"over 150 years of scholarly research on this ancient codex"

Steven Avery

"over 150 years of of scholarly research on this ancient codex" - Tommy Wasserman

[textualcriticism] Sinaiticus studies - emphasis on the physical condition
What Tommy Wassermans should have said is the following:

"over 150 years of scholarly research presuming this is an ancient codex"

This is like defending evolutionary theory of origins because it has:

"over 150 years of of scholarly research on evolution"

Even if you an evolutionary proponent, you should be able to see the circularlity in the argument. If a false idea is propounded, the ability to work with the error in academia is astounding.

And I believe Sinaiticus will, when the scholars wake up, be offered as a textbook example of the inherent circilarity of much modern scholarship, even if the fundamental paradigms are simply false..


There is a similar logical error thrown out as if were an argument by Bill Brown.. "how many palaeographers .."

The problem is that the benchmark dating of Sinaiticus was done early, pushed hard and belligerently by Tischendorf, and he created a fascsimile edition that hid questions and pointed everyone to that editions. To a large extent this situation remained until the CSP. Hardly anybody who has pontificated on the manuscript and its dating has seen and handled the two parts of the manuscript, few have seen and handled even one part. The few who did should have, like Morozov, have questioned the date, simply based on colour (Leipzig especially) and condition.

In other words, the palaeographers should have said:

"We will begin to judge the date of that manuscript after we have seen the two major parts and handled the manuscript. We will not judge a manuscript's date from a facsimile, especially one whose provenance has major questions."

Without that, their judgements are close to worthless. As explained elsewhere the script analysis part of palaeography is non-symmetrical in terms of time chronology. Any script can be emulated in the future.

Everything changed in 2009, because we could at least see the two manuscripts unified, setting off loud alarm bells. Again, if the textual establishment were not asleep, the luminaries would have immediately asked to visit the two parts of the manuscript, and would have asked for BAM-style testing. (If they were still puzzled about how they had been snookered.)

Palaeographic Postscript

Reading the handwriting scripts is not a time-symmetrical enterprise. The terminus post quem can be quite accurate. Nobody in 1700 was able to emulate a 1900s handwriting. Thus the 1900s handwriting can tell you that the letter was written no earlier than .. 1900. The terminus ante quem is another story. A good calligrapher can beat up any time limitation proposal. A skilled person in modern times can actually write just like 1611, even the printing of 1611! Or 350 AD. As for the related fields like codicology, Sinaiticus comes out with anomalies galore with the modern theory.


Simonides and Sinaiticus

CFA and Sinaiticus - let's go to the videotape




Note on Time Element Non-Symmetry

Note that many aspects of Physical and all aspects of Palaeographical are, in terms of a time scale, non-symmetrical. ie. They are much more helpful in the terminus post quem than the terminus ante quem. They tell you quite well the earliest date it is written, but usually leave open the latest date to a wide range. (Brent Nongbri has pointed this out in papyri dating, the range of dates is far too limited.) This is putting aside cases where external documentation can "fix" the date.

A person in 300 AD cannot write in a script style that only began to be used in 700 AD. Yet a person in 700 AD can still be writing in the "old style". He may respect the style and keep it in his writing (on this basis any of the uncials could easily be much later than their palaeographic determination, a point emphasized by P. C. Sense, Michaelis and others.) Or the style may have simply lived on in certain environments. A church environment may keep an old style script deliberately (An example is Old Church Slavonic.)

And, those doing replicas and forgeries will deliberately write in the old style. So seeing a script style, by itself, is a piece of information that has value, but that value is limited, and all the elements of dating must be considered.

Once a material or writing style exists, it can be used or copied at any time as an unexpected continuation of the style, or even simply for play by the scribe, or for a replica, or for forgery. One of the major errors in modern dating is to try to use palaeography to straight-jacket a date (e.g. a papyrus is given as from 200-250 AD when the true range would be 200-550, even if it is considered likely that it is 3rd century.)

four types of evidence that help determine age and authenticity of a manuscript


Make this next one clearer:

The other point that can bust a document is future elements, from the time of the writing. There is no time symmetry in palaeography. A writer in 700 AD or 1840 AD can easily write in the style of 350 AD. A calligrapher in 200 can write by hand how the AV looked printed in 1611, so that it is hard to tell which is printed and which is hand. However nobody can copy what is only a future style of writing, nor can they write about future events. (The latter was claimed as the important point in at least one of the Simonides manuscripts.)

However, keep in mind that looking backwards for future script has its limitations, in that the very definition of who contributed to the document is largely dependent on the script, so authenticity can be proclaimed in a circular manner. If a writer in 1840 had a document with his writing from 350 AD, and then writes a note on the document in a later script, (e.g. in the margin or bottom) it can just be said that the note was a later addition, after 350, by another hand.

before 1844 - poof provenance


Sinaiticus 101 could use an update here too.