I have been looking at some images of old manuscripts including the spectacular Codex Sinaiticus. However, I have been trying to identify the passage a page is showing and my Greek just isn't up to the job. Can someone help me identify the book, chapter, and verse of this page (just the top left of the left page, I can follow it from there)? As is common from this time there are no spaces between the words and it is all in uncials. This is my best transliteration, though in a couple of places, the distinction between lambda and alpha isn't clear.


Photo of two pages of the Codex Sinaiticus

  • I can see KAINE DIATHEKE in the middle, which is a start. May 3, 2023 at 5:16
  • You are right. I think that is a delta not a lambda. I'll correct.
    – Fraser Orr
    May 3, 2023 at 5:24
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    I believe it's the middle of Luke 22:20, starting with "τὸ ποτήριον ἡ καινὴ διαθήκη ἐν τῷ αἵματί μου τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν ἐκχυννόμενον...."
    – Dan
    May 3, 2023 at 5:32
  • You should see the csntm site or similar one to read the verse numbering. Perhaps Facebook textual criticism books will obtain quickest answers.
    – Michael16
    May 3, 2023 at 6:19
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    Thank you Dan, I went through the first column and it is Luke 22:20ff concerning the last supper. It is pretty interesting how the scribe wrote it with little inserted corrections and a few other odd features. I think it is a fascinating exercise to look at these to see how very different the early copies were before we had the pretty texts we now think of as "original" in our Nestle and Alands. Dan if you put up an answer I'll accept it.
    – Fraser Orr
    May 3, 2023 at 14:02

2 Answers 2


The manuscript begins in the middle of Luke 22:20, starting with "τὸ ποτήριον ἡ καινὴ διαθήκη ἐν τῷ αἵματί μου τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν ἐκχυννόμενον...."


Dan Correctly worked through the Uncial Greek for you. However, if you'd like to grow in your uncial reading, might I suggest...

  1. Buying Accordance (with its uncial greek packages). That's how I learned to read the Uncial greek.
  2. Visit the Virtual Manuscript room. The images there are beautiful. And also, there's sidebar of greek text on the side (in minuscule script) to help if you get stuck. Sinaiticus is "20001". Put that number in the "doc ID" field.
  • Thanks, this is helpful. I think an important observation I have made is that the idea that "uncial" means capital letters really isn't true. It is certainly true that some uncial letters take the same form as modern Greek capital letters for example Η, Δ or Υ, it is clear that many far more resemble modern lower case letters like ω, ε and sometimes ξ. It is also true that many seem to be sort of halfway between such as θ, α or λ. And I think there is a case to be made that Σ is perhaps more akin to the terminal lower case ς I'm sure MSS vary on all of this though. Thanks for your comment.
    – Fraser Orr
    May 7, 2023 at 20:42

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