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Posted on Friday, July 25 - 2008

Bible

Copyright © Yahoo! News

The oldest surviving copy of the New Testament, a 4th century version that had its Gospels and epistles spread across the world, is being made whole again — online. The British Library says the full text of the Codex Sinaiticus will be available to Web users by next July, digitally reconnecting parts that are held in Britain, Russia, Germany and a monastery in Egypt's Sinai Desert.A preview of the Codex, which also has some parts of the Old Testament, will hit the Web on Thursday — the Book of Psalms and the Gospel of Mark. "Only a few people have ever had the opportunity to see more than a couple of pages of the (Codex)," saidScot McKendrick, the British Library's head of Western manuscripts.

The Web site will give everyone access to a "unique treasure," he said.Discovered at the Monastery of Saint Catherine at Mount Sinai by German Bible scholar Constantine Tischendorf in the mid-19th century, much of the Codex eventually wound up in Russia — just how exactly the British Library won't say, citing lingering sensitivity over the circumstances surrounding its removal from the monastery. The British Library bought 347 pages from Soviet authorities in 1933. Forty-three pages are at the University Library in Leipzig, Germany, and six fragments are at the National Library of Russia in St. Petersburg. And in 1975, monks stumbled on 12 more pages and 40 fragments stashed in a hidden room at the monastery. Biblical scholarsare thrilled at the news that the Codex Sinaiticus — divided since Tischendorf's trip to the monastery in 1844 — is finally being put back together, albeit virtually. In the past, anyone wishing to examine the document first hand would have had to approach the British Library "on bended knee," said Christopher Tuckett, a professor of New Testament studies at Oxford University. "To have it available just at the click of a button is fantastic," he said. "You could do in two seconds what would take hours and hours of flicking through the leaves." Handwritten in Greek more than 1,600 years ago — it isn't exactly clear where — the surviving 400 or so pages carry a version of the New Testament that has a few interesting differences from the Bible used by Christianstoday. ......

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Posted on Wednesday, July 23 - 2008

The oldest surviving copy of the New Testament, a 4th century version that had its Gospels and epistles spread across the world, is being made whole again — online. The British Library says the full text of the Codex Sinaiticus will be available to Web users by next July, digitally reconnecting parts that are held in Britain, Russia, Germany and a monastery in Egypt"s Sinai Desert. A preview of the Codex, which also has some parts of the Old Testament, will hit the Web on Thursday — the Book of Psalms and the Gospel of Mark. "Only a few people have ever had the opportunity to see more than a couple of pages ofthe (Codex)," said Scot McKendrick, the British Library"s head of Western manuscripts.

The Web site will give everyone access to a "unique treasure," he said. Discovered at the Monastery of Saint Catherine at Mount Sinai by German Bible scholar Constantine Tischendorf in the mid-19th century, much of the Codex eventually wound up in Russia — just how exactly the British Library won"t say, citing lingering sensitivity over the circumstances surrounding its removal from the monastery. The British Library bought 347 pages from Soviet authorities in 1933. Forty-three pages are at the University Library in Leipzig, Germany, and six fragments are at the National Library of Russia in St. Petersburg. And in 1975, monks stumbled on 12more pages and 40 fragments stashed in a hidden room at the monastery. Biblical scholars are thrilled at the news that the Codex Sinaiticus — divided since Tischendorf"s trip to the monastery in 1844 — is finally being put back together, albeit virtually. In the past, anyone wishing to examine the document first hand would have had to approach the British Library "on bended knee," said Christopher Tuckett, a professor of New Testament studies at Oxford University.

View: Full Article | Source: Yahoo! News

Views : 1129

Posted on Monday, June 09 - 2008

The Bible

Copyright © iTWire

Tel Aviv University professor of archaeology Israel Finkelstein researches the Bible as a historical document. In an interview in “New Scientist," Finkelstein talks about his controversial findings. Dr. Israel Finkelstein was interviewed by David Cohen. The results of the interview were published in the May 31-June 6, 2008 issue of the magazine New Scientist (pages 46-47) under the title “Fact and fiction from the Bible.”A New Scientist subscription is required. It is also available online at “Interview: Separating fact and fiction in the Bible.” For the past ten years or so, Finkelstein had led of team ofresearchers involving biblical archaeology.

Their goal was to determine if the Bible is really a historical document. In their research, Finkelstein and his team studied biblical texts and compared them with archaeological evidence taken from Megiddo in northern Israel.Megiddo, also known as Tel Megiddo (Hebrew) and Tell al-Mutesellim (Arabic), was a site known as Armageddon in the Bible. It is now the ruins of an ancient city state. Megiddo has been excavated by archaeologists since 1903 due to its historical, geographical, and theological importance. Twenty-six layers of the ruins of ancient cities have been found at Megiddo. Today, in modern Israel, it is located at a hill near the Kibbutz of Megiddo, which is at the head of a pass through the Carmel Ridge that overlooks the Valley of Jezreel. TheFinkelstein team found that “... the traditional dating of many archaeological finds relating to biblical events is out by up to one-and-a-half centuries.” Cohen writes, “His [Finkelstein's] conclusion is uncompromising: many famous biblical stories are probably pure fiction.” For example, Cohen states in the article based with his conversation with Finkelstein that the “exodus of the Israelites from Egypt never happened” and “Joshua never attacked Jericho, let along brought its walls down.” Finkelstein states, “There is no evidence that Jericho even had city walls at that time.” The article goes on to say, “David and Solomon were not great kings who ruled over the ancient land of Canaan in the 10th century BC from a palace in Jerusalem, asthe B......

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Posted on Saturday, June 07 - 2008

Judas

Copyright © The Chronicle Review

Marvin Meyer was eating breakfast when his cellphone buzzed. Meyer, a professor of religious studies at Chapman University, has a mostly gray beard and an athletic build left over from his basketball days. His friends call him "the Velvet Hammer" for his mild demeanor. He's a nice guy. The voice on the other end belonged to a representative of the National Geographic Society. They were working on a project and wanted his help."That's very interesting," he remembers saying. "What do you have in mind?" "We can't tell you," was the reply. That was not the answer he expected. "Let me see ifI understand this," Meyer said.

"You'd like me to agree to do a project with you, but you won't tell me what that project is. Is that right?" "Exactly."He would have to sign a nondisclosure agreement first — which, in the end, he agreed to do. Not long afterward, Meyer found himself locked in an office in Washington, with a desk, a pile of dictionaries and lexicons, and one of the most sought-after religious texts in recent history, the Gospel of Judas. For a week he worked almost nonstop on the 26-page text, translating the Coptic, an ancient Egyptian language written with Greek letters, into English. As he translated, a startling portrait of Judas Iscariot emerged. This was not the reviled traitor who betrayed Jesus with a kiss. This was the trusted disciple, the close confidant, the friend. This wasa revelation. When the Gospel of Judas was unveiled at a news conference in April 2006, it made headlines around the world — with nearly all of those articles touting the new and improved Judas. "In Ancient Document, Judas, Minus the Betrayal," read the headline in The New York Times. The British paper The Guardian called it "a radical makeover for one of the worst reputations in history." A documentary that aired a few days later on National Geographic's cable channel also pushed the Judas-as-hero theme. The premiere attracted four million viewers, making it the second-highest-rated program in the channel's history, behind only a documentary on September 11. But almost immediately, other scholars began to take issue with the interpretation of Meyer and the rest of the National Geographic team. They didn't see a good Judas atall. ......

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