New Testament Significance

Sinaiticus - Matthew 6:4-32

A Leaf of the Codex Sinaiticus showing Matthew 6:4-32

The Codex Sinaiticus is hugely significant even today because it is still considered one of the most valuable texts when determining the original text in the New Testament. It is the earliest form of the New Testament that we read today, and contains all of the books in the canon. Its content is also regarded as more accurate than most other manuscripts because it was written only 300 years after the earliest Greek New Testament manuscripts. These manuscripts, however, were just standalone books, and the Codex Sinaiticus is one of the earliest examples, together with the Codex Vaticanus, of the combining of all these books into one volume, the majority of which we now call the New Testament. The order in which these books appear in the Codex Sinaiticus has also contributed largely to the modern order in today’s New Testament.

The Codex Sinaiticus additionally contains two books that are not part of the canon, namely the Epistle of Barnabas and 'The Shepherd' of Hermas. Neither of these books is accepted nowadays as books of the New Testament, and this gives us an insight into early Christianity and their traditions. The inclusion of these two books suggests, of all the individual books that were being passed around at the time of constructing the Codex Sinaiticus, the Epistle of Barnabas and 'The Shepherd' of Hermas were in fact considered accepted books of The Bible. However since then, the Christian view to these two books has changed, and they are no longer included or regarded as “divinely inspired”.

New Testament Significance