TC-Alternate 2011 my post pro-Sinaiticus authentiricy

Steven Avery


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Steve Avery's response to James Snapp's claim that Sinaiticus was already proved to be authentic:

Hi Folks,

James Snapp

Just *read what Kirsopp Lake wrote about it in his intro to the facsimile,* and after that, if you still think that there is any possibility that Sinaiticus is a forgery,

To be clear, the (final) Simonides claim is not that he did the manuscript as a forgery, but as a work for his uncle to be delivered to the Russian Emporer Nicholas, which never occurred after his uncle died.. Apparently, in this scenario, his uncle had unique textual theories, akin to the then-unpublished Vaticanus, and Simonides was a bumbling scribe for his uncle. Who for some reason wrote in multiple hand-writings and acted as multiple corrector of his own work. In this scenario, it is possible that the uncle and Constantine had ancient forgery motives, but I have not seen this conjectural motive issue directly discussed.

James Snapp
perhaps we can revisit the question. Consider the implications of the evidence from MacDonald, and Uspinsky
(Porfiri Uspenski-SA),
Scribal habits of Codex Sinaiticus (2007)
Dirk Jongkind
Tischendorf ... between his first and second visit, the manuscript was in all probability seen by the British Major MacDonald and certainly seen, and even studied, by the Russian archimandrite Porfiri Uspenski during his visits of 1845 and 1850. (p. 5-6) In 1975, new parts of die codex were discovered in a previously blocked off room in the monastery. (p. 7)

Apparently, Uspenski attacked the text as heretical, not mentioned by Jongkind. There was an answer from Tischendorf on this, it would be interesting to have a summary laid out of the issues. Also, a sidenote: Rendal Harris says that Uspenski was a bit of a manuscript thief from the libraries of Europe.

Simonides claimed he wrote the manuscript in 1839, so it is unclear if the Uspenski or MacDonald accounts would act as a refutation of the Simonides story, without more detail.

James Snapp
and the pages in the 1975 finds, and consider the unlikelihood of forging a Greek text of Barnabas and Hermas, and consider the unlikelihood of the monks of St. Catherine's being co-conspirators and having the chutzpah to protest the removal of a codex they knew to be forged!

And I covered some other issues as well in my last post,

[TC-Alternate-list] Simonides as Siniaitcus scribe - an idea whose time has gone
Steven Avery November 19, 2011
Simonides said nothing for the 16 year period when Codex Frederico-Augustanus was floating about, and Simonides was a Codex F-A participant-watcher. Overall, the timing of the whole claim is rather incredible, this is a large manuscript supposedly done quickly by a young lad (15 or 19). There is no known exemplar for the Simonides labour, and, with this problem and others, you end up with the tacked-on story of the manuscript being the work of an uncle, his life work of textual scholarship ! Interesting is the verification by the Greek Orthodox monk who was hard to find, yet was verified .. by Simonides
. Just the basic conceptual problem of doing such a forgery with multiple hands and correctors. If a person was flying through a manuscript for a quick calligraphy work, or for an uncle who wanted his ideas transcribed (from what ?), why all the dual-triple and more handwritings ? And when challenged by William Aldis Wright, you have much in way of obfuscation and evasive responses, the cutest being the "deposit money" response. The list goes on and on.

I am curious if James agrees that my list can be added to the five or so that he gives, in which case the list will start with about 10 major problems.


Dr Tischendorf, in addition to former attacks upon the character and credit of his great Codex Sinaiticus, proceeding from the Archimandrite Porfiri Uspenski in Russia, and from Simonides .. (third attack is referenced)

The discussion on this subject is already exasperating. If people are just not going to make the effort to undertake some basic reading so as to form an informed view, there's no helping them.

And I think much of the exasperation comes from starting with the Sinaiticus issue, and then moving to other Simonides involvements, including the papyri. I'll write on that, in response to Ben, separately.

Also there is the ongoing question of the reliability of the Tischendorf account, and his integrity issues.
And this reliability has two major components (which similarly can be mix-a-moshed)

1) The dubious trash-can story, the romantic legend that smells like a fabrication of convenience.

2) And the question of gift vs theft of the manuscripts.

The Wikipedia account attempts to absolve Tischendorf on #2 based on 2009 material.

St. Catherine's monastery still maintains the importance of a letter, typewritten in 1844 with an original signature of Tischendorf confirming that he borrowed those leaves. 10] However, recently published documents, including a deed of gift dated 11 September 1868 and signed by Archbishop Kallistratos and the monks of the monastery, indicate that the manuscript was acquired entirely legitimately. This deed, which agrees with a report by Kurt Aland on the matter, has now been published. Unfortunately this development is not widely known in the English-speaking world, as only German- and Russian-language media reported on it in 2009. Doubts as to the legality of the gift arose because when Tischendorf originally removed the manuscript from St Catherine's in September 1859, the monastery was without an archbishop, so that even though the intention to present the manuscript to the Tsar had been expressed, no legal gift could be made at the time. Resolution of the matter was delayed through the turbulent reign of Archbishop Cyril (consecrated 7 December 1859, deposed 24 August 1866), and the situation only formalised after the restoration of peace.

This is said to show TIschendorf saying he was borrowing the leaves in 1844

And this is asserted to be the 1868 deed absolving Tischendorf of accusations of theft.

When we discussed Tischendorf earlier in the year, I do not think these documents were referenced. James I believe called for at least seeking to have the return of the Sinaiticus manuscript to the original, rightful owners.

It is also possible that the accusation is one more of chicanery and deception, leading to these documents, than overt theft through speaking falsely. Exactly how it falls, I would be interested in any cogent summary.
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