A MANUSCRIPT OF what is believed to be the earliest complete copy of the New Testament is set to become available for viewing online.

The "Codex Sinaiticus", a parchment manuscript, was written in the middle of the fourth century and is arguably the oldest Christian Bible in existence.

For 70 years it has been the subject of political wrangling over ownership between four countries – Britain, Russia, Germany and Egypt.

Up until now, the original precious artefact has been divided, with the British Library holding the majority of pages and smaller sections being held in libraries in St. Petersburg, Leipzig and St. Catherine’s Monastery in Egypt.

The Bible was discovered by Leipzig University professor Constantin von Tischendorf at the Monastery of St. Catherine in 1844.

For the first time, the British Library is set to bring together all the extracts, so that the entire Codex will be available online.

Visitors to www.codexsinaiticus.org are currently able to view the Book of Psalms and the Gospel of Mark, handwritten in Greek more than 1,600 years ago, and access translations and the thousands of corrections that were made to the Bible.

The full text of the manuscript should be available online by next July.  The Universe

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