The manuscript, written in the 4th century and miraculously preserved by dry desert air, was originally nearly 1,500 pages long. 800 of those pages have been reproduced for the project. "The Codex Sinaiticus is one of the world's greatest written treasures," said Dr Scot McKendrick, head of Western manuscripts at the British Library. "This 1,600-year-old manuscript offers a window into the development of early Christianity and first-hand evidence of how the text of the Bible was transmitted from generation to generation. "The availability of the virtual manuscript for study by scholars around the world creates opportunities for collaborative research that would not have been possible just a few years ago." The original version contained about 1,460 pages - each measuring 40cm by 35cm, he added.