Oldest Known Bible Goes Online

LONDON, England (CNN) — The world’s oldest known Christian Bible goes online Monday — but the 1,600-year-old text doesn’t match the one you’ll find in churches today.

The Codex also includes much of the Old Testament adopted by early Greek-speaking Christians.

Discovered in a monastery in the Sinai desert in Egypt more than 160 years ago, the handwritten Codex Sinaiticus includes two books that are not part of the official New Testament and at least seven books that are not in the Old Testament.

The New Testament books are in a different order, and include numerous handwritten corrections — some made as much as 800 years after the texts were written, according to scholars who worked on the project of putting the Bible online. The changes range from the alteration of a single letter to the insertion of whole sentences.

And some familiar — very important — passages are missing…

This article is from CNN.com and I don’t really agree with everything it says, but if you want to read more, see here.

The official website for the project is here.

Literature on Early Christian Priesthood

The FAIR Blog has a great post by Keller listing some of the best resources available on the internet regarding early Christian priesthood history and structure.  He provides links to a large number of articles and presentations that have been given by LDS scholars on the topic.  Much thanks to “Keller” for putting this valuable information together!

You can see the post here.

The Body is Not a Prison

MormonTimes.com has a nice story on how Mormonism opposes the common religious idea that the body is a prison for the spirit or that the body is evil.  Author Michael De Groote explains:

The body is depraved. It is the center of sin. It is a prison.

At least that is how the body was viewed by some philosophers and Protestants, according to Benjamin Park, a graduate student at the University of Edinburgh, who spoke at the Mormon Scholars Foundation Summer Seminar on July 2 at BYU.

Park said Parley Pratt helped articulate the Mormons’ “radically optimistic” view of the body. This view developed as doctrines were revealed by Joseph Smith and then explained by Pratt.

Mainstream 19th century Christians “always separated the soul from its corporeal body,” Park said. The soul was the “immaterial human spirit,” the body “a temporary shelter.” Joseph Smith taught both spirit and body must be joined together to be a soul.

Pratt contemplated the nature of death while in Liberty Jail. He wrote about how matter was eternal in scope — an idea later declared by Joseph Smith, who took it even further than Pratt: “(T)he spirit is a substance; that it is material, but that it is more pure … and refined matter than the body.”

To read the whole article, go here.

I have thought a lot about this subject from time to time, as the idea that the body is evil is a very ancient idea that turns up in many cultures and religions, including many Greek religions, Gnosticism, and in many ascetic traditions.  It is a most unfortunate trend, in my opinion, that doesn’t represent more ancient religious thought.

New Mormon Gateway at Patheos.com

Religious website Patheos.com has a new Mormon Gateway that provides numerous cool stories and links that would be of interest to the LDS audience and those interested in learning more about the LDS church.  The site is put together by Ben Spackman, a BYU graduate who has done graduate work in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago.  I have met Ben and spoken with him on a few occasions and can’t think of a better guy to have been chosen to put together this wonderful site!

New BYU Project on High-Tech Imaging of Ancient Texts

The Ancient Textual Imaging Group, based at Brigham Young University is becoming very well-known for their high-tech photographing and digitizing of ancient religious texts.

Read about their latest project here.

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