language menu item language menu item language menu item language menu item

Detail showing a skeletal parchment feature on Quire 41 folio 4 recto
Detail showing a skeletal parchment feature on Quire 41, folio 4 recto. The image is rotated by 90 degrees to the right.

Download the full image.


As it survives today, Codex Sinaiticus comprises just over 400 large leaves of prepared animal skin, each of which measures 380mm high by 345mm wide. On these parchment leaves is written around half of the Old Testament and Apocrypha (the Septuagint), the whole of the New Testament, and two early Christian texts not found in modern Bibles. Most of the first part of the manuscript (containing most of the so-called historical books, from Genesis to 1 Chronicles) is now missing and presumed to be lost.

The Septuagint includes books which many Protestant Christian denominations place in the Apocrypha. Those present in the surviving part of the Septuagint in Codex Sinaiticus are 2 Esdras, Tobit, Judith, 1 & 4 Maccabees, Wisdom and Sirach.

The number of the books in the New Testament in Codex Sinaiticus is the same as that in modern Bibles in the West, but the order is different. The Letter to the Hebrews is placed after Paul's Second Letter to the Thessalonians, and the Acts of the Apostles between the Pastoral and Catholic Epistles.

The two other early Christian texts are an Epistle by an unknown writer claiming to be the Apostle Barnabas, and 'The Shepherd', written by the early second-century Roman writer, Hermas.

Find out more about Codex Sinaiticus