ancient catalog at St. Catherine's Monastery?

Steven Avery

Administrator
Hi,

This is quoted today mostly in the context of the tissuedorf about the trash can burning, however it is more directly related to the authenticity concerns. Here Peterson is quoting Elliott p. 16:


Tischendorf and the Codex Sinaiticus: The Saga Continues (2005)
Michael D. Peterson
https://books.google.com/books?id=DLSMIdACXbUC&pg=PA77

"A letter published in The Guardian on 27 May 1863 from the Revd. J. Silvester Davies one-time chaplain to the British Consul in Alexandria ... quotes a monk of Sinai who ... stated that according to the librarian of the monastery the whole of Codex Sinaiticus had been in the library for many years and was marked in the ancient catalogues"
"Manuscript Production on Mount Sinai from the Tenth to the Thirteenth Century" - by Nancy Sevcenko is an example of one of many writings that would be helped by such a catalog. Chris Pinto emphasized how hard it was to get any clear response about the possible existence of the ethereal catalog(s). Keep in mind that such a catalog could prove the authenticity of Sinaiticus (as claimed 3rd hand in the 1860s controversies) or it could give strong support to Sinaiticus only being created in the 1800s.

Does any such catalog exist? Simonides said no (and asserted that he had made a catalog):

Journal of sacred literature – (1863)
http://books.google.com/books?id=kR82AAAAMAAJ&pg=PA495
“I emphatically deny that the Codex Sinaiticus was inscribed in the Ancient Catalogue, for the good reason that no ancient catalogue exists ; there was none there whatever, till I made a catalogue, during my first visit, for the Patriarch of Constantinople, Constantius, who before was Archbishop of Mount Sinai.” – Constantine Simonides – June 6, 1863
The J. Silvester Davies letter actually accused Simonides of lying on Sinaiticus, with this ethereal catalog being a major evidence. The letter, purported to be sent to Davies by "Kallinikos Hieromonachos of Sinai" and reprinted in the Journal of Sacred Literature, is here:

The Journal of Sacred Literature and Biblical Record, Volume 3
(1863)
https://books.google.com/books?id=gnstAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA493

"Simonides.. lies when he positively affirms that the ancient MS. of the Holy Scripture, published by Mr. Tischendorf, is his work; because the MS. in question (as the librarian of our holy monastery, having been so from the year 1841 to 1858, assured me) belonged to the library of the monastery, and was marked in its ancient catalogues. The book, then, which the librarian who was appointed in 1841 found in this library, how could it possibly be the work of Simonides...."


Notice that the authority for the writing contra Simonides was said to be the librarian from 1841-1858 (allowing some possible variation in years and position). I believe this would be Kyrillos, (Cyrillus) who was close to Tischendorf throughout the heist. Thus, even if this Kallinikos heard from the librarian at Sinai, and passed it on to Davies, the librarian would have a motive to sanitize the account to match the Tischendorf representations. And to embellish the account (the ancient manuscript.)


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There was a renovation of the library by Nicephorus in 1734.

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Greek and Latin Manuscripts at Sinai (2010)
Georgi Parpulov
https://www.academia.edu/1491824/Greek_and_Latin_Manuscripts_at_Sinai

.... the following inscription above it: "This library was renovated in 1734 through the care and stewardship or Kyr Nicephorus, most holy and pious Archbishop of Mount Sinai, and the labour of the Sinai monk and mason Philotheus and of Simeon. Remember them, ye who read this".' The archimandrite and his companions took

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More details here
:

before 1844 - poof provenance
https://www.purebibleforum.com/index.php/threads/c.8.a/post-21

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And here:

Codex Sinaiticus - the white parchment Friderico-Augustanus
http://earlywritings.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=21420&sid=e1b7e6bb0103770b65e45cdf1201065f#p21420


... likely a reference to the 1734 catalogue of Nicephorus Marthalis, who both copied and signed manuscripts in that period.

In one place, I have: "catalog by Nikephoros Marthalis Glykos in 1734" (that may have been my conjecture from these sections.)

The Library
http://www.sinaimonastery.com/en/index.php?lid=203

In 1725, Nicephorus Marthalis was elected Archbishop of Sinai. He had been a scribe, and the library contains manuscripts written in his hand. He had a great concern for the manuscripts, and asked that they be gathered into a new location opposite the Archbishop's quarters, and that a catalogue of the manuscripts be drawn up..


The Mount Sinai, Monastery of Saint Catherine, Sin. Gr. 1464 is signed by Nikephoros the Hieromonk [Νικηφόρος Ἱερ[ομόναχος] ὁ Κρητός ] on fol. 270v..
http://www.doaks.org/library-archives/l ... in-gr-1464


Interestingly, despite the great interest in the provenance of Sinaiticus, afaik nobody has produced or examined this 1734 catalog, or any ancient catalog.

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Here we have the points made by Chris Pinto:

Answering Dr. Daniel Wallace on Codex Sinaiticus & the Simonides Affair - Oct 2, 2013
http://www.noiseofthunderradio.com/...wallace-on-codex-sinaiticus-the-simonide.html

3. In your opinion, how could Simonides’ claims be fully disproven?
Right now, we know of two ways.

A. Compare the traced page of Genesis chapter 24 with the Genesis 24 fragment recovered by Tischendorf in 1853, which now resides in St. Petersburg, Russia. We have no idea where the traced pages of Simonides might be. Yet if the traced page of Genesis that Simonides created in 1852, matches the section of Genesis found in St. Petersburg, and if the acrostic of Simonides is not present – this would prove he was either mistaken or else he was lying.

B. Find the ancient catalogues of St. Catherine’s Monastery. We did not mention this in the article above or in our film. However, this is very important and, in our opinion, proves that deception was employed to discredit Simonides. In 1863, someone claiming to be a Greek monk of Mount Sinai wrote a letter that was published in The Literary Churchman, June 1, 1863, in which he declared the following:

“Mr. Simonides … lies when he positively affirms that the ancient MS. of the Holy Scripture published by Mr. Tischendorf is his work; because the MS. in question (as the librarian of our holy monastery, having been so from the year 1841 to 1858, assured me) belonged to the library of the monastery, and was marked in its ancient catalogues … how could it possibly be the work of Simonides …?”

Obviously, if there were a record of the codex in the ancient catalogues of the monastery it would completely destroy the claims of Simonides. When we first came across this, our expectation was that this would be the proof that he was lying, which we would have then documented in our film. Indeed, it was this letter that was the great nail in the Greek’s coffin, at least, according to J.K. Elliott. Yet, in response to this incredible claim, Simonides replied in another letter published shortly after in The Literary Churchman, June 16, 1863. He boldly declared:

“I emphatically deny that the Codex Sinaiticus was inscribed in the Ancient Catalogue, for the good reason that no ancient catalogue exists: there was none there whatever, till I made a catalogue, during my first visit, for the Patriarch of Constantinople, Constantius …”

Can you imagine this happening in a courtroom? What would the judge do at this point? Would he not require that the alleged “ancient catalogue” be produced as evidence? Yet, to our knowledge, no one has ever produced any such catalogue from the library of St. Catherine’s. They certainly did not produce it in 1863, and the partisan newspapers of the time, not to mention the critics, never pursued the issue.

Thinking back toward the beginning of this article, remember how the British Library told us that the “first written record” of the codex may be from the Italian explorer in 1761? Shouldn’t the earliest record have been the ancient catalogue? Barring additional information not yet known, it would appear that Simonides was correct, and that no ancient catalogue exists. However, if such a catalogue were produced, we agree that it would prove Simonides’ claims were false.

It is for the above reasons that we continue to believe that there are many unanswered questions on the subject of Simonides and the Codex Sinaiticus that require further research; and our prayer is that such research may be sought out through sober investigation.
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Steven Avery

Administrator
Tischendorf letter referencing loan to be returned

Wikipedia has:

Saint Catherine's Monastery still maintains the importance of a letter, handwritten in 1844 with an original signature of Tischendorf confirming that he borrowed those leaves.
The link to the website however says nothing about 1844, and this may have been much later, even after the 1859 heist to the Russian Consulate.

The Codex Sinaiticus
[FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif]Ο Σιναϊτικός Κώδικας
[/FONT]
http://www.sinaimonastery.com/index.php?lid=107#

. Στο Αρχείο της Μονής έως σήμερα φυλάσσεται το ιδιόχειρο έγγραφο, στην ελληνική γλώσσα γραμμένο, του Κ.Tischendorf, με το οποίο δηλώνει τον προσωρινό δανεισμό του κώδικα.

Gogogle translate
"The record to date Monastery kept the handwritten document, written in the Greek language, the K.Tischendorf, which indicates the temporary borrowing of the Code."
Michael D. Peterson summarizes:

Tischendorf and the Codex Sinaiticus: The Saga Continues (2005)
Michael D. Peterson
https://books.google.com/books?id=DLSMIdACXbUC&pg=PA83

I the undersigned, Constantin von Tischendorf, now on mission to the Levant upon the command of Alexander, Autocrat of All the Russias, attest by these presents that the Holy Confraternity of Mount Sinai, in accordance with the letter of His Excellency [the Russian] Ambassador [to Turkey] Lobanov, has delivered to me as a loan an ancient manuscript of both Testaments, being the property of the aforesaid monastery and containing 346 folia and a small fragment. These I shall take with me to St. Petersburg in order that I may collate the original at the time of publication of the manuscript.

This manuscript has been entrusted to me under the conditions stipulated in the aforementioned letter of Mr.Lobanov, dated September 10, 1859, Number 510. This manuscript I promise to return, undamaged and in a good state of preservation, to the Holy Confraternity of Mount Sinai at its earliest request. 10 p. 83-84
The "conditions stipulated" by Lobanov referred to in Tischendorf's promissory receipt are that, "I declare that in supporting this desire [for the loan of the codex]
of Monsieur Tischendorf, I declare that, if it is judged possible to agree to this, this manuscript remains the property of the confraternity of Mount Sinai, until such time as the superior in the name of that confraternity has officially offered it to His Imperial Majesty. It goes without saying that if unforeseen circumstances prevent the confraternity from putting this into effect, the manuscript would be returned without fail."11
The most important item he uncovered is Tischendorf's holograph note, written on September 28, 1859, in Greek, promising to return the codex to St Catherine's. It is a document that Tischendorf conveniently omitted from his version of the story:

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Ferrell's Travel Blog - Ferrell Jenkins
The Tischendorf letter at Saint Catherine’s Monastery
(2011)
https://ferrelljenkins.wordpress.co...hendorf-letter-at-saint-catherines-monastery/

"A copy of the letter is posted on one wall and a sign about Codex Sinaiticus (in Greek, English, and Arabic), reads this way:"

Sinaiticus .. was seen in the library of the Monastery by the German scholar Constantine Tischendorf on his visits in 1844 and 1859. The first folios that he took, he presented to the University of Leipzig. The rest he gave to the Emperor of Russia, folios he had received as a loan so that they might be published, secured with lying promises to the monks. In Russia they remained until 1933, when they were sold by the Soviet Union to the British Library in London, where they are to this day. In 1975, certain folios of the Codex came to light among the New Finds in the tower of Saint George. The monks of Sinai have never ceased in their justified request for the return of their Codex. - sign placed at Monastery
I saw a copy of the Tischendorf letter and an English translation ...

The letter on the left is written in Greek. James Bentley says it was “bad Greek” and that the translation is “not very competent.” Here, he says, is what Tischendorf wrote:

(SA: Note: pretty much the same English as Peterson)

I the undersigned, Constantin von Tischendorf, sent at present to the East by orders of Alexander, Tsar of All Russias, testify by the present letter that the Holy Confraternity of Mount Sinai, in accordance with the letter of His Excellency Ambassador Lobanov, has handed over to me, as a loan, an ancient manuscript of both Testaments, being the property of the aforementioned monastery and consisting of 346 folia and a small fragment. These I wish to take with me to St Petersburg in order that I may compare the original with the copy made by me when that is printed.

This manuscript is entrusted to me under the conditions laid down in the aforementioned letter of Mr Lobanov, dated 10 September 1859, numbered 510. I promise to return it, undamaged and in a good state of preservation, to the Holy Confraternity of Mount Sinai at its first request.
Using James Bentley’s Secrets of Mount Sinai: The Story of the World’s Oldest Bible — Codex Sinaiticus (Doubleday, 1986). Foreword by James H. Charlesworth.

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So this note looks to be given after the manuscript was in the hands of the Russians. (Thus, the situation of a "loan" was not willingly entered into by the Monastery, although one can conjecture about private verbal discussions.)

 
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