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DIGITAL IMAGING TECHNOLOGY
A real-life Bible Code: the amazing story of the Codex Sinaiticus
By David Gewirtz
Buried deep within the brittle, crumbling pages of the Codex Sinaiticus may well be hidden answers to questions that have haunted historians and religious scholars for centuries. Digital imaging may be the tool that helps researchers find a real-life Bible Code.
Our story begins between 3,295 and 3,449 years ago, during the reign of either Amenhotep II or Ramses II. As always, scholars disagree.
Imagine you, your family, and nearly everyone you know have been slaves. Suddenly, you're driven from your home and have to survive in the desert. You've spent three months in the desert. Your days are sweltering but at night, the temperature drops to close to freezing. Your journey is the stuff of legend.
Finally, your leaders stop and set camp below a huge mountain sometimes called Mount Horeb. You're there for nearly a year before your journey continues. Thousands of years later, the story of your time below Mount Horeb will be recounted in the last twenty-two chapters of Exodus, together with the whole of Leviticus, and the first eleven chapters of Numbers.
Mount Horeb, of course, is also known as Mount Sinai. Thousands of years would go by and the real location of Mount Sinai would fade. But about 1,700 years ago, two monks claimed they found the location of the legendary Burning Bush, located in Jabal Musa, in present day Egypt.
Back then, those monks would have traveled by camel at about three miles an hour, doing nearly twenty five miles in a day. Even at best speed, it would have taken the better part of a month to reach the base of the Mount from Cairo. Today, of course, you can travel to Mount Sinai by car. The trip is about two hours from Dahab, a popular and happenin' resort town at the southern tip of the Sinai Penninsula.
The mountain in the Sinai Penninsula we call Mount Sinai is unlikely to have been the one visited by biblical legend. There's a considerable body of academic evidence pointing away from Egypt and, instead, to Jabal al-Lawz in Saudi Arabia or even the volcano Hala-'l Badr, further south in Arabia.
Not knowing about these current academic theories, our two intrepid monks of the year 300 c.e. were successful in making their case for the Jabal Musa location in Egypt. In 527, by order of the Emperor St. Justinian the Great, a monastery was built at the base of the site we now call Mount Sinai.
St. Catherine's Monastery
"An epic debate, a battle of words that's quite literally biblical in proportion..."|
It's here, at the Monastery of St. Catherine, one of the oldest and longest running monasteries in the world, that our mystery continues. St. Catherine's Monastery, shown in Figure A, claims to guard the site of the Burning Bush, survived an invasion from Islam and still has in its posession a letter of protection from Islam's founder, Mohammed, himself. Named for St. Catherine of Alexandria, monks at the monastery claimed in the 9th-century that relics of St. Catherine were mysteriously transported there.
St. Catherine's looks more like a fortress than a monastery. Click picture for a larger image.
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