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Codex Sinaiticus

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At least, for all of its paradoxical truancies, the search for paradise in Sinai mirrors human evolution: gaps and discrepancies in translation, tortured souls, inclement weathers, a Babel of vernaculars, fragments, and more fragments; the beauty of its location, contested ideals, and a cumulative record of vanishing truths that remain with us.


  • Mount Sinai
  • Noah’s Ark
  • Bible
  • Arcadia
  • Saint John Climacus
  • Saint Catherine’s Monastery
  • Ladder to Paradise
  • asceticism
  • Old Testament
  • Constantin von Tischendorf

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-64526-7_13
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  1. 1.

    See Jan Brueghel The Elder – The Entry of the Animals into Noah’s Ark, by Arianne Faber Kolb, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Publications, Los Angeles, 2005, p. 27.

  2. 2.

    See the 812 images in the

  3. 3.

    op.cit., See Jan Brueghel The Elder – The Entry of the Animals into Noah’s Ark, by Arianne Faber Kolb, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Publications, Los Angeles, 2005, p. 47.

  4. 4., Accessed March 11, 2019.

  5. 5.

    See “Jan Brueghel Complete Catalogue,”, Accessed July 8, 2020.

  6. 6.

    For example, see Frances Frith’s famous, albeit desolate photograph in the Library of Congress, depicting Saint Catherine’s Monastery in the upper heart of the rocky valley, ca. 1862; Accessed March 1, 2019.

  7. 7.

    See “A Night Out In The Sinai,” Chapter One, from A Vision of Nature – Traces of the Original World, by Michael Tobias, Kent State University Press, Kent, Ohio, 1995, pp. 12–14.

  8. 8.

    See The Paradise of the Fathers, Volume 1, by Wallis Budget, Chatto & Windus, London, 1907.

  9. 9.


  10. 10.

    See the Project Noah,, Accessed March 9, 2019; See also, The Natural History of the Bible – An Environmental Exploration Of The Hebrew Scriptures, by Daniel Hillel, Columbia University Press, New York, 2006, particularly Chapter Six, “The Desert Domain – Wanderings in Sinai and the Negev,” pp. 118–139.

  11. 11.

    See, Accessed March 13, 2019.

  12. 12.

    op.cit., Tobias, A Vision of Nature, p. 22.

  13. 13.

    See The letters of Gregory the Great, translated, with introduction and notes, by John R.C. Martyn, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Toronto, 2004, Hathi Trust Digital Library,, Accessed March 8, 2019.

  14. 14.

    See Jacob’s Ladder Divine Ascent, P.Pincius, Venice, 1518; See also, L’E’Chelle Sainte, ou Les Degrez Pour Monter Au Ciel, Composez par S. Jean Climaque, Abbe Du Monastere Du Mont Sinai, Traduits Du Grec En Francois par Mr. Arnauld D’Andilly, With George and Louis Josse, Paris, 1688. And Sermoni Di S. Giovanni Climaco – Abbate nel Monte Sinai, Apresso Francesco, Milano 1585.

  15. 15.

    See The Ladder Of Divine Ascent, by Saint John Climacus, Revised Edition, Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Boston, Mass., 1991, p. 229.

  16. 16.

    See Picturesque Palestine -Sinai and Egypt, Edited by Colonel Wilson, Assisted By The Most Eminent Palestine Explorers, Four Volumes, London, Virtue And Company, 1880-1884. St. Catherine’s section, Volume 4, pp. 98–120, by Rev. C. Pickering Clarke.

  17. 17.

    See, Accessed March 13, 2019.

  18. 18.

    Roberts, ibid., Volume 11, p. 25.

  19. 19.

    ibid., Roberts, Volume II, p. 26.

  20. 20.

    ibid., Roberts, p. 28.

  21. 21.

    ibid., Roberts, p. 30.

  22. 22.

    ibid., Roberts p. 32.

  23. 23.

    ibid., Roberts, p. 34.

  24. 24.

    See In a Desert Land – Photographs of Israel, Egypt, and Jordan, by Neil Folberg, Abbeville Press, New York, 1987, particularly pp. 81–120.

  25. 25.

    See The Illustration Of The Heavenly Ladder of John Climacus, by John Rupert Martin, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1954, pp. 7–8.

  26. 26.

    ibid., Martin, p. 3. The great Danish genius, Søren Kierkegaard devoted an entire manuscript to the name of Johannes Climacus, writing in a section entitled, “III: The Absolute Paradox (A Metaphysical Caprice),” But one must not think ill of the paradox, for the paradox is the passion of thought, and the thinker without the paradox is like the lover without passion: a mediocre fellow. But the ultimate potentiation of every passion is always to will its own downfall, and so it is also the ultimate passion of the understanding to will the collision, although in one way or another the collision must become its downfall. This, then, is the ultimate paradox of thought: to want to discover something that thought itself cannot think.” Second Period: Indirect Communication (1843–46)

    Philosophical Fragments, p. 37,, Accessed August 11, 2019. For Kierkegaard, this passion to know is betrayed by the quest for knowledge, discovering its aspired to precision through faith and experience, not cognition.

  27. 27.

    Publisher: Bernardinus Benabus and Matheo da Parma.

  28. 28.

    See World Cat,, Accessed March 3, 2020.

  29. 29.

    See Holy Image – Hallowed Ground, Icons From Sinai, Edited by Robert S. Nelson and Kristen M. Collins, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 2006, p. 232.

  30. 30.

    ibid., Nelson and Collins, pp. 122–123.

  31. 31.

    Kurt Weitzmann, Manolis Chatzidakis, Krsto Miatev and Svetozar Radojðic. Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, 1966, Plates 1–36, and p. IX.

  32. 32.

    Breidenbach’s Peregrinatio in terram sanctam, 1486; and Fabri’s Fratris Felicis Fabri Evagatorium in Terrae sanctae, Arabiae et Aegypti peregrinationem, first published in 1484 –, and eventually consolidated and published in three volumes.

  33. 33.

    Preserved In The Public Library Of Petrograd, In The Library Of The Society Of Ancient Literature In Petrograd, And In The Library Of The University Of Leipzig, Now Reproduced In Facsimile From Photographs By Helen And Kirsopp Lake, With A Description And Introduction To The History Of The Codex By Kirsopp Lake, Oxford, At the Clarendon Press, Oxford UK, 1922.

  34. 34.

    ibid., p. xxiii.

  35. 35.

    See “The Cryptic African Wolf: Canis aureus lupaster Is Not a Golden Jackal and Is Not Endemic to Egypt,” Eli Knispel Rueness,  Maria Gulbrandsen Asmyhr, Claudio Sillero-Zubiri,  David W. Macdonald, Afework Bekele,  Anagaw Atickem,  and Nils Chr. Stenseth, Thomas M. Gilbert, Editor, PLoS One. 2011; 6(1): e16385.Published online 2011 Jan 26, doi:, PMCID: PMC3027653, PMID: 21298107, Accessed March 10, 2019.

  36. 36.

    See standard comparisons, see, Accessed March 13, 2019.

  37. 37.

    See page 2 of 80, Psalms, To The Reader,, 24-Ps-NETS-4.qxd, Accessed March 13, 2019; See Accessed March 13, 2019.

  38. 38.

    Cincinnati: Jennings & Graham; See the “Interlinear Bible,” Accessed March 13, 2019.

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Tobias, M.C., Morrison, J.G. (2021). Codex Sinaiticus. In: On the Nature of Ecological Paradox. Springer, Cham.

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