Clarke referenced the Codex Sinaiticus and the Septuagint in a couple of posts last week, so Marion and I decided to hop a plane to London and have a look at the original. (That’s not exactly how things progressed, but isn’t far from the truth.)
We’re in London this week to learn about the Codex Sinaiticus and other artifacts that point to the veracity of the text of the Bible.
Codex Sinaiticus is one of the most important books in the world. It contains the oldest complete New Testament in existence, and dates to around 350 A.D. The Old Testament portion is a copy of the Septuagint. Codex Sinaiticus is used by scholars today to create the most accurate translations of the biblical text. The manuscript is served in high definition on the Internet, and it doesn’t take long to see how scribes painstakingly corrected the original writing. There are corrections plastered in the margins everywhere. It was obviously important for the scribes to make sure the work was as accurate as possible and up to par with the best copies of the Bible in existence at the time.
The British Library’s portion of Sinaiticus is currently on display in a special exhibit at the British Museum. We asked Clive Anderson, co-author of Through the British Museum with the Bible, if he could guide us through the exhibits. Although Clive wasn’t scheduled to conduct a tour while we were in town, he graciously agreed.
Some days are better than others. Today was the day for our tour.
“He seals up the hand of every man; that all men may know His work.”
Job 37:7 (NKJV)
While on a recent international fact-finding mission (OK…actually just a trip to Toronto for a family wedding), Marion and I visited the Royal Ontario Museum. Imagine the Sydney Opera House crash landing on the Smithsonian and you’ve pretty much got the setting. (Canadians do have a sense of humor.)
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario (Photo credit: Elli Davis)
We walked up from the subway having no idea what we were going to see. The cashier asked if we wanted tickets to the Mesopotamia exhibit (featuring artifacts on loan from the British Museum), so we were treated to a couple of hours of a really, really good history lesson.
While we were buying our tickets, the cashier at the counter position next to us (his name was Rex) made some impious statement to a visiting couple about how glad he was that his parents hadn’t imposed any religious beliefs on him. (Rex apparently hasn’t thought much about atheism as a religion.) I mention Rex’s sound bite because it followed me around the museum for quite a while; a sad reminder of how people can bristle right past the evidence.
The Mesopotamia exhibit was spectacular. This is the kind of stuff that was printed in my junior high history text, but went right over my head due to my lack of effort and interest. It turns out I missed a lot. Come to think of it, maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on atheists. Continue reading