Most modern translations of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament are translations of the text of one medieval manuscript, the Leningrad Codex. The Leningrad Codex, held by the Russian National Library in St. Petersburg, occupies this prestigious position because it is the oldest complete manuscript of the Bible in Hebrew known to exist.

For many years the only photographic documentation of this important manuscript available to Western scholars was a muddy and at times unreadable microfilm. In 1990, the Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center, in collaboration with West Semitic Research, sent a photographic team to St. Petersburg (then Leningrad) to take crystal-clear photographs of the Leningrad Codex and make its text accessible to researchers and students around the globe.

An international team of Jewish and Christian scholars are now using the photographs to prepare a new edition of Biblia Hebraica, the publication of the biblical Hebrew text most used by scholars and students around the world. This new edition, Biblia Hebraica Quinta, will be published by the United Bible Societies, and will also be the basis of translations of the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament, or Tanakh) made throughout the world. With the new photographs in hand, the BHQ will be a completely revised and corrected of the Hebrew Bible. To insure access for students and scholars everywhere, ABMC worked with West Semitic Research, Los Angeles, CA and the University of Michigan to publish a photographic facsimile of the manuscript (Eerdmans, 1997).

For availability contact Eerdmans Publishing Company at



A scholar using the Facsimile Edition of the Leningrad Codex, (published by Eerdmans, 1994).