THE SINAITIC MANUSCRIPT
The most important of the ancient manuscripts of the New Testament are the three oldest uncials manuscripts. These three ancient vellum manuscripts are the greatest document-treasure of Christianity.
The first of the three is the Sinaitic Manuscript. This ancient manuscript gets its name from the fact that it was discovered by Constantine Tischendorf in the ancient monastery of Saint Catherine on Mount Sinai in 1859. Tischendorf had come to Saint Catherineâ€™s Monastery in search of ancient manuscripts. After days of searching in vain, he was invited to the steward of the coventâ€™s cell for refreshment. According to Tischendorf, â€œScarcely had we entered the room whenâ€¦he took down from the corner of the room a bulky kind of volume wrapped in a red cloth, and laid it before me…I knew [in that moment] that I held in my hand the most precious biblical treasure in existence.â€
This was the Sinaitic Manuscript, practically a complete copy of the entire Bible in Greek. At that time it was already 1500 years old, 600 years earlier than any manuscript used by the King James translators of the Bible. The Sinaitic Manuscript resides today in the British Museum in London.