are the Leipzig CFA 43 leaves white parchment?

Steven Avery

Clearly, on the white parchment thread we see that the historical observation was "white parchment".

Clearly on the CSP images, we see the Leipzig pages are white parchment (perhaps an off-white, but clearly white, with nary a tinge of yellow).

Gavin Moorhead acknowledged this graciously in response to our email inquiries:
" the Leipzig folios are notable for their whiteness."

Stringent standards were established and followed to standardize the photography. Colour bars are included. The background is identical.


So you woulda thunk there would not be a controversy?


Yet others, who are sure that Sinaiticus is authentic, are telling us that it is all photography problems. Bungling inconsistency, the image specialists were not able to do a good job.

James Snapp aggressively took that position on the Facebook thread. Jacob Peterson, and to an exent Elijah Hixson, on the textualcriticism thread. Its almost all photography problems, maybe a smidgen of conservation. These men have only pointed to very minor aspects, like a really small difference in how the colour bar appears, but they simply do not accept the difference between the two sections as being a real physical difference between the two sections.

Even Timothy Arthur Brown, who has seen the mss when working on transcription, implies that there is no difference between Leipzig and British Library, in our correspondence. "technical differences in the photography, not the manuscript itself."

In this case, the Technical Standards Working Party was unable to succeed on this aspect. So, we have an inquiry in to Timothy as to whether the white parchment look of the CFA pages on the CSP site is wrong, whether they are actually yellow. Clearly if there are no, or only tiny, differences in the English and Leipzig manuscripts, either Leipzig looks white viewing the CSP online when it is actually yellow, or England looks yellow viewing the CSP online when it is actually white (a position taken by nobody.)

So will anybody come out and say:

"really the Leipzig pages are yellowed, this does not show up on the CSP"?

Tommy Wasserman? The mum conservators in Leipzig? Anybody? We shall see. So far, nobody has gone that far, they have given us the Sinaiticus Colour Dance. If nobody makes that claim, really there is no technical colour controversy.

Meanwhile, I have confidence in the technical standards of the superb CSP. The burden of proof is on anyone who wants to claim those leaves are really not white.


One problem is that if the leaves are white parchment, then the current manuscript science about parchment has to be discarded. So there seems to be a reluctance to address the basic question.

There are long discussions of minor technical differences, curveballs, and asking us to refute every possible alternate explanation scenario that could possibly come along. Nahhh.. As we pointed out in one thread, most of this is exceedingly simple. The leaves in Leipzig in white, the ones in England are yellowed, and the conclusions are obvious when you know the Sinaiticus history, and it can not be made to fit parchment science if the leaves have the 1650 year modern scenario.

Granted, the very simplicity is a problem for the professional textual geek-critic whose status and position is dependent on his mastery of arcane details and stylicized scenarios.

Gavin Moorhead
The colour of parchment varies with animal type, making process and condition or state of decline. New parchment can be near white but as it ages or is exposed to detrimental factors it will start to yellow and go brown-black if left to degrade completely. The colour change can also be influenced by the type of degradation and degree of gelatinization.
So why did Leipzig forget to yellow over he 1650 years?


We will expand this section as more information is available.