you a very bad name, as I'm sure you're all too aware. You have my sympathy in that regard.

Re:re-written (1)

Saint Gerbil (1155665) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301315)

I'd have thought the religious argument would be that God would correct the errors in translation so its original message still shines through. Even if it does contradict that last passage, encourage people to kill each other etc. Still if this thing is from 400BC that would be before Christ so why would it mention it ?

Re:Oh noes! (5, Insightful)

the_womble (580291) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301263)

The same way that anyone interested in any historical events copes. Multiple sources, comparison with other sources of information, finding older sources when possible etc.

The Bible is not a book. It is a collection of books. The New Testament is a collection of what were considered the best sources available: mostly books and letters.

You might understand better if you knew what faith was and why people have it.

Same as always? (5, Interesting)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301311)

Well,

1. It was perverted from the start.

E.g., right after Christ's death, we already know that there was a sect called the Ebionites, which actually contained relatives of Jesus and people who knew him personally. (They actually insisted that the leadership of the church should go to a relative of Jesus, not to Peter.) They also made no claim of resurrection, nor that Mary was a virgin (much less the later idiocy that she stayed a virgin even after giving birth), etc. Generally they thought of him as a _human_. Prophet and divinely inspired, yes, but not the divine incarnation that the later church turned him into.

What we inherited as Christianity is actually mostly due to Paul, who went fanboy and convinced the others that they must (A) proselitise at all cost, and (B) that it's ok to change stuff, e.g., about half the Old Testament, if it makes it easier to swallow by potential new followers. I wouldn't be too surprised if it involved some embellishing about Jesus too, especially given the following fact:

The Ebionites actually considered Paul an apostate. Not a misunderstanding, or mis-representation, or whatever, but outright apostate. That's how much it deviated.

2. That wouldn't even be the end of massaging it into a different shape.

The new religion wasn't even too clear about who Jesus was, or wth did it all mean. A lot of the early "heresies", like Arianism or Pellagianism are, strictly speaking, compatible with what was actually written. They just filled the blanks in differently.

It took several generations of Byzantine philosophers to define exactly wth _do_ they believe in, down to the smallest details. (The schism between Eastern Orthodoxy and Catholicism came much later, so yes, you did inherit the byzantine construct even if you're Catholic or Protestant.) A lot of things that resulted don't even reflect the original context or meaning, but the effort of fitting Christianity into the Greek way of seeing the world, which at times was like fitting a square peg in a triangular hole. E.g., they had to make Mary and the birth even more perfect and wondrous, because they thought that something perfect (e.g., Jesus) can't possibly come out of something imperfect (e.g., a normal human mother.)

And even then it created even more schisms and heresies, because some things made no sense to cultures who thought differently. At least one schism was because stuff that made sense in Greek, made no sense when translated into Syriac, because the words didn't have the same nuances.

They also defined very strictly what is included in the Bible, what you can write or say about it, and in which terms.

3. Which brings me to the point, they had no problem dealing with the Ebionites or with the Syriac churches which were a lot closer to where it all happened. They just proclaimed them heretics.

I'm guessing it will be the same today. People will just proclaim this manuscript as some gnostic heresy, and continue as if nothing happened.

So they did what Hollywood does (5, Funny)

UrinalPooper (1240522) | more than 6 years ago | (#24300849)

They took an OK script and tacked on a happy ending...

Re:So they did what Hollywood does (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 6 years ago | (#24300921)

And they took a few real life events, sexed them up, and made about 90% of the rest of the script up. :-)

!= The Septuagint (5, Informative)

stupidflanders (1230894) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301019)

This text is NOT the same text as what was compiled during the Council of Nicaea [wikipedia.org] in 325. Nor is it the same as the Vatican bible. It is a third text written/compiled between 330-350 [wikipedia.org] . T

Re:So they did what Hollywood does (1)

SplinterOfChaos (1330441) | more than 6 years ago | (#24300933)

Anyone else think it's ironic this comes out not long after the TV ads for Hamlet 2 start coming out?

Re:So they did what Hollywood does (1)

rugatero (1292060) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301009)

They took an OK script and tacked on a happy ending...

Have you read Revelations? Not exactly the happiest of endings.

revelations and the Revelation (1)

reiisi (1211052) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301291)

Some people I talk with insist that it is more correct to call it the Revelation (singular) than to call it the Revelations (plural). I think there is meaning there, but I'm not sure the distinction is all that important to most people.

Not BCE (5, Informative)

ebcdic (39948) | more than 6 years ago | (#24300853)

It would be a neat trick to have a gospel of Matthew from the fourth century BCE. It should be CE (or AD).

Re:Not BCE (2, Informative)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 6 years ago | (#24300925)

BC = Before Christ = BCE = Before Common Era
AD = Anno Domini ("Year of Our Lord") = CE = Common Era.

Re:Not BCE (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 6 years ago | (#24300947)

D'oh! Time to brew that first cup of tea...

Re:Not BCE (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301099)

It's a different Matthew.

Re:Not BCE (1)

WgT2 (591074) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301385)

... or the mention of 'the resurrection' 300+ years before it happened.

your math skills need work (1, Redundant)

dltaylor (7510) | more than 6 years ago | (#24300855)

2000 - 1600 (from the site) is NOT 2400 years!

It should be 400 CE (or AD, if you've not caught up with the current usage).

Re:your math skills need work (2, Informative)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301015)

You're aware that 400 AD is in the 5th century, right? This Bible was really written between 330 and 350 [1] [wikipedia.org] .

Re:your math skills need work (2, Informative)

MenThal (646459) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301103)

You're aware that 400 AD is in the 5th century, right?

Don't you mean 401 AD is the 5th century, since this non-technology-savvy counting starts with 1? I believe we did this to death back in the years 1999, 2000 and 2001 and then some. :)

Re:your math skills need work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24301113)

Nope. 400 was the last year of the 4th century.

Re:your math skills need work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24301243)

"You're aware that 400 AD is in the 5th century, right?"
No, it's in the 4th. 401 AD is in the 5th century.

Fourth century BCE you say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24300859)

Now that *is* old. I never knew the New Testament was written that long before Christ.

Re:Fourth century BCE you say (3, Funny)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 6 years ago | (#24300871)

The bible is 4th century BCE scifi.

It has won a popularity contest though 600 years later.

Re:Fourth century BCE you say (4, Funny)

stupidflanders (1230894) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301089)

Unlike most SciFi Chanel shows, though, this one was not canceled. It has been running for 2000+ seasons!

Re:Fourth century BCE you say (3, Interesting)

apathy maybe (922212) | more than 6 years ago | (#24300953)

Now I guess that's a joke, but the "Bible" can refer to either the Jewish Bible (the Torah) (what Christians tend to call the "Old Testament"), or to the Christian Bible (which is both the Jewish Bible and the "New Testament").

Of course, "the" bible is a bit of a silly thing to say of course, because there are a heck of a lot more then just one of them. There are multiple versions of the Christian "New Testament" (incidentally a some Jews get upset with the old/new distinction, I don't know why...), ranging from versions in the "original" Greek, through to translations into Latin, and then various translations into English, all of which introduce changes into "the word of God". (One reason Muslims say that Arabic is the only language of Koran is prevent this problem of translations.) It isn't just translations that introduce changes either, a number of gospels were thrown out of the original Christian bible, and have only in the last hundred years or so started to be rediscovered. And then there are multiple versions of the Torah as well (translations, etc.).

So in reality, when you talk of "the bible" or even the "New Testament", you aren't talking about one thing. (And it sorta makes a mockery of the whole word of god thing. Why should I follow your bible version, when mine very distinctly doesn't include the commandment one about working six days, but actually says three days and then taking the other 4 days off? And even if it is included in your bible, why should I follow it if you don't? Does "give away all your possessions" sound familiar? Or it's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle then a rich man to enter heaven?)

Back onto the original topic of this old scrap paper being put online. Yup, it's a good thing when this old stuff is digitalised, because coping bits is a fuck load easier then coping hard copy. Opening this up to scholars around the world (most of whom would never have had a chance to see it otherwise), means that differences and contradictions between this and the modern versions can be picked up and pointed out.

(And now for a random troll, fuck religion and the horse it rode in on!)

Re:Fourth century BCE you say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24301077)

Why would they need Christ? They still had Chuck Heston to base it off of.

A Bible written 400 years before Christ was born? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24300861)

That's pretty cool.

Re:A Bible written 400 years before Christ was bor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24300957)

Well you know, I wouldn't have made that redundant comment if it weren't for this stupid D2 shit telling me there are no comments when there are.

4 AD not 4 BCE! (0, Redundant)

duguk (589689) | more than 6 years ago | (#24300863)

from tfa:

Handwritten in Greek more than 1,600 years ago

isn't that 4 AD, not 4 BCE!?

methinks someone made a mistake in the summary...

Re:4 AD not 4 BCE! (1)

duguk (589689) | more than 6 years ago | (#24300879)

wait... i just realised i made an even more stupid mistake. would someone like to correct me?

/me makes no excuses for stupidity

400 AD (1)

stupidflanders (1230894) | more than 6 years ago | (#24300929)

There, fixed that for you.

BCE? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24300867)

Not so surprising that there was no mention of Jesus' resurrection...

As a literary.... (2, Interesting)

Chrisje (471362) | more than 6 years ago | (#24300869)

study it's an interesting thing to put on line. The one thing that sends chills down my spine is the reactions from all religious whackos out there.

Protestant fundamentalists will start debating if it's complete, valid, canonical and whatnot. The Muslims will surely try to use it to debase Christianity further. The Catholic Church will probably not allow its followers to read it. The Mormons will.... then again, never mind the Mormons. :-D

On the bright side, at least the Jews will just shrug and say it's not Torah.

Re:As a literary.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24300897)

All the Jews I know are atheists...

I really wish people would get a clue (5, Interesting)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 6 years ago | (#24300919)

but there were never any books I wasn't allowed to read while going to a Catholic school. The earth wasn't flat, gays weren't out to get me, and doing a book report on Darwin didn't get me excommunicated. If anything religion was the framework for how one behaved in school and did not control what I learned there.

If anything going to a public school was more of a shocker, stepping back the equivalent of two grades and being bombarded with more ignorance than one can shake a stick at.

How to get a clue (1, Offtopic)

stupidflanders (1230894) | more than 6 years ago | (#24300973)

Well, I'll assume that the trolls won't actually READ the Bible, but they might read this Cliff's Notes version: Don't Know Much About The Bible [amazon.com]

Re:How to get a clue (0, Flamebait)

rts008 (812749) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301335)

Well, you assumed wrong.
I have read it and then threw it out as the worse novel I ever had the misfortune to read.

Re:I really wish people would get a clue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24301007)

I must have missed what exactly you were responding so righteously to there; if not then what do Catholic school policies have to do with potentials for catholic wackos going crazy over the old book again?

Re:I really wish people would get a clue (4, Informative)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301261)

I think the grandfather comment was a reminder of how the Catholic Church has been known to react toward "open sourcing" their knowledges. One of the big differences between Catholics and Protestants was that Catholics were not allowed to read the bible. In fact it was illegal to own a Bible at home (in XVIIth century France at least)

The Index (of forbidden books) was updated until the Vatican II council (1966) and is still considered by the Holy See to have a moral value as a list of the books one should prevent oneself from reading.

The general feeling is that the Roman Catholic Church's main dogma is the "the doctrine is the truth" so if something seems to be the truth outside of the doctrine, it is dangerous and should be fought. The Church is not known for its research centers trying to find archaeological proofs of the Bible or to correct its versions with the many manuscript fragments that are found regularly.

Re:I really wish people would get a clue (4, Interesting)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301319)

I see your anecdote and raise you another.

My Father was caned by Maris Brothers every day he went to school, he was also punched and beaten on a regular basis. On "sports" days they would be required to sit in the middle of a field in the summer heat, with out water or food. Their names would be called and they would have to run around the field. If a student didn't run fast enough a brother would run up behind him and kick him in the arse until he speed up.

Anything considered hearsay or heresy would result in an even more severe beating.

Those men were animals.

I really wish people would get a clue too (4, Interesting)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301413)

Can anyone spot the logical flaw in your argument that "I didn't know about any banned books therefore there were no banned books"?

I'm sure if you'd tried working your way through the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Index_Librorum_Prohibitorum [wikipedia.org] ) then I'm sure you'd have been in a lot of trouble.

Re:As a literary.... (3, Interesting)

ggvaidya (747058) | more than 6 years ago | (#24300983)

The Muslims will surely try to use it to debase Christianity further.

Hmm? Muslims consider Jesus a prophet of God, and the Jews and Christians are the other "people of the book", and are held at a higher level than other infidels. I don't see the Muslims disparaging other religions (atleast, other monotheistic ones); if anything, after the Mohammed cartoon controversity, I'd imagine they'd want more "protection" against blasphemizing Jewish and Christian beliefs, so that their beliefs can be "protected" against blasphemy as well.

Re:As a literary.... (5, Interesting)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301051)

higher level than other infidels

Oh, so there's a caste system for infidels? Goody! Put me at the bottom, k?

I don't see the Muslims disparaging other religions

Really? I've heard Muslims call Jews rats, dogs, bastards, pigs....

As a side issue: wtf is up with Islam and dogs? Jesus friggin' Christ. Any religion that doesn't "allow" a boy to have a dog as a pet is... sick.

after the Mohammed cartoon controversity, I'd imagine they'd want more "protection"

You mean censorship?

"protected" against blasphemy

Fail.

Re:As a literary.... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24301105)


You ever try putting a burkha on a dog?

Re:As a literary.... (1)

armareum (925270) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301379)

The justification for burkhas is that they protect women from stirring the sexual interests of men.

What kind of sexy dogs came to your house?

Re:As a literary.... (1)

Splab (574204) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301131)

Since when does muslims have a problem with dogs?

Most "second generation" immigrants around here claiming to be muslims have dogs, usually attack dogs (with poor training).

Re:As a literary.... (4, Informative)

Jellybob (597204) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301399)

Muslims don't have a problem with dogs, they have a problem with *pet* dogs.

You can own a dog to protect your property or yourself, but it shouldn't be allowed into the house.

Re:As a literary.... (0, Flamebait)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301341)

"Muslims consider Jesus a prophet of God"

that doesn't mean fuck all. just because they believe in baby jesus it doesn't stop them imprisoning and murdering Christians in the middle east.

Re:As a literary.... (3, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301085)

True, that. All the usual religious suspects will throw a fit, because they know well that common insight into how their religion has evolved over time instead of being conceived in perfection ab initio, will destroy any claim to any higher power being the original source.

If you're one of the nutjobs claiming that the bible is "god's word" in the literal sense, and not a human creation, then evidence that "the bible" doesn't exist, but is a collection that changed over time, is the death-blow to a core pillar of your faith.

not that useful (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301149)

Just look at the prototype [codexsinaiticus.org] . Unreadable. It's like it's in some other language or something!

Re:As a literary.... (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301205)

It can't be all that different and anyway it's out so it's completely irrepressible.

How different could it be anyway? Let's take a look:

"In the worlds before Monkey primal chaos reigned"

Then again ...

Re:As a literary.... (4, Insightful)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301275)

Warning: Religious POV ahead...

I could comment on the Catholic one, it is so true, well at least in our area (or at least with the devouts). People ( not just Catholics ) would tend to follow their religion blindly even if it contradicts with the Bible (or their religious texts)

I had encountered some that rants that they're doing this and that and that they're not doing this and that... I sometimes would ask them if what they're doing is in the Bible (or the other way around, i.e. they're not doing the things stated in the Bible) (or any other religious text)

I often get the answer that the leaders of their sect tells so. I would tell them that it is pointless to contradict or not follow your "manual" or "foundation". Well my point is moot to them most of the time.

Conclusion: Most of the religions use the Bible as a front. If it contradicts their purpose, they would ignore that part. If it is not there and they like to do it, they would still do it.

okay back to regular programming..

Re:As a literary.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24301297)

The Catholic Church will probably not allow its followers to read it.

I'm sorry, but I don't see your point. I am a Catholic and I read the Bible every day. I think this is interesting news and am looking forward to having a look at it.

OMG, BLASPHEMY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24300873)

Heretic, you will burn for spreading the truth.
SRSLY

Not predictions of the future in it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24300881)

"I've got a feeling that some people won't be happy to see it online, since it makes no mention of the resurrection, which is a central part of Christian belief"

Was it not written 400 BC? But then again, if the words in the bible are the words of god & he is allknowing, he should have known, should he not? Finally proof he is not allknowing! IT MUST BE A HOAX!

CE not BCE (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24300883)

I think you mean 4th century *CE*.

Re:CE not BCE (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 6 years ago | (#24300895)

If the gospels had been written 400 years beforehand that would have impressed me.

Translation and commentaries? (1)

SplinterOfChaos (1330441) | more than 6 years ago | (#24300891)

Should be fun. I wonder if they're going to say "Thou shall not kill" or "Thou shall not murder". I can't wait to count the mistranslations! Or, who knows, maybe historians will lead the project. Maybe definitely.

Re:Translation and commentaries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24301005)

So long as it doesn't say Thou Shalt Not Wank I'll be OK

Re:Translation and commentaries? (2, Funny)

SplinterOfChaos (1330441) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301121)

Every sperm is sacred. Every sperm is great.
If a sperm is wasted, god gets quite irate.

NOT BCE (0, Redundant)

stupidflanders (1230894) | more than 6 years ago | (#24300913)

According to the article, the text was "Handwritten in Greek more than 1,600 years ago". 1600+ years ago would be around 400 AD (or CE, for you revisionist folks, though the numbering is the same [wikipedia.org] ). This is NOT before the Common Era. The summary is off by eight centuries (otherwise it would make perfect sense that this text did not contain anything about the Resurrection, considering it was 400 years before Christ! :-p)

So the end of the Gospels are missing (4, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 6 years ago | (#24300941)

Everybod knows the Flying Spaghetti Monster hid them from us. He's such a prankster!

Re:So the end of the Gospels are missing (0, Offtopic)

nawcom (941663) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301045)

aw... come on guys, laugh at this!

Best part missing from later versions! (0, Flamebait)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#24300949)

You know what I like the best about this version of the Bible? The part about gay marriage. Look it up!

Re:Best part missing from later versions! (2, Interesting)

nawcom (941663) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301117)

You would be amazed how many people would be put to death if society decided to follow the bible as it is interpreted today. I can promise you, the homosexuals would be a miniscule portion of the people who would get their throats cut and stoned to death. Does "For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, holy to the Lord; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall surely be put to death," sound familiar? hehe. That's just one little line that plays a role against today's society, especially in the USA. The bible is fun to read and quote. You bring up quotes that say I'm going to hell, then I bring up quotes that say you are going to hell. Fun! God, what an atheist I am.

Re:Best part missing from later versions! (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301283)

Does "For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, holy to the Lord; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall surely be put to death," sound familiar? hehe. That's just one little line that plays a role against today's society, especially in the USA.

You want to try that in some of the wilder remote parts of Scotland - the Isle of Lewis springs to mind. Put your washing out on a Sunday, and you'll have burning crosses on your lawn in minutes. Start up a power tool of some sort if you want a bullet through your skull.

Free Presbyterians make Abu Hamza look like a happy clappy.

Re:Best part missing from later versions! (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301173)

is that the bit where he loved him as his wife?

Forget the fundies... (1, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301023)

Who wants to start a betting pool on how many rounds of copyright "harmonization" it'll take before this sucker gets yanked out of the public domain and back under cover of copyright and darkness(as Big Content and God intended)? Particularly hairy for theological documents: At least in all Berne Convention signatories, copyright is life of author + 50 years(or greater). Presumably Jesus' 50 years started ticking at his Crucifixion, was it reset at Resurrection? If so, did it start again at Ascention, or does that not qualify as death, leaving His Works perpetually copyrighted?.
Muslims are in even more trouble. Allah doesn't exist in time, per se, nor does he fall neatly into either the category of individual author or corporate author. Being eternal, though, it is unlikely that his works are out of copyright.
Jews should mostly be ok, I think one or two of the prophets may have ascended rather than dying; but their quotations are generally short and pithy enough to fall under fair use.
Scientologists are screwed; but at least "All your base are belong to Hubbard" constitutes unambiguous legal advice.


Joking aside, though, this is great. Exactly the sort of thing that digital distribution is great for. There are loads of delicate and moldering historical documents of considerable interest that are, today, virtually impossible for anybody but scholars with nontrivial access to get their hands on. With digitization, the whole world can get access for peanuts.

Bad Summary, Questionable Claim (5, Informative)

dwm (151474) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301033)

Where to start, where to start...

First of all, there's some dispute as to whether Sinaiticus is indeed the oldest -- a cursory Google will show that Codex Vaticanus is believed by some to be older [wikipedia.org] .

Second, it's patently untrue that Sinaiticus "makes no mention of the resurrection". The version of the gospel of Mark in it omits the last passage where Jesus appears to his disciples, but other post-resurrection appearances occur in the other gospels -- and even the Sinaiticus Mark version ends with an angel's pronouncement that he has risen. You can read an English translation for yourself here [jacksonsnyder.com] .

THANK YOU! (2, Funny)

stupidflanders (1230894) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301119)

Although the chance that anyone on Slashdot will bother to read the text is low.

Re:Bad Summary, Questionable Claim (0, Flamebait)

Louis Savain (65843) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301217)

Where to start, where to start...

You can start by noting that Slashdot contributors are 90% atheists and they go out of their way to come up with dishonest ways to badmouth Christianity and people who believe in a creator. On Slashdot, you can badmouth God all you want but you can't say anything against Darwin, Alan Turing, Stephen Hawking, evolution, time travel, the big bang and the like. The mendacity on Slashdot is so thick, you'd think you were living in the third Reich or Stalinist Russia.

Re:Bad Summary, Questionable Claim (0, Flamebait)

apathy maybe (922212) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301369)

Oh is the poor little god bother bothered?

I don't know what percentage of people on Slashdot are atheists or not, and I don't really care (it would change all the time anyway, as people stop posting, and other people start posting).

However, to say that you can bad mouth god (a being for which there is no material evidence, only faith), but not "Darwin, Alan Turing, Stephen Hawking, evolution, time travel, the big bang" etc. is just wrong.

You can, it is just that people who actually follow the scientific method, and/or are materialists and thus try and have evidence for what they say or believe in, will jump on you if you say something stupid.

Take evolution for example, only idiots and ignorant people say that evolution doesn't exist, because there is so much evidence for it.

I don't know why you mentioned time travel, I don't have an opinion as to if it is possible one way or the other, because I don't have enough evidence. I have "gut feelings", but they aren't worth much.

The "big bang", what bad shit could you say about that? It was a bad thing? It didn't happen? The first is irrelevant, and the second requires evidence.

I didn't know the meaning of the word "mendacity", so I looked it up. The tendency to lie? You think that people on Slashdot lie about these things? So I assume you mean that saying that evolution is a fact is a lie... Well, if you are that delusional...

Oh yeah, did I mention that religion sucks and is a farce?

Religion causes more problems then it solves. Suck on it.

(To the mods: Karma bonus not initiated, no need to mod down. But if you do, you should mod down the parent for their comment as well.)

Re:Bad Summary, Questionable Claim (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24301403)

(To the mods: Karma bonus not initiated, no need to mod down. But if you do, you should mod down the parent for their comment as well.)

Fuck you, you stupid little self-righteous shit.

Summary is wildly inaccurate (5, Informative)

john-da-luthrun (876866) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301035)

First, as others have pointed out, the Codex is from the 4th century CE (i.e. "AD") rather than BCE (or "BC").

Second, saying "it makes no mention of the resurrection" is inaccurate. It doesn't contain the final 8 verses from Mark's Gospel, which have been considered to be a late addition for years and are usually square-bracketed in modern Bible editions.

However, if you actually *read* Mark's Gospel, it has plenty of references to the resurrection of Jesus earlier in the text. Plus the Codex Sinaiticus also includes the other three Gospels, all of which include post-resurrection appearances of Jesus.

But apart from misdating the document by 800 years, misstating the impact of putting it online and misrepresenting the likely attitude of Christians to its publication, the summary is fine...

Re:Summary is wildly inaccurate (2, Funny)

Rocketship Underpant (804162) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301233)

New Slashdot now combines the worst of both Old Slashdot and Reddit â" wildly inaccurate story blurbs combined with crude and inappropriate slurs directed towards anyone with faith. I can't wait for the dupe tomorrow.

Re:Summary is wildly inaccurate (1)

benwiggy (1262536) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301235)

Also, the British Museum != the British Library.
Apart from that, the summary is fine.

Welcome to Rabidly Anti-Christian Slashdot (4, Insightful)

Louis Savain (65843) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301259)

But apart from misdating the document by 800 years, misstating the impact of putting it online and misrepresenting the likely attitude of Christians to its publication, the summary is fine...

What do you expect from Slashdot? Honesty? That's a laugh.

Yes, and to take it further (5, Interesting)

g4b (956118) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301365)

Mark's Gospel was considered by some theologians to been written in a style of "play". Mark writes like you could play it on a stage. People come in, talk, go out.

Mark's ending, with the cross, was in many ways like the ending of a drama. It opened doors not just for talk about the play, but also for thinking about the matter.

I cant recite what I have read further, but the theologian was going into detail, why the ending did suggest something else to happen, which would have been obvious for people of that time, so mark didn't need the resurrection to be mentioned. it was obvious for them that there was more to it, like it is obvious for us now, that "I am your father" is a reference to Star Wars, but later, when time passed, the resurrection was added to the book.

Most christians know, that Mark did not mention the resurrection chronologically in the original. But, there were 3 other gospels, and plenty of people writing about the resurrection, and even Mark pointed the resurrection out in a lot of passages. So, no, there is no debate at all on our side.

Still, thanx for the news. Accurate timing (BCE?) and some insights which books are in this old bible would have been better, though.

Re:Yes, and to take it further (3, Informative)

john-da-luthrun (876866) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301397)

Sounds similar to N.T. Wright's take on the end of Mark. He suggests that the abrupt ending is meant to put the onus back on the reader/listener: "Christ is risen: now over to you. What are you going to do about it?"

Re:Summary is wildly inaccurate (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24301373)

I agree, the ./ summary is very inaccurate.

For a more scholarly analysis regarding the Sinaiticus, I recommend reading:

"The Last Twelve Verses of Mark"
by Dean John W. Burgon
ISBN...1888328002
Publisher...John Burgon Society

It is more in depth than the anti-Bible fluff you'll find on /.

Re:Summary is wildly inaccurate (2, Insightful)

UberDude (70424) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301387)

There was no 0th century, so 4th century BC to 4th century AD is 700 years. Ok, it could be 800 years at a stretch, if you can accept that there were 200 years between 19th and 20th centuries (01/01/1801-31/12/2000). Pedantry is fun!

Wrong Interpretation by Poster (5, Informative)

alexj33 (968322) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301067)

However, I've got a feeling that some people won't be happy to see it online, since it makes no mention of the resurrection, which is a central part of Christian belief."

This is a misleading statement by the poster and the article itself. The post-resurrection text in Mark (which is the only text the article seems to mention is in contention) has always been recognized by the modern Christian church as not appearing in the earliest manuscripts. Don't take my word for it; pick up the latest NIV Bible and look at Mark 16:9-20. It most likely mentions this very fact.

The article only mentions the text in Mark missing. From the article:

The Gospel of Mark ends abruptly after Jesus' disciples discover his empty tomb, for example. Mark's last line has them leaving in fear.

"It cuts out the post-resurrection stories," said Juan Garces, curator of the Codex Sinaiticus Project. "That's a very odd way of ending a Gospel."

Unfortunately, you still need to deal with the resurrection stories in the other three gospels (Matthew, Luke and John) as well as the Old Testament references such as Psalms 16:10.

Many More Errors in the Codex than the Summary!!! (1)

itsybitsy (149808) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301181)

Have no fear there are many more factual errors in the actual Codex itself than in the summary!!! The Codex while historically important is a silly mythology from superstitious ancestors and has very little to do with Objective Reality where we find our selves existing under the Laws of Mother Nature!!!

Re:Many More Errors in the Codex than the Summary! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24301349)

Why do I imagine you saying that very quickly while rocking back and forth?

Re:Many More Errors in the Codex than the Summary! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24301405)

Evidently, with multiple exclamation marks!!! It's Super Objecitve!!!

The resurection in early documents (4, Informative)

paylett (553168) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301191)

It will actually come as no surprise to bible readers that the additional details of the resurection are not found in the book of Mark in this version. Many modern and popular translations (NIV, ESV, NASB) note in the footnotes or the text itself that "Some of the earliest manuscripts do not include [Mark] 16:9-20"

However Mark 16:6, which is included, still declares the resurection:

"Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him."

Additionally, the article only refers to the book of Mark as making no reference to the resurection. No mention is made of the other three gospels.

See Mark 16 in the Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

proof of god (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24301225)

- Moving pairs

Given something like a checkers board, moving pairs would be checker pieces
paired together and arranged on the board so they each checker piece is said to be paired with another.

The pairs don't have to be next to eachother, they can arrange on the board in any awy.

Any way arranged is fair for how this works, but it matters for how they work.

There's no such thing as an empty space among pairs for how you consider them together.

They are the idea of how they move, and the problem with finding how
to move them, and how they work being together.

- Moving a pair

Pick a pair to move.

Each of the pair is to move together at the same time.

A pair together can only move to another pair together.

A pair moves to another pair, and each of the pair becomes paired with
each of the other pair. So now both pairs are new pairs, with the
pair that moved to another pair not being a pair anymore, both of the
pair to move
becomes a new pair with the pair that has to move for where they move to.

A pair moves to another pair, but the other pair is what moves away at
the same time.

A pair moves to another pair, the pair it moves to has to move at the
same time to another pair. So when moving a pair to another pair, that
pair has to move too.

So the pair to move to another pair becomes a new pair, each of the
pair to move to another pair
becomes part of a new pair with the pair that they move to. The pair
they move to is the pair to move to another pair at the same time.

You can't know what any pair's first move is until you know it's last move.

There's nowhere to think in the way moving pairs can move how it has
any inbetween to stop moving. It's always that a pair moving is making
another pair move, and is having a pair move it.

For any pair there's always one way to move it.

To think of pairs in the middle of moving is to think of needing to
know the end and beginning at the same time. Because a pair is
moving when a pair moved it, and is moving another pair where it's going.
But it's going where a pair can move to another pair, and coming from having a pair move it.
So a pair to move is moving where it can go, where another pair can move from, where it gets to there being
a pair that can move to where the first pair left.

When a pair moves it's what is moving away from what had to move it,
and is moving what needs to move at the same time for where it's going.

Each time a pair is moved, all the pairs involved in moving are
alternated as pairs. So a pair when moved makes all pairs that have to move at the same
time paired another way.

You can't know how a pair moves, it's to figure out as the problem
they have. The last pair to move has to be figured before the first
pair to move has a place to move.

All the pairs have a way to move, but may involve more or less of the
other pairs to move at the same time.

So a pair can be moved, but it's to figure out how to make it move.

So....

|55|66|55|
|44|44|66|

Move pair 44 44. Choice is either 66 66 or 55 55.
44 44 can move to 55 55, only if 55 55 can move to 66 66, and 66 66 can move where 44 44 is to start.
so try... 44 44 moves to 55 55. and now each 44 and 55 are a new pair. at the same time 55 55 moved to 66 66, so where 66 and 66 is at there's one of the new pair from
44 44 and 55 55. and at the same time can 66 66 move to 44 44 ?

So to know the first move is to know the last move, because the first move is where it works around to the last move, and the last pair to make is what can go where the first pair left.

- Moving pairs are a machine

They can be arranged in any way so that the way to move a pair is to have to move others too. So between all pairs they have an
arrangement strategy that carries a way to work at being rearranged. A way where to work at being rearranged is to be able to
rearrange in any other ways, but always able to make it back to the same arrangement. They follow a way to rearrange like a machine
in a different condition.

Pairs can store how to associate any letter with any number by having
it so some pairs say a letter and other pairs say a number, so how you
move some pairs to say which letter is for some other pairs to move to
say which number.

Any pair that is moved can make it so other pairs to move have another
way for how they move.

Pairs that work in moving together can be close or far apart, so they
extend across the idea of how it's a machine as much as can make sense
for any way to have a machine work.

Given all the pairs that move together, any of them to move makes them all move together, and given another move to a pair that's
together in moving it works around varying arrangements until it's arranged the same again, but moving starting with another pair
changes how another pair moves in differencing arrangement.

See how a pair to move is to make another pair move differently? See how that's part of the machine to move but also another part
moved? See how they overlap where part of the machine is part with another, but to move is to move another part?

See how a part of the machine can only be moved so many ways, and is overlapped by other parts like they're some of the same part?
It's to see how part of the machine for the way it is, is the way another part is, is they way they are for eachother. So a part moved is
another part moved too at the same time, but it's for the way a part is that the other part is the way it is. So there's as many ways for
a part of the machine to be as there is, but it can be overlapped any number of times by another part, but is a part that with so many
ways to be is any way for another part, and another part is a way for the part it overlaps. See how every part of the machine is part of
another part this way, but it's not to run out of a way for the machine to be connected? because a part has so many ways to be, so
overlapping it is where a part is a way for the way another part is, but can only be so many ways for how many ways another part is.
See how for one way a part is, is one way for another part? but how where parts overlap is where all parts are a way for all other parts?
See how a part is a connected condition? That is, a pair and how it can move? See how it's where in a machine you can say that
if this part of the machine is this way, then another part of the machine is another way?

It looks like a machine can always be expresses as a part that is one way, for another part that is one way, for all parts together. That
says any machine doesn't it? So if a part is one way, then another part is one way. So change a part to another way, and then the
other parts are another way. Not like running the machine though to make it moved. But see parts like how a pair can move, where a
part is what can rearrange to make other parts rearrange another way around it. So a part is a way arranged, and any way
to be arranged is how another part is arranged. If you say arranged the way that given any space between a pieces are other pieces,
but pieces are what arrange like say on an empty board of checkers pieces on square, but then say they arrange as pieces on squares the way that you say they arrange so many ways but go back to the same arrangement. Then say other pieces around them that arrange too a way like that, then say how pieces together are arranged are for how other pieces together are arranged. So say to rearrange pieces
is to rearrange other pieces, the way they are for eachother arranged a way, then they work like a machine. It's like saying something like
a gear is one way for another gear to be one way, but where gear has to be something that can only be one way for another gear to be
able to be only one way. But then gears together can't make any machine that works. So say pieces close and far away so the machine
coordinates altogether. Doesn't that say any machine the other way, besides finding an example. Like, say this is together, a part that has many ways to be but is distinct each way, and many parts like it, but then say each part is one way for the way another part is. Like, make each part be one way, but the other part can only be one way. So then say so many parts together like this, where to make a part one way is to make another part one way, and so on. Can't this build any machine? not to think how it can work running, but to think like this, doesn't it say that for any way is for any other way? like, can't it say that the way to make a few parts be is to make a few other parts be? like, doesn't it specify an induction equilivent? isn't that always a machine? the way that you make a few parts a way, then to follow through on change each other part, is to make other parts be any way for how it's together?
then any part can be changed for every other part? given a machine that has a few parts together that say a number, a few other parts that say another number, a few parts inbetween to the parts that are a number to make another part connected as the answer be an answer between the numbers, then what is it to change any part and match the other parts in being changed? isn't that to change the part
that says the answer and need a different part of known fitting to be the numbers?

- Machine diagram

See each pair for how it can be moved with all the pairs that have to move togther. See other pairs together be some of the
same pairs together another way.

Draw pairs that move together with a line that connects each of the pair that moves to another.

See where they overlap as connected as a part of the machine together with another part of the machine. See it the way that it's a part
of the machine that moves another part of the machine, but each there own part. So see that as a seperate part but overlapping another
part.

For the way a pair can move, all the pairs to move together are a connected condition. Together the way where it's part of the machine
to say for another part of the machine how to be.

Say for each group of pairs that move together a line that connects them, where all pairs are together this way. So it should be that all pairs together diagram as how they would
move with lines together that draw what looks like a diagram for a working machine.

- The trick

See the machine diagram? Make a pair move then see the machine diagram again.

How did the machine move? See how it's the same machine? See how other pairs move differently now? Like it's the whole machine
moved, but without running?

Enjoy :)

It all Greek to me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24301267)

..or is it Hebrew or e Aramaic?

"it makes no mention of the resurrection" (0, Flamebait)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301285)

thats because it's a made up fairy tale and it didn't happen. it's amazing to me that everyone this day and age doesn't get this.

I for one... (1)

PrayingWolf (818869) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301327)

I for one welcome our divine overlord, Jesus the Nazarene who was crucified and has risen - whether the last twelve verses of Mark 16 were or were not written by Mark...

Oldest and Newest (3, Funny)

sharperguy (1065162) | more than 6 years ago | (#24301347)

The oldest and the newest [lolcatbible.com] bibles on the same internets!
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