There was a fascinating program called ‘The Beauty of Books’ (the Ancient Bibles episode) on SBS a few nights ago, and it was incredible! They were talking about the Codex Sinaiticus which is the oldest Bible in the world, and was written in the fourth century. Fourth century! It’s incredible! It contains the Christian Bible in Greek and includes the oldest complete copy of the New Testament. It’s been corrected all through the text, and several different people wrote parts of it. It’s also the oldest substantial book to make it through time to now!
This is a spread of the Codex, and I’m completely gobsmacked.
The episode also covered the Winchester Bible, which is amazing in its sheer size and quality of illustrations. Each of the 936 pages measure 291 x 396mm, and was hand-written in the Latin of St Jerome. The illustrations are also stunning, and some have been gilded with gold, and others have lapis lazuli which came from Afghanistan – and would have been incredibly expensive.
These represent some of the most incredible achievements of the time, and have stood the wear and tear of time, and the pillaging and who knows what to survive to today. What do you think of these ancient works of art?