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

Steven Avery

This is discussed in a variety of places, so we will try to centralize the information here.

King James BIble Debate - Feb , 2016 - James Snapp, Steven Avery and Mark Michie.

Mark Michie

" I graphed the Blackness, Yellowness, Redness, and 'total pigment' and calculated averages and standard deviations for the LUL sections and the BL sections shown in the graph below:"

PureBibleForum - April, 2016
the colour photography games of the Sinaiticus darkening deniers

So we ask one simple question:

Are the Leipzig 43 leaves white parchment?

Parchment Colour - Comparison with Other Manuscripts mss.html
are the Leipzig CFA 43 leaves white parchment?

James Snapp

Timothy Arthur Brown

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.

Gavin Moorhead
"the Leipzig folios are notable for their whiteness."
This next PBF thread covers about 20 posts by various people, with urls, in the Yahoogroups TextualCriticism forum in April, 2016.

responses from those involved in textual criticism

emphasis on the long
Yahoogroups textualcriticism thread - April 2016
And then this second PBF thread:

current post on textualcriticism forum

more emphasis on the long Yahoogroups textualcriticism thread - April 2016

conversation continues on Facebook - Mark posts for SART, NTTC generally has blocks of AV defenders

Textual Criticism on Yahoogroups - Mark is most specifically responding to posts by these two gentlemen.
8574 - Jacob Peterson
8587 - Jacob Peterson
8592 - Elijah Hixson
8600 - Elijah Hixson - (on the question of trimming, not Mark's topic)

-- much had been answered already, and is on the two threads here, David Inglis also added excellent posts
8583 - Steven Avery
8594 - Steven Avery
8601 - Steven Avery
8605 - Steven Avery

Facebook - New Testament Textual Criticism - April 11, 2016

PICS TO ADD HERE - (amazingly it came in directly with cut-and-paste from Facebook with the text as one paste)

Mark Michie
In a recent discussion, mostly with
Elijah Hixson and Jacob Peterson, the colour variability of the pages of Codex Sinaiticus was mentioned.

I had the opportunity to have a look at the colour data given by the Codex Sinaiticus Project website this weekend, and there are some interesting results that I would like your assessment of.

I have attached 3 images here of stacked column charts representing the colour profiles of 3 Quires of Sinaiticus (all from the British Library portion of the ms). Each image has 16 columns representing the 16 pages of each quire and they are grouped in groups of 4 such that each sheet is grouped together in the order that you would flip through the 4 pages on each sheet.

The first image is Quire 62. The colour profiles of the 4 sheets are all symmetrical. This means that the 2 Hair Side pages of the sheet are the same colour and the 2 pages of the Flesh Side of the sheet are the same colour. In some cases all 4 pages of the sheet are the same colour. (This is the case for ALL of the Leipzig sheets).

The second image is Quire 74. The colour profiles of all four sheets here are asymmetrical. This means that the 2 Hair Side pages of the sheet are DIFFERENT colours and/or the 2 pages of the Flesh Side of the sheet are DIFFERENT colours.

The third image is Quire 77. This quire is less extreme than Quire 74. There is less variation in this quire and one sheet has a symmetrical colour profile.

Note that the colour data collected by the CSP researchers was collected visually using an identical testing apparatus for each page and at each location (identical lighting).

An additional tidbit is that out of the 167 sheets in the British Library portion for which we can put together a colour profile of pages, 54 had symmetrical colour profiles, and 113 had asymmetrical colour profiles. Note again that ALL of the sheets in the Leipzig portion of the ms have symmetrical colour profiles.

Why would SO MANY pages on the same side of a bifolio sheet be different colours in the British Library portion of the ms, while NONE of the pages of the Leipzig portion exhibit this?

Could this not be an indication that there are more factors here than natural parchment aging processes and storage conditions?

Jacob Peterson
The attached photos are of your supposedly most disparate leaf (representing 2r/7v and 2v/7r). If you think those are different enough to prove your conspiracy theory, then so be it.

As has now been stressed an innumerable amount of times both here and the Yahoo TC-list:

1) The Leipzig images were not color balanced properly, they therefore do not serve as a foil to Sinaiticus' authenticity or as a point in your argument.

2) Using color analysis in Photoshop (or MS paint) does NOT constitute science or forensics or real analysis in any way. If you select a different place on any of the images you'll get different results. In fact, if you checked the brown background, which does not physically change, you'd get different results between some of the images. How the difference between studying images and studying the manuscript eludes the SART "project" blows my mind. Besides that, simply looking at the unified picture you guys put together showing all of the leaves side by side shows that the colors alternate correctly.

3) Having experience with real manuscripts (NOT IMAGES) would do SART wonders. I suggest you go try and gain access to some, NT or otherwise. Alternatively, do your "tests" on images at CSNTM or the NT.VMR and you'll see all of them are apparently frauds as well.

Note: we plan to revisit these two pics here. Since no quire numbers were given, the context and leaf identity is unclear.
Meanwhile, we will continue with Mark, who was working with the numbers from the CSP.

MarknLynn Michie
Jacob Peterson, as I stressed in my post, this has NOTHING to do with the images. This is dealing solely with the empirical colour DATA available for all on the CSP website.

Jacob Peterson
Ahh, I see the color profiles provided. Via NCS profiles. However, as I will argue I'm not sure it's useful for what you're trying to do with it and the point still stands. Look at the individual pages: If you're the conservator, which point do you use as the color standard for the whole page? Can any one point represent the color of the page? (Hint: the answer is no).

Even using provided data, you've missed the forest for the trees once again. Look at the images I provided that form the cornerstone of your argument. They look just like every other manuscript. The slight variation that is present can even be accounted for by the fact that the verso side is more brightly lit as can be seen by the brown background.

Quoting from the very group the CSP consulted to get it's physical profiles:

"It is not possible to define a precise deterioration state of a single sheet or piece of parchment, the chemical and physical state, surface colour and other characteristics varies; the pattern of damage depends on the damage history which can be uneven distributed on a sheet of parchment. In general, uniform damage reflects, relatively speaking, the same influence from exposure to the environment or perhaps a conservation treatment covering the whole parchment area. Whereas a non-uniform damage picture reflects variations in environmental affects, or variations in exposure of different parts of the parchment area, for example the difference in damage of the back and hinges of the same bookbinding or of the edges and mid part of a parchment sheet in a book block.

A non-uniform damage picture also reflects exposure to different sources of deterioration in different areas of the parchment such as humidity, light, tear, human touching, local attacks from animals, insects micro organisms etc.). The deterioration can have a permanent progressing character caused by environmental factors such as pollution, heat and moisture, or it may be occasional damage caused by human handling, fire, flood, insects etc. Occasional damage may stay in a relative fixed state of deterioration for a relative long period of time, however, when the damaged area is exposed to other damaging factors its deterioration may progress faster than the surrounding less damaged areas. In many cases the grain layer, may be more damaged than the corium part of the parchment structure, which is especially problematic in cases where the grain layer has been used for writing and illumination. Moreover, the damage may be superficial or penetrate part of or the whole structure from outside in."

IDAP - Improved Damage Assessment of Parchment

And finally, from the CSP directly:

"Only a few folios in the codex could be considered to be heavily discoloured and these tended to be the folios that were once adjacent to missing parts and therefore, more exposed."

Are they lying about this? Are they unable to see what you've DaVinci coded out of their NCP profiles? Or are you making a mountain out of a non-existent mole hill?
Clearly, Jacob Peterson is asking questions that are totally irrelevant to the white parchment in Leipzig being compared to the streaky yellow in the British Library. Every single page.

A point clearly acknowledged by Gavin Moorhead of the British Library.
"the Leipzig folios are notable for their whiteness."

However, this forum was censored to prevent AV defenders from posting, so I will put a part of the answer in to Jacob Peterson here, and now.

It is a funny phenomenon.
You almost have to be a "scholar" to not see and acknowledge the colour distinction!
If it was acknowledged, then an explanation would have to be given, and the consistent explanation would be discomfiting.

MarknLynn Michie
I have separated the colour data from the NCS colour numbers given on the CSP website such as S1005-Y20R (Blackness=10, Chromaticness=5. Yellow portion of chromaticness is 80% of 5, Red portion is 20% of 5)

Jacob Peterson
Yeah, after I responded the first time, as soon as I hit enter, I realized how you had put it together.

Peter Gurry
I assume you're all aware of this from Parker's book on Sinaiticus:
"The Leipzig images, taken by a different team using different conditions since 1844, produced rather different-looking results" (p. 176)

MarknLynn Michie
Yes, actually I believe this is the Parker quote more fully
"The Leipzig images, taken by a different team using different equipment, of leaves which had existed under different conditions since 1844, produced rather different-looking results (compare Q34-F8V and Q35-F1r)."
A little bit of crafty writing, obliquely reference the difficulty with the "facts on the ground" without informing the reader of any specifics. David Parker did not mention that the Leipzig pages were noticably whiter, and they were missing the streaky staining that can be seen on the British Library pages. The team and equiment were carefully monitored for consistency, and the whiteness of Leipzig is acknowledged by the British Library. As for "different conditions" then you would have to explain what was different that made British Library streaky yellow, or that made Leipzig an unstained white.

Keep in mind that the 2011 Sinaiticus book that was a collaboration of the British Library and Hendrickson Publishers actually made "sensitive adjustments" to hide the colour disparity. Thus, David Parker would not want attention to be brought to the specifics.

The rest of the substance of the thread is a 3-way conversation between Timothy Berg, Elijah Hixson and Mark Michie.

Elijah Hixson
I think there is a disconnect here. The colour-issue doesn't need an explanation because it is a non-issue. The folios are all within the range of normal for a manuscript with the age and history of Sinaiticus. That is why nobody is bothered by it. Even if it were an issue, there are far bigger problems posed by the mechanics of forging such a manuscript in the nineteenth century. The amount of skill and resources one would need to be able to pull it off would be unthinkable. Then there are issues of creating a text of the entire Bible that would fool everyone--something close enough to Vaticanus but not too close. Something "block-mixed" in John and clearly aligning with manuscripts like Codex Bezae for parts of John, but not with other parts. Something with corrections/correctors that each bear their own "personalities". Then the scripts themselves--being able to produce such a convincing range of scripts that stand the test of time/palaeographic discovery--each of them subtly different but so consistently executed for long sections of the manuscript. Such a production would be remarkable.

On the other hand, if Codex Sinaiticus is a real 4th-century manuscript, no explanation is needed. Everything fits.

I've read in posts by SART members that text critics have a hard time grasping the simple. I don't have a hard time with the simple. In fact, I prefer it. I don't have much patience for unnecessarily complicated arguments. I understand that the folios appear to be different in colour from the images. That's simple. The problem isn't simple, though, and it seems like SART research doesn't account for how complicated it would have to be to fake a manuscript like Sinaiticus.

So, allow me to turn the tables. If SART can continue to ask members of this group and the yahoo TC list to explain the colouring of folios in Sinaiticus (and several of us have obliged), it should be fair game to ask something of SART. I would like for someone from SART explain to me how Sinaiticus was forged, accounting for

1. the parchment--the expense it would have cost anyone (ancient or modern) to prepare,
2. the text of the manuscript--not just New Testament, but Old Testament, apocrypha, Hermas and Barnabas, and
3. the palaeographical precision of the number of scripts employed in both the main text and in the corrections.

Additionally, the explanation should account for how the texts of Barnabas and Hermas and the scripts used in the production of Sinaiticus have stood up to more recent manuscript discoveries that would have been inaccessible or unknown to any nineteenth-century forgers.
These are generally easy questions to answer, and a few of them go right back to Simonides "coincidentally" publishing editions of Barnabas and Hermas even before Sinaiticus was stolen by Tischendorf from Sinai. Thus, they became incredible evidences FOR non-authenticity. Some of the questions overlap the James Snapp attempts. If Elijah is really serious about his questions, I will be happy to point him to the answers in more depth. It is possible that he is not well informed on the history of the manuscript and the Simonides and Mt. Athos background.

Timothy Berg
While the "coloring" element of a forgery claim seems to be a recent one due to modern technology, isn't a claim of 19th century forgery a rehash of an issue settled long ago? If such claims are brought up by someone who holds the Greek text behind the KJV to be a verbally perfect representation of the original autographs (such as your family might, and such as many of my friends from a previous life do), I find it helpful to point them to Scrivener's intro to his collation of the manuscript. He discusses at length the "forgery" claim, rebuts it plainly, and marshals basically the same points you have made (in addition to some others). However, since he edited the publication of the Greek text behind the KJV NT in 1881, which is the only "innerant" Greek text (as such folks would claim) his work puts them in a bit of a bind in relation to their conspiracy claims. If Scrivener was part of the conspiracy, then they can't trust their own Greek text. If he was so poor a scholar as to be "duped" then they can't trust their own Greek text. Since he edited and published their venerated text, his voice must be heard, and they have not ever refuted the basic points (some of which you mentioned here) that he raised long ago. Just give them his work.
A full collation of the Codex Sinaiticus with the received text of…
Putting aside the attempt to make a strained posturing point about Scrivener and the AV defense position, remember, when Scrivener wrote that book he had not seen even one section of the ms., much less yet the clashing two sections. Not in person, not in pictures. So his acceptance of authenticity are largely irrelevant. Plus there are many other historical elements he did not know, as well as textual elements.

The arguments he marshalled are echoed by James Snapp, and answered by Steven Avery on this forum.

Elijah Hixson
Hi Timothy, thanks for your comment. I agree with you that there might be some disconnect between trusting Scrivener's text and not trusting his judgments on Sinaiticus, however, your comment could be easily dismissed as guilty of fallacy.

I am afraid that now that you've made this observation, there will be a post in a blog somewhere that says something to the effect of "
Timothy Berg just misses the point. He doesn't understand logic, and he commits the fallacy of assuming that because someone is wrong in one area, he or she is wrong in all areas." I know you're not saying that, but I'm afraid that the way you've said it will give members of SART an opportunity to try to climb off the hot seat and shift the emphasis to you "missing the point".

I don't want to give them that opportunity. I've wasted too many hours on this. If they are willing to protest the authenticity of Codex Sinaiticus, then they need to do their work and show positively how the manuscript was faked. They need to account for things like the text of the manuscript and the scripts (including those of corrections) of the manuscript in light of later discoveries. They need to account for the convenient availability of expensive materials. If they are happy posing questions to this group and to the yahoo TC list, then they should be able and willing to defend the holes in their own theory.
This is largely a repeat of the post above.

Elijah Hixson misses the point, much more than Timothy. When ms 2427 (Archaic Mark) was declared a fake, and dropped from its position as a Category 1 ms. in the apparatus, nobody claimed to be able to figure out all the mechanisms of how it was produced. Once a ms. is proven non-authentic, the scales of the balance shift radically, and we have that type of proof for Sinaiticus.

And with Sinaiticus, a large amount of historical reconstruction has been done, and continues, relating to Athos, Benedict, Simonides, Hermas, Barnabas, Claromontanus and Zosimas, and much more.

As for parchment in Mt. ... hey this was Mt. Athos, arguably the parchment center of the world. Lots of parchment, and monks with calligraphy skills and time available.

MarknLynn Michie
Elijah, you state that "the folios are all within the range of normal for a manuscript with the age and history of Sinaiticus". Can you please point me to the most appropriate examples of this "normal range"? I would like to view the ones you consider to be appropriate for this comparison.
A superb question, not answered, although a reference is made later to the Hillinus Codex as an analogy.

Elijah Hixson
Hi Mark, thanks for your comment. There is a nice web page that lists and gives photos of several manuscripts, but you haven't answered my question about text and script.

Let's assume you are correct, and the BL folios of Sinaiticus have been treated to give a false appearance of age. We now have two options:1. Someone (Tishendorf?) stained the leaves of an authentic 4th-century manuscript for some bizarre reason, or 2. Codex Sinaiticus is a more recent forgery. Correct me if I'm wrong, but to my understanding, it is the position of SART that Codex Sinaiticus is a nineteenth-century forgery, probably created in the 1830s or 1840s; am I correct?

Assuming that it is a 19th-century production, please explain the text to me. How did the forger do it? Interestingly, there are two staurograms in the manuscript: one at Rev. 11:8 and one in a correction at John 19:20. A staurogram is a symbol made by combining the letters τ and ρ, and it gets its name from stauros, the Greek word for cross. It even looks like a primitive depiction of someone being crucified (Larry Hurtado has written a good bit on the symbol). The symbol is found in many manuscripts, but to my knowledge, it only ever has one of three meanings: 1. In later/non-Christian manuscripts, it can be an abbreviation for the word tropos (manner, way); 2. It can be a standalone symbol in Christian manuscripts like letters, or 3. It can function as part of an in-text abbreviation for the words cross (stauros) and crucify (stauroo). In both uses in Codex Sinaiticus, it has this third meaning. The symbol is written right into the text as part of a word. This third meaning is also the rarest. So far, I've only been able to find less than 10 manuscripts that use it this way, and as far as I can tell, Codex Sinaiticus was the first one of these to be discovered by more than 50 years.

So, I would like to know how the nineteenth-century forger of Codex Sinaiticus was able to take a pre-existing symbol that had other known uses, give it a whole new use and use it consistently with that third use, even though it would be another 50 years before anyone discovered that third use of the symbol in another manuscript. That's some amazing luck to be able to predict that, or to take a guess like that and turn out to be right.

Or, maybe someone could explain the handwritings used in Codex Sinaiticus. How was a forger able to pull off four distinct, but contemporary hands for the whole biblical text of the manuscript, and then employ a variety of later hands in the numerous corrections--each of them consistent, and each of them vindicated by later discoveries of other, dated specimens of comparable handwriting.

In summary, let's just assume that SART is correct and Codex Sinaiticus is a forgery. We now have to answer how the forger pulled it off.

I would be happy to share the link to the website that shows a number of manuscripts with different colouring patterns on them, but I do ask that you answer my questions first. I don't think I'm being unreasonable by asking too much here. Also, I wasn't joking about my friend forbidding me from participating in this discussion after a certain date. I only have until April 30th to continue this conversation because it is taking up way too much of my time, which was already running short.

Thank you much,
Mark's simple and clear question was bypassed. Later, on another forum, Elijah gave a link to a purple ms., which is about as irrelevant as you can get. :) However, below he does give a reference to the Hillinus Codex.

Mt. Athos is a place with a fountain of Biblical ms. background, so there is nothing intrinsically difficult in their having one specific understanding of the staurogram, even if the textual world as a whole came upon that usage later. As for the handwriting, there were three or four main producers of Sinaiticus under Benedict. These two points are covered in the next post by Mark Michie below, and I will add the hieroglyphic background of Simonides as a consideration. (As an FYI, one scholar has written on the TC-Alternate forum about a number of small or miniature hierolgyphs that he says are in Sinaiticus.)

Timothy Mitchell
Oh Elijah, P66, P45, and P75 are fakes too. The staurogram is obviously a modern invention
MarknLynn Michie
Hi Elijah, I completely understand your time constraints in giving thought to this issue. My life too revolves around other things, limiting my time available for this Sinaiticus study. I had other plans today, but the stormy weather here gave me a little time. I also understand the pressure of finishing a thesis on time. My M.Sc. thesis was completed and defended several years past deadline because I went on with life before getting it done.

I will preface what I say here with the fact that my own training is in a very diverse discipline of Engineering. My life experience is in agriculture, particularly with livestock. So, I tend to come at most things from the perspective of looking at physical objects, living things, materials, etc, and the numbers, the data that represents those things and can be used to compare them. This is why I have basically limited my involvement in the project thus far to matters of parchment condition, colour, ink colour, flaking, corrosion. These are mostly physical processes that are to some degree quantifiable, measurable and can relate to the age of the manuscript.

The principal members of SART do indeed believe that the evidence on the ground points to Codex Sinaiticus being a modern forgery. There are several possibilities regarding the timing and hands involved in the production of the manuscript, but in general, production in the 1830s to 1840s is where we seem to be headed.

Regarding the use of the staurogram, I myself have never studied this before. However, if our English language literature and western Biblical scholars only recognized the use of the staurogram some 50 years after the publication of Sinaiticus, that would not preclude a Greek Orthodox monk of the 1800s (possibly one of the scribal hands) from having knowledge of the staurogram and it’s meaning. I’m sure there are other things like this that remain behind a language or cultural barrier to this day and are thought to be great discoveries when uncovered by western scholarship, but known all along by other cultures - not too dissimilar to the “discovery” of the Americas in the late 1400s when people already lived here and the vikings had been here 400 years previous.

Regarding the “four distinct, but contemporary hands…..”, I don’t believe we have ever claimed that there was only one person involved in the production of Sinaiticus. There were quite obviously more people involved. The timeframe, the location, and the identity of those individuals is what is at question. I have seen claims (by Tischendorf) that at least one hand seen in Sinaiticus appears to be in Vaticanus, but beyond that I am unaware of the findings that prove the hands of correctors to be found in other dated manuscripts.

All of these things will unfold in time I’m sure, as will other evidences that, together, will either prove or disprove the authenticity and antiquity of Codex Sinaiticus. The key is time. As many pieces make a jigsaw puzzle, there are many pieces to put together here and most are spread all over the house - they’re not neatly packed in the box. Everybody has their own little set of puzzle pieces they are trying to jam together. Each may succeed in getting their own pieces together, but the whole picture will not emerge until all of the pieces are united.

If you would like to share the link to that website, that’s great and I will look through it with interest. I have indeed looked at some other manuscript images and compared individual pages with Sinaiticus ( ) but I’m sure the site you speak of would greatly augment my view of the colour/discolouration patterns in a greater number of manuscripts. If you choose not to, I certainly respect that.

Comparison With Other Manuscripts

Elijah Hixson
Hi Mark, Thanks for your reply. I always have a great deal of respect for engineers for being able to look at physical things that can be measured. That's probably why I drifted so easily to manuscripts within New Testament studies--manuscripts are real things that you can see and measure. I grew up on a small farm, and one of my closest friends was an agricultural engineering major in college.

I do agree with you that is it possible that an Orthodox monk could have known about a staurogram and its meaning in the 1800s, but I would add that it is highly unlikely. As I said, I've only been able to find less than 10 manuscripts that use it in this way--all the rest of them were discovered 50 years or later after Codex Sinaiticus, and the date range seems to be 3rd-5th centuries. The use of the symbol as part of an in-text abbreviation seems to have died out after this point, though the symbol itself remained as both a stand-alone symbol and occasionally as an abbreviation for a different word. So, if an Orthodox monk in the 1800s did know of the symbol or what it meant, he would almost certainly have known one of the other uses. To know the use as it is used in Codex Sinaiticus, he would really need to have a real manuscript from the 3rd-5th centuries that uses it in that way--but the symbol itself is even rare among 3rd-5th century manuscripts. It's just a lot of "possible, but unlikely"s stacked on top of one another.

Also, please forgive me, I don't think I was clear about the hands/scripts. I never intended to give the impression that one of the scribes of Sinaiticus also worked on other (possibly dated) manuscripts that we have. What I mean by that is this: If it were forged, the forger(s) would have to be able to write consistently like someone in the 4th century, but also consistently like someone in later centuries for some of the corrections. In the 1830s–1840s, there just wasn't a lot of material to learn from. Later discoveries of papyri that can be dated confirm these handwritings as consistent within their era, but how would someone in the 1800s know enough about 4th century handwritings to be able to get all of the tiny details correct?

Because you work with agriculture, I will give an agricultural analogy. If someone who never works with cows came across a cow that had just been dehorned, they would think something terrible is happening. The cow is squirting blood from its head! "Even a 5th grader can see what's wrong with that." But, you know not to worry. The cow will heal. Even though it might look bad to someone who has never been around cows, you have the experience with them to know that it isn't a problem. On the other hand, what about when calf has its head turned back while it is being born? Someone without experience with cows might see two front legs coming out and not immediately see the problem. But you would know that you've got to get the calf's head turned around so it can come out! You'd know what to look for. The colouring aspect of Codex Sinaiticus is like a cow that's just been dehorned. Sure, blood is shooting out of its head, but if you've dehorned cows before, you know it's not a problem. Blood *should* be squirting out of its head (and you would expect sections of leaves stored under different conditions at different locations to have a slight difference in their appearance).

Still, here is a link to that list of Latin Gospels manuscripts. See especially the Hillinus Codex toward the bottom. No it isn't as old as people claim Sinaiticus to be, but some pages are almost snow-white in appearance and others are yellow. There is a noticeable difference between 18v and 19r (if you click on the manuscript, it should take you to a page where you can see the whole thing).

Vetus Latina - Latin Gospel Manuscripts

Codex Hillinus - offered by Elijah Hixson as comparable to Sinaiticus

Facebook - New Testament Textual Criticism

"See especially the Hillinus Codex toward the bottom. No it isn't as old as people claim Sinaiticus to be, but some pages are almost snow-white in appearance and others are yellow. There is a noticeable difference between 18v and 19r (if you click on the manuscript, it should take you to a page where you can see the whole thing)".
and then
Codex Hillinus.jpg

With Codex SInaiticus the:

1) yellowing is significantly greater
2) yellow pages are also stained (the white is not)
3) 86 pages in two separated 1844 sections are all white, the approximately 700 pages from 1859 are yellow

This is not an analogous example of any substance at all. :)

Bascially, it demonstrates our position that the Codex Sinaiticus anomalies are glaring.


the "New Testament Textual Criticism" critics on Facebook - Dec 2017

A censored forum, mostly a one-sided nothing rant, however it includes one post from Elijah Hixson where he tries to make an analogy with a purple ms, I think it has a url to a page from Elijah

Window to a Sixth-Century Scriptorium

Annual Meeting Hotel Lobby: An Unofficial SBL/AAR Member Group - Feb, 2018

Elijah Hixson post on colour bars, pics can be added on this page:

The photographers left the colour standards in each image—these are standardised colour charts so that there is an objective reference for how the photographs compare to the real-life appearance of the manuscript.

I went ahead and put together the colour standards for Q37, ff. 3v–4r ("contiguous point #2"). I did not edit the colours in any way; I only cut these out from screen grabs taken from the Sinaiticus website and placed them side-by-side. Anybody can go to the Sinaiticus website and do this comparison.

Do these two colour charts look the same to you? As standards, they should be identical in real life. Notice especially the yellow in the middle and the dark blue at the top. The yellow from the image of f. 3v is lighter than the yellow from the image of f. 4r, but the dark blue from f.3v is darker than the dark blue from f. 4r. This means at least one of the images (=the image of f. 3v) has had its contrast adjusted. The dark bits (i.e. ink) appear slightly darker in the image than in real life, and the light bits (i.e. the parchment) **appear lighter in the image than in real life**. The BL leaves have not been coffee stained, unless somebody also coffee-stained the yellow of the colour standard and bleached the dark blue, green, black, etc.

I can do the same for contiguous points 1, 3 and 4 too, if you want

Responses planned for Elijah Hixson, include these points, Mark and Steven, separate posts fine

1) Simple question again ... are the CFA pages white parchment ?

point out that they lack streaking as well as yellow colour

2) next simple question, is Gavin Moorhead right or wrong

Gavin Moorhead
"the Leipzig folios are notable for their whiteness."

And point out that Mark Michie already dealt with the colour bar issues in our previous conversations on yahoogroups Textual Criticism and on Facebook New Testament Textual Criticism.

urls with quotes - this is above on this thread
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Steven Avery

Annual Meeting Hotel Lobby: An Unofficial SBL/AAR Member Group
Feb, 2018

Codex Sinaiticus - an 1840 AD production

James McGrath - "By all means do pontificate about your views on Sinaiticus as well..."

Well I don't do "pontificating"
- more like learning, studying, listening and sharing.

The most important evidences are simply off the radar of the textual "experts".

The evidence is clear, from the 2009 Codex Sinaiticus Project, that the 2nd part of the ms that is now at the British Library was coloured, and you can see a stained yellow. This is the part that left Sinai in 1859. -- AFTER

The 86 pages that left Sinai in 1844 for the Leipzig University Library are white parchment. -- BEFORE (what Uspensky saw for the whole ms. in 1845 and 1850).

We can see every page, BEFORE and AFTER colouring by the Codex Sinaiticus Project, professional photography accomplished to exacting standards of uniformity.

Why the difference?

Simonides and Kallinikos told us in 1862-64. Tischendorf, and/or his allies, actually stained the ms with items like lemon-juice or herbs to give the ms an appearance of age.

It took 150 years for any independent researchers to know about this history and look at the two sections and see what had happened.


There are many other corroborating evidences that Sinaiticus was made c. 1840, picked up by Tischendorf, yellowed artificially, and pawned off as 1500 years old. Much of it required fresh, independent research, like the:

a) Uspensky translation, including white parchment
b) sense-line homoeteleutons that work from Claromontanus
c) 1843 Barnabas of Simonides with the supporting review.

Other materials became available in regular scholarship, like the letter from Tishendorf to his brother in 1844 saying that the 43 folia simply came into his possession (thieve’s jargon) further demolishing his 1859 creative self-serving fabrication of saving the folia from fire.


The standard scholarship has worked with print editions that hid the salient features, including the Tischendorf facsimile edition and the 2011 Hendrickson and British Library edition. It has also focused on the out-of-date James Keith Elliott book on the Simonides controversy, a book which for some unknown reason omitted the incredibly important information from James Anson Farrer using the Spyridon Lampros Athos catalogues.

Codex Sinaiticus Authenticy Research

Your feedback welcome!

And I also suggest you watch the 2-minute BBC video showing the current condition of the supposed 1650 year old, heavily used over the centuries manuscript:

The Beauty of Books - BBC

Both sections are in "phenomenally good condition" (Helen Shenton, British Library)
And appearance of age by colour is not like attempting to create an aged parchment, it is simply trying to give the yellowish appearance "yellow with age" as Scrivener said.

Steven Avery

Codex Sinaiticus Research Resources is a resource to aid in discovering and revealing the truth about Codex Sinaiticus, allegedly the world's oldest Bible.
Steven Avery

(response to a comment about chemtrails)
It is a simple fact that lemon juice, coffee, tea, harbs, tobocco are used to give parchment an appearance of age.

And you can see a lot of streaky stains on the 1859 part of Sinaiticus (none on the 1844).

No materials testing has ever been done on the ms. When BAM planned tests in April, 2015, they were cancelled.

It is also a clear fact that Tischendorf lied about the circumstances around the ms. Creating a self-serving cover story of saving leaves from fire, when he simply lifted (stole) five quires and a bit more from an intact codex in 1844.

And it is totally clear that the ms. has no provenance before the extraction of 86 pages by Tischendorf in 1844, and that Simonides knew there was no provenance, and no library catalogue entry.

So who is the conspiracy theorist?

Steven Avery
(response to a comment on evidence)

Evidence? Sure. The visual observation of every leaf matches the most consistent historical conclusion. The historical conclusion includes the knowledge that this precise colouring was described in 1862-1864 as having occurred in the 1850s, which fits perfectly with the two sections wide distinction, 1844 and 1859. Which we can see today on every page of the ms.

Observation and history provide the core evidences, corroborated by many additional notes like Simonides doing the Greek Barnabas and Hermas, the sense-line homoeoteleutons matching Claromontanus, the “phenomenally good condition” and much more.

Maybe your question is whether we have chemical test evidence? As the owners of the ms have never allowed any materials testing of the ms., there is simply no materials testing evidence available for any conclusions.

There are photography measurements however, including the colour of the parchment leaves, and those measurements support the colouring scenario. The unusual visual staining, combined with the supple condition, all point to the c. 1840s conclusion, and the artificial colouring.

Steven Avery
(response to a comment about 2427)
Nick Sayers - Archaic Mark is a good comparison. And it did not have the blatant, in your face, tampering that we can now see with Sinaiticus because of the two-extraction history. We can actually see the change that was made to the ms. between 1844 and 1859!

And once you conclude that the change was to give an artificial “yellow with age” (Scrivener) appearance, non-authenticity becomes the operative conclusion, with many corroborative components.
Steven Avery
(response to a Chick Publications comment)
Did you learn a lot about Codex Sinaiticus by clicking three links deep? You can click two links deep (maybe one) and get to:

Sinaiticus - authentic antiquity or modern?

Then you will really be able to learn more,

salient arguments that authenticity defenders do not address

Learning about the colouring is a good first step, including the historical aspect of the colouring actually being mentioned in writing in 1862, as having occurred in the 1850s.

How did Kallinkos know? He was there. How was it missed until the 2009 CSP. A bit of a crafty trick by Tischendorf "look at the facsimile" along with keeping the two sections far from each other.

And you have the willingness of the experts to put aside their sketpcism and inquiry and just receive what they are told.

Just watch here

Steven Avery
(response to the ideat that critical scholars won't care.)
Bryan Bibb - that may be true, but it is neither here nor there to the Sinaiticus authenticity question.

The first important point is to find the truth of the matter. How various scholars and laymen, Christians and agnostics and others, relate to t
he facts that are discovered, will, of course, vary greatly.

Just on the level of the scholarship academy being conned for so long on something that was right in front of their noses, there will be many valuable lessons when the Sinaiticus history and manuscript situation is truly studied. Without presuppositions and "deeply entrenched scholarship".

Steven Avery
(in response to the idea of a discussion a the NTTC on Facebook.)

Thanks, Danny. The reception varies at different groups.
Ironically, some of the very best discussions have been at the:
Bible Criticism and History Forum.

Which has had at least three superb threads.

As to the forum you mention, the Sinaiticus defense clique, the gate-keepers put the pressure on James Leonard, the owner of that forum, to not allow any discussions on this issue that are two-way. They only allowed a one-way fest that is similar to what some would prefer on this forum, attacks without substance, often silly personal stuff. Here is an example thread and the url on the NTTC, where only one position was allowed to be said. (Although the question from Glynn Brown was excellent.)

Glynn Brown:
"The Simonides conspiracy theory is alive and well in kjvo groups. David Daniels, Stephen Avery,and others take it seriously. It amazes me how anyone could take it seriously.

My question is,why are some of the leaves white?"

The answer of Elijah Hixson is a valiant attempt but way off the mark, involving a dyed purple manuscript.
(which is ironic, since the issue here is that the 1859 Sinaiticus parchment was also coloured) and a totally different situation. If that is the quality of the attempts made to offer an explanation, it is acting as proof of the wild anomalies involving Sinaiticus pointing to the 1800s creation.

James M Leonard
"This discussion is now closed. For full disclosure, a number of people who might weigh in on the topic and counter some of the posts here have been banned from this site.
If you'd like to engage with them, Steve Avery has provided this site as a possible discussion page:"

Actually I have more on the PureBible group on Facebook:

The Sinaiticus forum was more for the history of discovering the issues, and is an interesting read.
Then diversions to some typos in the Google book version of David's book, people who do not like Chick Publications, and Raphael Golb.

Then we have a rambling colour chronology thing from Bill Brown.

Bill Brown
For those of you who have not yet had the misfortune of interacting with Avery (whose real name is Steven Avery Spenser but who wisely hides this information from the public - if you were making arguments as poorly as he is, you'd do the same). He is a fundamentalist KJV Onlyist of the most radical stripe with the hidden agenda of trying to steer everyone to read the KJV. He's also quite adept at avoiding all interaction with every bit of evidence that overthrows the fantasy world he inhabits. Note his first claim: "Simonides and Kallinikos told us in 1862-64. Tischendorf, and/or his allies, actually stained the ms with items like lemon-juice or herbs to give the ms an appearance of age." To even know what he's talking about you have to be familiar with the letters Simonides wrote to the newspaper and signed Kallinikos's name to them. (This is why he disparages Elliott's book - he wouldn't want you reading about the FACTS that throw this nonsensical trash theory down the chute). But there's an even bigger problem he has yet to address. Now follow the EVIDENCE here: Tischendorf made three trips to Sinai (1844, 1853, 1859). And now good ole Ave wants to tell us that Tischendorf and/or his allies stained this MS. Ave continues in his nonsense: "The historical conclusion includes the knowledge that this precise colouring was described in 1862-1864 as having occurred in the 1850s, which fits perfectly with the two sections wide distinction, 1844 and 1859." Now - HERE'S WHAT THIS LIAR IS HIDING FROM YOU (if you don't know the story) - Simonides, who lied when he claimed to have written Sinaiticus, said in that same letter dated 3 Sep 1862 that he was at Sinai and SAW this alteration in (wait for it) 1852.......OOPS!!!!! Guess what? Since Uspensky was there in 1850 and Ave gets hung up on "snow white" words and then wants to say it was colored "in the 1850s" it HAD to have been "colored" (it wasn't but let's go on) between 1850 and 1852.....and Tischendorf was never during that time frame (which is why he has craftily added "his allies"). I hope he's now big enough - having waltzed in here to pick a fight with folks - that he's big enough to actually APOLOGIZE and admit his error right here. He's been running all over the net maligning Tischendorf for four years now (apparently, LYING Is okay if you do it in the name of God) with this phony charge. Also - the dude cannot even READ Greek, which means he cannot read Sinaiticus and yet wants to make value judgments about it. Now - I've said my piece for the time being, and I'll back off here until such time as he turns his guns back on me. But he KNOWS that what he writes here is not true. And I just proved it to anyone who has doubts. Hence - liar. He won't engage me, either, but I'll confess this is amusing. Hope anyone who actually cares about the REAL history of Sinaiticus has had their chuckle and moves on to more fruitful study.
All this comes down to the possibility that Simonides fudged part of the account, which we know. And that the terminus post quem for the colouring is 1850 and the terminus ante quem is 1859.

Steven Avery
"wants to tell us that Tischendorf and/or his allies stained this MS."

Not only that, we show you how you can see the BEFORE and AFTER by looking at the 1844 pages and the 1859 pages on the excellent Codex Sinaiticus Project, done with highly professional colour standards.

And you can see the contiguous pages at The composite picture above is a great starting point.

You don't find any stronger evidence that that, ,a smoking cannon, the BEFORE and AFTER are right before our eyes.!

And Tischendorf amazingly got away with it (by squirreling away the incompatible manuscript sections and telling everybody to use his tampered facsimile edition.)

Remember, both sections were supposed to have been part of 1500+ years of heavy use. Yet they remained in "phenomenally good condition" .. except the 1859 pages are a stained yellow.

And I invite you to use your own powers of observation. And then note that the specific staining was stated to have occurred in 1862. This would have been a truly absurd accusation, very easy to refute, except that it was factual. Thus, nobody checked. Even in 2015, the planned material tests were .. canceled.

The scholars seem to be a bit weak in observation.
:) Although the BCHF (Bible Criticism and History Forum) crew did ok, and asked a few good questions.
Steven Avery
The published comments on the staining were made in 1862-`1864. The terminus post quem for the staining is 1850, the terminus ante quem is 1859. I put up a little page on the purebibleforum discussing the yeears.

when in the 1850s was the Sinaiticus ms coloured?
Steven Avery
Your question is answered on the page above where I discuss the date of the colouring.

It is well known that Simonides may have fudged dates at time. He may have fudged the story to make himself look better. Not as bad as the Tischendorf lies, but the concept of speaking what is convenient.

We simply do not know for sure if he was in Sinai in 1852, or if the ms. was stained by that time.

We KNOW the ms. was stained by 1859. You can SEE it in the section extracted in 1859.

And the staining accusation would have been truly absurd, ridiculous, easy to disprove .. except it was TRUE.

1844 is pristine white parchment.
1859 is stained and yellow.

Both are in "phenomenal", "exceptional", supple condition.

These are the objective facts.

And there is one solid, clear, consistent and accurate explanation that matches the ms condition, and all the historical observations.

The ms. was stained in the 1850s.

Then some more of the BIll Brown stuff.


Steven Avery

Elijah Hixson

The photographers left the colour standards in each image—these are standardised colour charts so that there is an objective reference for how the photographs compare to the real-life appearance of the manuscript.

I went ahead and put together the colour standards for Q37, ff. 3v–4r ("contiguous point #2"). I did not edit the colours in any way; I only cut these out from screen grabs taken from the Sinaiticus website and placed them side-by-side. Anybody can go to the Sinaiticus website and do this comparison.

Do these two colour charts look the same to you? As standards, they should be identical in real life. Notice especially the yellow in the middle and the dark blue at the top. The yellow from the image of f. 3v is lighter than the yellow from the image of f. 4r, but the dark blue from f.3v is darker than the dark blue from f. 4r. This means at least one of the images (=the image of f. 3v) has had its contrast adjusted. The dark bits (i.e. ink) appear slightly darker in the image than in real life, and the light bits (i.e. the parchment) **appear lighter in the image than in real life**. The BL leaves have not been coffee stained, unless somebody also coffee-stained the yellow of the colour standard and bleached the dark blue, green, black, etc.

I can do the same for contiguous points 1, 3 and 4 too, if you want.


Here is also a comparison of two Leipzig pages immediately after contiguous point 1 and two BL pages immediately after contiguous point 2, as a control (size not to scale).

The point:
• images of Leipzig folios are relatively consistent with each other
• images of BL folios are relatively consistent with each other
•the two sets of images are not consistent with an external standard, and thus *should not be treated as if they accurately reflect differences in the colour of the actual parchment*.

Photo processing, not coffee stains.

Elijah Hixson went into the colour bars, and I responded here:{"tn":"R9"}

Steven Avery
Thanks, Elijah, we have had various colour discussions before.

And I think it is quite obvious that the differences you are highlighting there, while interesting, will have minimal effect on the evaluation of white and yellows, and what Gavin Moorhe
ad wrote, that:

"the Leipzig folios are notable for their whiteness."

is accurate.



Are you actually denying that the 1844 and 1859 differences are large, with the 1844 German CFA being white parchment?

A simple yes or no will help.


A while back you offered a single page of variance of a more recent manuscript from about 1000AD that you felt would provide a cover for all 86 pages of the Leipzig manuscript being white, pristine, sans stains, compared to the stained yellow of the British Library.

Here is the ms. that you emphasized, Codex Hillinus, and I took your own example of two contiguous pages.

You can compare that to the Codex Sinaiticus coniguous points and see that it is not in the same league.

And, as you should know, the issue with Sinaiticus is that two non-contiguous sections,86 pages from 1844:

** every single page, is white parchment. **

Why you would try to compare a small variance in one ms. of one page, with the evidence of wholesale staining, supported by the direct testimony that this had occurred, is a puzzle.

The same would go for your bringing in a purple dye ms. into the discussion in another forum.

The colour and stain disparity of 1844 and 1859 is glaring and obvious, and fits the historical narrative that the ms. was stained in the 1850s. It takes a special effort to deny at the very least that it looks fishy.

And it is fine to try to give various explanations, but please try to be more on point than Hillinus. Thanks!

In another forum, you asked many questions about textual matters and probabilities, I was not able to respond on that forum, but I would be happy to go over every point. As I did with the similar attempt of James Snapp, built largely on Scrivener.


Codex Hillinus - offered by Elijah Hixson as comparable to Sinaiticus
Facebook - New Testament Textual Criticism

"See especially the Hillinus Codex toward the bottom. No it isn't as old as people claim Sinaiticus to be, but some pages are almost snow-white in appearance and others are yellow. There is a noticeable difference between 18v and 19r (if you click on the manuscript, it should take you to a page where you can see the whole thing)".


If this type of difference is meant to correlate to the 86 white parchment pages of a supposedly heavily used 4th century ms. all being white (while the 1859 is stained yellow)

I think that can be seen as your grudging acceptance that the Sinaiticus anomaly needs careful study.


Steven Avery

Elijah Hixson
Thanks for the reply, but it is not 'quite obvious' that the differences of the colour standards would have no effect on the perceived colours of the parchments.

David Daniels places a big deal of emphasis on trusting "the scientists with the color ba
rs", but if those colour bars are demonstrably different, then "trusting the scientists with the color bars" is a house built on sand. You can say that it's not, that it's different, however you want to put it, but at the end of the day, you're relying on two sets of images that demonstrably look different in one area where they shouldn't (the colour standards) if they were taken/processed identically, and you're saying "see, they were taken/processed identically but they're different!" Well, no. They were not taken/processed identically, even if the website says they were. If they were, then the colour standards would match. When anybody points that out, you just say "well that doesn't matter because it doesn't apply" and shift to "but people said they were white."

As to the purple dye, you say "well that doesn't matter because it's not a lot of pages." Or "it's not different enough". Well, I wasn't comparing a block of text to a block of text. I was showing how storage conditions can change the way a manuscript looks. You don't need several pages to do that, you just need one page that was stored in a different way/place/etc. than the others (more on that here:

Window to a Sixth-Century Scriptorium
Then one more from Elijah.

Elijah Hixson
In summary, my argument is twofold:

1. Pages of the same manuscript can be the same but look different if the photos were taken and/or processed differently.

2. Pages of the same manuscript can legitimately be different in cases where part of the manuscript has a different storage/preservation history than another part.

We can demonstrate that #1 has happened in the case of Sinaiticus.

•It *could* be the case that the Leipzig leaves actually are a different colour then the BL leaves in real life. That is absolutely possible due to the fact that they have been kept in different institutions for a century and a half.

•It could also be the case that the leaves in Leipzig are identical in colour to the leaves at the BL. That is absolutely possible due to the differences in the colour standards in the photos.

•It could also be the case that both things are at work—that the BL leaves are very slightly darker than the Leipzig leaves, and the perceived difference is colour is exacerbated by the differences in the way the photos were taken/processed.

This is continued over here:

Steven Avery

David Parker does not claim bumbling photography

The same bumbling photographers, (with even more spin) argument was used on the BCHF forum

David C. Parker said in the 2010 book "Codex Sinaiticus." was brought up.

page 176: "We looked at the British Library leaves only by artificial light, while the differing storage conditions and environment in Leipzig, St Petersburg, and Sinai give it a different appearance in each place."

However, he clearly is NOT claiming that the differences are photography.
David Parker is giving the vague hand-wave:

storage conditions in
St. Petersburg and British Library

account for the difference.
A theory which has no evidence, and many huge historical and physical difficulties.

Either the Leipzig pages turned white and cleaned, or the British Library pages turned yellow and stained.

All the white pages go against parchment science. Yet the full codex was called white parchment even back in the Uspensky 1845 visit. And Dobschutz did similar with the German section around 1910.

Whichever choice the "storage conditions" argument uses, they should try to give a reasoned argument for all elements of the colour and condition. e.g. Why would parchment in a dry region retain its white colour and supple condition for 1500 years. Then, when cared for in a library, become all yellow, stained and streaked?

At this point, the storage conditions proponents generally just go on to other topics.

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