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The Story of Codex Vaticanus

Codex Vaticanus is a manuscript that is equally as old as Codex Sinaiticus. It was found to be in the first library catalog list at the Vatican, which was done in 1475.

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We don't know where Codex Sinaiticus came from or what it's history is. Our best guess is that Vaticanus, like Codex Sinaiticus, was almost surely produced in Egypt, probably in Alexandria.

How do we know this?

There was, starting in the 2nd century BC, a very strong tradition of making accurate copies of secular books in Alexandria. This tradition bled over into biblical books, so that the scribes there of the biblical books also knew how to make very, very careful copies.

How reliable is this manuscript? Vaticanus is a better manuscript than Sinaiticus for portions of the New Testament. But Sinaiticus is better for other portions.

I have seen the manuscript. I spent a week with it at the Vatican in the manuscript room. It's a beautiful manuscript. I think it's our most important biblical manuscript, because of all the manuscripts we have, Codex Vaticanus comes closest overall to the original wording of the New Testament.

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