Thursday, April 05, 2007

Sacred Texts from Jewish, Christian and Muslim Traditions

SACRED: Discover What We Share is an exhibit at the British Library from April 7 to September 23, 2007 presenting some of the earliest religious texts from the religions of the book. It is funded by representatives of all three faiths!

Among the manuscripts are:-


*Codex London: One of the oldest surviving manuscripts of the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament, which are central to Jewish worship. The traditional Jewish view is that these five books were written by the Prophet Moses at divine dictation. This rare early copy was made in the Middle East, perhaps Palestine, in the 10th century.

* Codex Sinaiticus: It is the oldest complete manuscript of the New Testament and the earliest and best witness for some books of the Old Testament as well. It was produced around 350 CE possibly in Palestine, but its name derives from the still active Monastery of Saint Catherine near the foot of Mount Sinai in Egypt where it was preserved for many centuries.

* Ma'il Qur'an: One of the earliest Qur’ans in the world to have survived, this dates from the beginning of the 8th century AD. That equates to the 1st century in the Muslim Hijri calendar, which means that this manuscript was penned within 100 years of a key event in the founding of Islam i.e. the hejira or flight of the Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina in 622 AD to escape his enemies. It was produced on the Arabian peninsula, probably in or near the holy cities of Islam.

* Syriac Pentateuch: The earliest known dated Biblical manuscript. This copy of the Books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy in Syriac is the earliest known dated Biblical manuscript. It was written by Deacon John at Amida (modern Diyarbakir in south eastern Turkey) in 463. Syriac was the language of the Syrian Church which extended across modern Turkey, Syria and Iraq. This version of the Bible (known as the Peshitta or 'simple' version) became important as the origin of most of the translations made into other languages of the Eastern churches, including Armenian.

DV, I'll be able to see this on Friday June 1st. Anyone care to join me?

2 comments:

Rev Dr Mom said...

Oh, I wish....but you know where I'll be :)

Deirdre said...

OK how about the Met Museum newly renovated Greek, Roman, Etruscan galleries opening April 20??