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Watching the web

It is said that ‘the past is a foreign country. They do things differently there’. One is painfully aware of this when reading Dickens or Austen — as characters have to worry about plague or propriety in a completely different way from us. But if the past is a foreign country, what about documents from past foreign countries? They can be doubly difficult to decipher.

James Cary

The Bible is clearly in this latter category, as it was written long ago over the course of 1,000 years, with stories about plagues in Egypt, captivity in Babylon and battles in Palestine. Approaching the original text is something that most of us rarely do. We pack our would-be ministers off to college to learn Greek and Hebrew so that we don’t have to. But it’s worth having a look at the original Greek and Hebrew text (to say nothing of the Aramaic bit in Daniel). And, thanks to the glories of the web, you can see the first complete Greek manuscript at the www.codexsinaiticus.com which dates from around 350AD.