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As a student of textual and historical criticism of the Christian scriptures, I am interested in seeing the earliest extant copies of the texts. There are a number of sites devoted to providing access to some of these papyri, such as this one and this one (don't worry, no theology on these links, and the texts are written in Koine Greek). I would like to find something similar to this, but related to papyri of the Tanakh.

I know that Judaism is a bit different from Christianity in this regard - as far as I have heard and read, Jews treat the actual documents with reverence, whereas Christians don't really care about the document, only the ideas represented by the words on the documents. This might make it unacceptable to post images of the texts online, but I really don't know.

Is there an online database of images of the earliest extant manuscripts of the books of the Tanakh?

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The two main texts you probably want to see, in terms of the Masoretic texts, are the Leningrad and Aleppo Codices, available online here and here respectively.

See here for many more old scanned manuscripts.

  • That last link is exactly what I was looking for. Codices tend to be much more recent than papyri, so I am more interested in the papyri. Unfortunately, papyri don't withstand the ravages of time very well, so they are often fragmentary and in extremely poor condition. I appreciate your answer! – Wad Cheber Aug 20 '15 at 18:57

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