Monday, 21 June 2010

Reading the Earliest Sacred Texts in the UK and Ireland - Codex Sinaiticus

I still remember during my first trip to London many years ago, I decided to give the Changing the Guards Ceremony at Buckingham Palace a miss (and until today, after numerous trips to London, I still have yet to witness this Ceremony, and friends have been telling me I don't know what I miss).

But for me, there was something else that was far more important to see. I would rather exchange the Changing the Guard Ceremony for a visit to the British Library. The reason was simple - I wanted to have a look at the Codex Sinaiticus and other sacred texts that are on display at the Sir John Ritblat Gallery that showcases the treasures of British Library. As an NT scholar, I would not give a visit to have a peek at this very important Codex a miss.

Over the years, I still make return visits to the British Library. This current trip to England is no exception. I was at the British Library recently, and I remained speechless and overwhelmed with a sense of awe when I stood before the display of the Codex Sinaiticus. This important Codex, discovered at St Catherine Monastery at the foot of Mt Sinai (hence the name, Codex Sinaiticus), contains the earliest copy of the complete New Testament dated back to the 4th century. On display is the final section of John 21, including John 21:25. Also on display are the portions of the Old Testament in Greek as well, and one can view portions of Psalms. It is interesting that the layout format for the NT text and OT text is slightly different. The NT was written in four columns format (see the image above) while the Psalms were written in two column format.

Displayed next to the Codex Sinaiticus is another important manuscript dated to the 5th century known as the Codex Alexandrinus. Numerous important Bibles such as the Lindisfarne Gospels dated back to the 7th century, the Wycliffe Bible dated late 14th century and Parc Abbey Bible dated 12th century are also on display.

I have always told my friends that we need to know the heritage and tradition of our faith and our scripture. If you are planning for a visit to London, make a tour to the British Library a priority. Perhaps like me, the Changing the Guards Ceremony and visit to Buckingham Palace can wait. And the best is, a visit to the gallery that houses the treasures of our sacred texts does not charge any admission fees!

By the way, as an evidence for my love for scripture, I even bought a poster of the Codex Sinaitucus that is now nicely framed and proudly on display in my office.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

The End is Nigh....

Time flies, and one month has quickly gone by and my time at Tyndale House in Cambridge is about to come to an end soon. Work has been progressing well, and I must say I am rather pleased with the progress thus far. I managed to tidied up the Introductory chapter of the book I am working on, and made significant revision on 3 other chapters. What's left for me is to tidy up the manuscript and then perhaps look for a publisher to publish my work.

This visit to Cambridge is also a very memorable one, and I will blog in the next post why this is so. Friends who have been following me on my Facebook would probably able to guess the reason for this.

This is my final weekend here - and I am going to chill out and have a little break before heading home.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Philip Esler Moves to St Mary's University College

Prof Philip Esler has been appointed as the new Principal of St Mary's University College, Twickenham, London. He will be leaving University of St Andrews in taking up this new position in the new academic year.

Read about Philip Esler's appointment here.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Cambridge University to digitalise faith and science library collections | Christian News on Christian Today

Cambridge University to digitalise faith and science library collections | Christian News on Christian Today

Cambridge University Library has announced plans to become a digital library for the world.

The library is home to more than seven million books and some of the greatest collections in existence, including those of Newton and Darwin.

The first collections to be digitised will be entitled The Foundations of Faith and The Foundations of Science. The goal for both is that they become ‘living libraries’ with the capacity to grow and evolve.

The library’s faith collections include some of the oldest and most significant Qur’ans ever to be uncovered, as well an eighth century copy of Surat al-Anfal.

The library also holds the world’s largest and most important collection of Jewish Genizah materials, including the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Collection – 193,000 fragments of manuscripts as significant as the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Its Christian holdings include the Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis, one of the most important Greek New Testament manuscripts, the Book of Deer and the Book of Cerne.

Read the rest of the report here.

The Bible Society Library in the Cambridge University Library also houses copies of the oldest Malay bibles. Let's hope that some of these bible that contain the word "Allah" will be made available too.

Galloway & Porter: RIP

It was with sadness that I walked by my favourite bookstore, Galloway & Porter, in the city yesterday. The curtain has finally been drawn on May 31 on this store. There goes another shop where I could get theological books at a real bargain. As I look back, I must have purchased more than 60 books from this bookstore over the numerous trips to Cambridge over the past few years.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

NT Position: St John's Nottingham

Here's an announcement from St John's College, Nottingham.

St John's College, Nottingham: TUTOR IN NEW TESTAMENT

Due to a significant growth in student numbers, we wish to appoint a full-time lecturer in New Testament Studies from September 1, 2010.

St John’s stands in the evangelical and charismatic tradition within the Church of England, and is committed to innovative and participative learning for mission and ministry through flexible courses for ordinands, lay people and youth workers. It continues to develop training which is culturally sensitive, and is fully committed to the church's agenda on Mission-Shaped Church.

The lecturer will join this developing, research-active team and work with colleagues to deliver the teaching of New Testament studies, up to and including postgraduate level. The person appointed will either have already completed a relevant research degree or be nearing completion and, as a practising Christian sharing our core values, will take a full part in our worshipping, learning community, including leading a student formation group.

Applications are invited from lay or ordained persons.

Application pack from
Mr Spenser Turner,
St John’s College,
Nottingham, NG9 3DS.
0115 925 1114

Applications close: June 11, 2010