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Thread: "it did NOT look to be 1600 years old"

  1. Default "it did NOT look to be 1600 years old"

    Joseph Dindinger

    Facebook - NT Textual Criticism

    I had the immense pleasure of seeing Codex Sinaiticus on a recent trip to the British Library. I was struck, however, by how it did NOT look to be 1600 years old. Rather, it looked similar to the manuscripts which are roughly half that age.I deal with books in the 100 to 150 year range all the time, and the ink is worn a bit more than what I'm used to, but not hugely so. It also has annotations in red ink, which is my understanding fades a lot sooner than black ink. So it just looked to me like it was a lot newer than the middle of the 4th century.

    So I decided to research the method of dating, and all I can find from the official site, and other resources on the internet is that the dating is based on the type of writing itself, rather than any records of the Bible in antiquity (it was discovered in a monastery which wasn't even built until at least 100 years later), or other dating methods.

    My question is: how do we know that this manuscript was not copied from an older one in, say 1200 AD? Can anyone point me to more in-depth material on the dating of Codex Sinaiticus?
    Steven Avery
    Facebook - Pure Bible

    It is nice when someone simply speaks the clear and obvious truth. Sinaiticus is not a 4th century ms., not even close.

    Basically the Textual Criticism crew tried some diversions, and three posters were superb.

    In my experience, those in the art world have the easiest time seeing that Sinaiticus is not what is claimed. One made me smile the other day -- "obvious fake" (and she is not a Christian, or an AV reader.)
    At least one point is brand new from Joseph above.

    We know a lot about the ink, and have a special Palaeographic Puzzle page on the PureBibleForum, much of the material was originally on a Palaeography Forum.

    *** Joseph adds an excellent point about the minimal fading of the red ink. ***

    As we know, most of the palaeography around Sinaiticus is a Tischendorf charade based on conceptual errors and circular analysis, and ignoring major evidences that it is late.

    Joseph gets an Integrity Plus kudo -- he was not even aware that Sinatiicus authenticity and dating has been questioned
    This post:

    "it did NOT look to be 1600 years old"

    And a little note to the NT Textual Criticism crew, James Snapp will not take my post there. That is his right, and is one reason the more excellent posts are mirrored here and shared on Facebook PureBible and Sinaiticus groups.

  2. Default just throwing out: 'maybe it's this, maybe it's that, or perhaps this other thing'

    Another superb post on the thread.

    David Inglis

    James, you commented: If the difference is not merely a matter of different camera-setting ... then it's likely a matter of the effects of different storage-conditions. Plus ... monks ...prepared a new binding ... perhaps they cleaned up the pages too. But whatever the explanation, ...

    So what IS the explanation? Just throwing out: 'maybe it's this, maybe it's that, or perhaps this other thing' without actually providing evidence for or against any of these possibilities not just unhelpful, it's no better than what you accuse others of, i.e. interpreting evidence one way without having first falsified all other possibilities.
    Although David goes a bit too far, if he thinks you can ever falsify all other possibilities . Often we have dueling probabilities, and supposed "coincidences", a point I make often on this forum.

    However, his major point is superb. Where is the evidence that any of these situations occurred? Or that they really could account for the anomaly? Just throwing out a bunch of maybes, sans any evidence, is quite unconvincing.

    One irony in the writing of James .. if the monks cleaned up the pages, it would be the British Library 1859 that would be white parchment (using some unknown super-solution) not the 1844 Leipzig pages.


    However, we can not expect too much accuracy and clear thinking from James, for over a year he has maintained the following blunders on his site, despite many attempts to offer the simple corrections:

    172 pages
    43 sheets

    The correct number is 86 pages, and if you were going to talk sheets you would say 21.5, but that is awkward because not all the sheets are intact.

    Even on his blog page, the url above, I offer the correction back in Feb, 2018. Yet the Snapp error stands.

    And I also give the url here, to the PureBibleForum, where I responded to his posts.


  3. Default James Snapp absurd fantasises about the New Finds

    The errors of Snapp on Sinaiticus are a lot worse than his inability to put the right number of pages.

    Here is a bit of James Snapp total nonsene from the recent thread:

    Consider just one piece of evidence that I mentioned earlier in this thread: the new finds, discovered in 1975. To account for these pages while maintaining the notion that Simonides made Sinaiticus, one would have to posit a scenario in which the monks at St. Catherine's, in the 1800s, received as a gift a very large, newly made pristine codex containing the Greek Old Testament and New Testament (plus Barnabas and Hermas), and decided to dismember it, destroy some pages (including all of Exodus and most of Leviticus), put some pages in a side-room (where they stayed until 1975), turn one page into a bookmark, and keep others intact, till the time of Tischendorf's first visit -- and then, after his first visit, rebind the surviving pages which previously they had /unbound/. .
    This is all fantasy from James Snapp, totally ridiculous.

    The New Finds included discard pages from Sinaiticus in the 1840s to 1850s. And the Hermas section was particularly problematic because of how Tischendorf had accused the very similar Sinaiticus of 1855 from Simonides of being a Latin retranslation.

    Also Uspensky in writing of his 1845 visit specifically mentioned that Hermas was included in the manuscript. He did not say "a small part of Sinaticus".

    The Genesis 23-24 page was included specifically in the controversies as to whether Simonides had made markings on the manuscript.

    I discussed this in response to #20 on his list, the multiplication of nothigns (also #13)

    James Snapp #3 - Ten More Reasons Sinaiticus Was Not Made by Simonides

    Steven Avery

    Simonides and Kallinikos did say that the manuscript had been mangled and taken apart by Tischendorf.

    As for Hermas, the simplest explanation is that Simonides, like many, had a tendency to say what was convenient. Not trying to be too contrary to the English opposition, he fudged elements of the story.Especially as the Brits listening to his story at times accused him of having made a forgery, not a replica, and that was not his purpose.

    The Hermas New Finds discovery is especially interesting as that was the most embarrassing section of the 1844 Simoneidos document. Tischendorf wanted the Hermas and Barnabas discovery (they had already been reported by Uspensky), but the linguistic issues that came out around 1856 might torpedo the whole enterprise. Tischendorf accused the Hermas of Simonides of having later Latin elements. Then he found it the better discretion to quietly retract the accusation, in Latin, in a confusing section. James Donaldson said that this accusation also applies to the Sinaiticus Hermas. And, my conjecture is that it applies to the later parts of Sinaiticus (which Donaldson did not see.) Thus, Tischendorf limited the Sinaiticus Hermas damage by dumping much of the document in the dump room.
    James never responded.


    Simonides actually produced "Sinaitic" Hermas and Barnabas editions BEFORE the Sinaiticus discovery. Now that is an amazing and important fact, that James Snapp does not discuss.

    AND James Donaldson did a careful linguistic analysis and said the Sinaiticus Hermas and Barnabas had to be much later than 4th century.

    James comes up with the most absurd "multiplication of nothings" and does not study the Sinaiticus history and evidences.

  4. Default look at a beautiful condition Leipzig page

    Part of the response to Joseph Dindinger was that he was seeing the "best" displayed. This was disingenuous, since even the "best" leaves should avoid issues like red ink fading, general ink acidic deterioration action, and the parchment should become brittle.

    Joseph should try to see the white parchment Leipzig pages for comparison (also the BBC video.) They do not have the yellow, streaky colour. We can see their amazing condition online,e.g.
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  5. Default James Snapp struggles to understand why only the 1859 pages were coloured

    Here is another doozy from James Snapp, which he tries every couple of months:

    it seems downright wacky to do what Avery and Daniels do with this feature, which is, interpret it as evidence that Tiscnendorf, after already presenting the pages at Leipzig (Codex Frederico-Aug., acquired in his first visit --- the one about which he made his famous claim that the pages were about to be burned by the monks), treated the remainder of the pages so as to give them (but not the pages at Leipzig) the appearance of greater age.
    And this is fully answered here:

    Tischendorf would have preferred to have one consistent colour manuscript

    All of this is rather trivial. Tischendorf knew that a white parchment manuscript would be likely to sink his ship. Even if he got away with it so far at Leipzig. (Limited access has always been Tischendorf's deception friend, until 2009.)

    He could not do much with Leipzig, except make sure there was very little access. And thus he put incredible efforts into pointing people to his facsimile, which deceptively hid the colour and stain and streak difference and hid the fact that Leipzig was white parchment.

    When he deposited the white parchment in Leipzig in 1844, he did not have all the details worked out. And he could go back to the library and colour the pages. The Librarians would blow the whistle on that mangling.

  6. Default "the people making this argument have never actually seen it"

    Here is a popular contra argument:

    Bill Brown
    Keep in mind the people making this argument have never actually seen it. They’ve seen computer images and combined them with a rather active imagination.
    I find this to be a real argument.

    First, the libraries have historically given very little access to the manuscript, even to scholars. The British Library gave access to five scholars in 25 years, as pointed out in one of the threads. Tischendorf did what he could to keep the ms. out of sight and emphasize his tampered facsimile, that hid the colour and condition issues.

    More importantly, if we said

    "we saw the manuscript sections, and the colour is quite different in Leipzig and England"

    The argument would be exactly the opposite.

    "who cares what you think you saw. Prove it with good photographs"

    And there would at least be a point, in that case.

    Amazing the weak arguments that are put forth for Sinaiticus authenticity.

    As for the "active imagination", that is quite absurd. Even the British Library acknowledges the colour disparity. (Although they have not discussed the stain and streak disparity.) The question remains .. how did it get there?

  7. Default an astute comment on the textual criticism reactions to the colouring

    From our discussion, used with permission:

    Peter Bilmer:
    At the NT Textual Criticism group lots of people seem to be very critical towards the Simonides affair.
    But at least it has been publicly admitted that there is currently no explanation who colored Sinaiticus and why.
    Peter Bilmer:

    Not everything what Simonides said was true.
    But it's the same with Tischendorf too.
    He probably didn't find the sheets in a basket and saved them from getting burned.

    But why then are there burn marks on some folia?

    It seems there are today even more unsolved mysteries than when the Codex was first published.

  8. Default Scrivener wrote in palaeographic support without ever seeing the manuscript!

    One other comment on that discussion.

    James Snapp makes a big point about the Scrivener writings, which have been answered point by point.

    Keep in mind though that Scrivener could not make a judgement on many of the major palaeographic and manuscript condition elements.

    Scrivener never saw the manuscript, or even pictures of the manuscript, when he wrote giving his support.

    Scrivener saw only the deceptive Tischendorf facsimile. Even when Tischendorf brought the CFA to England in 1865, there is no indication that Scrivener was there for any of the talks.

  9. Default Jacob W. Peterson tries to claim the colour differences are small

    Jacob W. Peterson is now trying to claim that the difference between Leipzig and the British Library is wrong in the CSP pictures (which we use at ) This theory of Jacob is based on the coded numbers. Thus, he says, the white-yellow difference (which the British Library acknowledges) really is very small, with his emphasis being on Leipzig actually being more yellow.

    The Jacob W. Peterson posts start here:

    And his pictures are placed on bottom below here.

    See our colour engineer expert Mark Michie below, as Mark focuses on why the methodology of Jacob is flawed, and his conclusions not justified.

    Jacob uses a computer generated color patch based on the color number. I tried that too.

    #1 I found that different color patch generators on the internet give visually different results.

    #2 Jacob has ignored the fact that the colour numbers are assigned to each page based on which colour card in hand is "closest" in colour to the spot on the page that is being viewed - closest out of a select few options. It's not an infinitely variable scale.
    Excellent, Mark, right to the heart of the matter. Thanks!

    And (my note, from our discussions )

    #3 - the English pages are streaky and stained, colours varying within a page, with only one number assigned. Leading to an obvious degree of sight assignment unreliability. (Ironically, I believe Jacob pointed this number limitation out in a conversation some months ago!) A photograph allows us to process the full page, however assigning a single number is of very limited efficacy when the pages are uneven, as in the British Library.

    Last time I looked at one of these, Elijah Hixson and I were going over the numbers!

    Elijah, who is generally far more sensible and concerned with integrity, than the rant contras, had made this error:

    According to, these four pages all have the same color code according to the "scientific calibration" you mention. 438196592180&comment_tracking=%7Btn%3AR%7D

    And I made up a chart of the contiguous numbers, to correct a couple of inaccurate comment from Elijah :

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    Now, Jacob claims that S1005-Y20R and S1010-Y10R are actually very close. However, his methods have a built-in variableness, as explained by Mark. That is why the photographs tell the tale (confirmed by the British Library). There is a mild amount of variation (you can see that in the colour bars) but it just barely dents the visible difference. See below for more on colour bar variableness.

    We have gone over many of these issues with Jacob Peterson before.
    A lot of information is on:

    can photography anomalies account for the 1844 CFA white vs the 1859 yellow ?

    (That page has a lot of good material.) And we have more additional discussions available from the past, but I believe this post helps make clear the claims of Jacob, that the Leipzig CSP pages are way off from the truf.


    Here is the current argument of Jacob Peterson from the thread, claiming that the Leipzig pages are really nothing like the images at CSP:

    ... anyone familiar with digital imaging can instantly note the color target in comparison images reveals the Leipzig images were not balanced correctly, leading to a cooling of the images tone. erhaps you could start a new thread emphasizing this aspect of the controversy, to address this particular aspect (technical details of color-variation in digital photography) of the evidence? ... I've been considering blogging about it ... I've also been tempted to try applying a post-processing white balance to one of the leipzig leaves. If I can get an image with the full name of the target and model, this might not be terribly difficult because then I can get its specific white value.
    This seems to be the idea of fully equalizing the colour bars from Leipzig to the British Library.

    Mark and I discussed this a bit.

    Mark Michie
    I'm sure that if one could edit all the images so that all the colour bars look perfectly identical, the visual comparison of leaves and sections of the mss would be more precise. Until then, we have what we have.

    CSP decided not to do that before publishing the photos. Why?
    Steven Avery

    It would seem to be an unnecessary degree of precision. From my visual examination, it is my view that the colour bar variations are less than 10% of the ms page variation in the white, cream and yellow colour spectrums.

    It is possible that Jacob has some other idea in mind. We look forward to his attempt to show the Leipzig pages to be actually far more yellow than they are in the CSP pictures.
    And we really look forward to Jacob trying to make his position into a CSNTM blog post!

    Then we can really go back and forth, iron sharpeneth.

    The ball is really in Jacob's court. The huge colour distinction is obvious on the CSP site. It is the opinion of Jacob that the CSP site is giving a very wrong picture, that the Leipzig off-whites are really yellow. Go for it!

    Maybe he can also touch on other points, like the point raised by Joseph above, how the red inks do not have 1700 years of fading. The "phenomenally good condition", with easy-peasy page turning. The staining and streakyness only in the British Library pages, not Leipzig. And much more. Finally give his example of similar wonderfully preserved ancient mss that were used over the centuries.


    Here is a bit more about how this was approached by Jacob, trying to use the visually assigned numbers and a computer-generated color patch to negate the photographic evidence of the 1844 Leipzig and 1859 British Library colour variation.

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    Here are some general difficulties and issues that I would add about the colour numbers.

    1) The English numbers are all over the map - wildly divergent from page to page - so taking one or two is not a study. And the most logical reason why they are all over the map - the staining.

    2) By contrast, the Leipzig numbers are 100% consistent. No stains and streaks, one white parchment colour. There is one good explanation for the difference, the British Library pages were subject to staining between 1844 and c. 1860.

    3) The numbers are SIGHT numbers. They are helpful, but secondary in this instance to the PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY, which is done with careful committee oversight. And professional standards and colour calibration bars.

    4) Thus, any analysis of one or two coded numbers is of minimal help. You need dozens, or better, the whole ms. Mark Michie has made that information available with EVERY page included. And it corroborates the colour difference, the English numbers are far more yellow than the Leipzig.

    Also from my discussions with Mark:

    Mark Michie
    Yes, I agree that two individual pages can not be used to prove anything. Sample size is very important.
    We are also discussing the two methods of assigning colours, as there are some cases where visual numbers actually can be excellent.

  10. Default conspiracy theory!

    FYI: NOT a response to the thread.

    The Jacob W. Peterson classic quote from a few months back is about his pro-vaccination position .

    NT Textual Criticism

    Jacob W. Peterson
    That late daters should be banned alongside anti-vaxxers, flat earth people, and moon landing deniers.
    Seriously, this isn’t a discussion to be had. No one who has ever actually studied manuscripts, their production, their handwriting, their digitisation, or worked in a monastery thinks it’s true. The only people who late date it do so from a prior theological conviction that the KJV is a “pure bible” and they therefore need to disprove
    Then if you read the thread, Jaoob tried a totally bogus claim that Sinaiticus as a late manuscript is non-falsifiable.

    For the OP and James, this is why such discussions should be banned: It’s a non-falsifiable conclusion held by people making wildly unverifiable claims that do nothing but tempt the gullible.
    Which was pre-answered:

    evidences that could demonstrate authenticity and falsify Simonides involvement in the making of Sinaiticus
    That one made me wonder a bit about Jacob's logic skills.


    Yes, I do recommend the Vaxxed film and the Youtube weekly program of Del Bigtree.

    And, to stir the pot even more, I also recommend that you look closely at the lunar lander, and various anomalies, in deciding about the moon landing.

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