BAR 34:05, Sep/Oct 2008
Throughout its long history, the Aleppo Codex has been carefully and jealously guarded. Today, however, it is available to all. Under the auspices of the Ben-Zvi Institute in Jerusalem and funding by George S. Blumenthal, the codex—that is, the remnants of it that arrived in Jerusalem in 1957—are available free online.
Visitors to the codex’s site can learn about the text’s unique features and read a detailed history of the Masoretic textual tradition. But the highlight of the site is, of course, the codex itself: visitors can search the entire extant text, chapter by chapter, verse by verse. A zoom function allows for close inspection of the text and of its extensive marginalia; it also affords readers a first-hand look at the damage that the codex has sustained.
The Aleppo Codex has seen many resting places in its 1,000 years. Only time will tell whether the Internet will serve as a durable home. One thing is certain: Never have so many readers, both scholars and laypeople, had the opportunity to examine this precious document.