1911 - Codex Sinaiticus Petropolitanus: The New Testament, the Epistle of Barnabas and Shepherd of Hermas by Kirsopp Lake

The following facsimile of the New Testament text of the Codex Sinaiticus is made from negatives taken at St Petersburg by my wife and myself in the summer of 1908 ...
The MS. is written on fine parchment made from the skin of some rather large animal—Tischendorf suggested an antelope, but in view of the manner in which this guess has been copied by successive writers on the text of the New Testament, and the certainly with which much repetition seems to have invested it in their eyes, it is perhaps not unnecessary to point out that there is nothing in the vellum to indicate an antelope rather than any other animal of the requisite size. It varies considerably in thickness: and the thicker leaves, which have generally preserved the writing better than the thin ones, are inclined to a yellowish tint. Many of the leaves are so thin that the writing from the other side is sometimes so plainly visible as to become confusing, and in a few cases the ink has eaten through the vellum so as to leave holes. As a rule, however, the vellum struck me as not quite so thin as that of the Codes Alexandrinus, and to have consequently suffered somewhat less from erosion.

The edges of the leaves have been slightly trimmed since the time of the C correctors; this can be seen, for instance, on f 49 recto. So for as it is now possible to discover, there is no writing on the edges of the closed MS.

[paragraph on lines and columns, paragraph on quires]

The ink which the original scribes used is the usual sepia colour commonly found in ancient manuscripts. As Tischendorf says, it varies from an ashy but yellowish grey to a somewhat red tint. It presents no unusual features : the facsimile makes it appear too much of a genuine black. The ink used by the correctors A is the same as that of the original -- doubtless it was the ink which was always used in the scriptorium. The ink used by B is a trifle darker than the original ink. Ca and Cb used a reddish-yellow ink. which has usually remained very bright and clear. Cc and Cc* used a greyer colour, and the later correctors used black. Red (vermilion) was used for the Eusebian apparatus, the earlier signatures to the gatherings, and in some of the 'Arabesques', for instance, at the end of Mark. All these are printed in red in Tischendorf's edition.
The evidence that the Codex Sinaiticus was once in this library [Caesarea] is given by the notes added by one of the C correctors at the ends of Ezra and Esther, in the fragment at Leipzig (Codex Friderico-Augustanus). Il hat often been stated that these notes are by the corrector Ca but this is not the case, as will be seen when the facsimile of the Old Testament is published There is a certain family resemblance between Ca and the scribe of the notes at the end of Ezra and Esther, but they are not identical, and there is perhaps a difference of ink— Ca used a redder, and the scribe of the note at the end of Esther a yellower colour—though I am inclined to doubt this, strikingly evident though it seems at first. The two notes happen to have been written on bad patches of vellum, which have not taken the ink well, so that the writing has faded, but at the end of the note to Ezra, where the parchment improves, the ink has the same reddish tint as C*. Further discussion of this point belongs to the introduction to the Old Testament: it is sufficient here to say that the probable solution of the question is that several scribes (of which C* was certainly one) were engaged in correcting the text according to that of the Codex Pamphili. and one of them (not C*) wrote the notes at the end of Esther and Ezra to explain what had been done. That the writer of the notes belonp to the C group of scribes is tolerably certain, and his statements make it almost equally plain that this group was formed by the monks in the scriptorium at Caesarea. The text of the notes is as follows:

... From the addition of the word (Grk) to the name of Antoninus it is clear that the writer identified him with the Antoninus who was martyred on Nov. 13. 309, shortly before Pamphilus, who was put to death on Feb. 16, 310 (see Eusebius, de martyr Palest. 9. 5 and 11.1). The reference to the prison also enables us to date the MS. used by the corrector almost exactly in the year 309 Moreover, as the original Hexapla of Origen was at Caesarea. and Pamphilus claims to have corrected his MS. by it, there is really only one step—the MS of Pamphilus—between the corrector and the original Hexapla.

The original scribes.
At the first sight the whole Codex seems to have been written by the same hand; but a closer inspection shows that this is erroneous, and according to Tischendorf four scribes A, B, C, and D were engaged on the text, of whom A. B, and D are represented in the New Testament In his Nomina Sacra (pp. 67 f.) Traube goes further, and distinguishes the A who wrote part of the New Testament from the A who wrote the historical books of the Old Testament and Barnabas, and the B who wrote Isaiah from the B who wrote Hermas and the other prophetic books. So far as B is concerned this must remain a question to be discussed in connexion with an edition of the Old Testament part of the Codex Sinaiticus. So far as A is concerned I am unable to see any difference of script, and in the absence of any such difference I should hesitate to accept the very minute differences of treatment of the nomina sacra as sufficient proof of a change of scribe. Reserving, however, out of respect to the opinion of so distinguished a palaeographer, the possibility that Barnabas is by a different hand, it is tolerably clear that A originally wrote all the text of the New Teaument except Hermas, which was the work of B, and that D wrote the text on the conjugate leaves, ff. 10 and 15, 29 and 30, 88 and 91, and
possibly on part of f. 126. Specimens of these three scripts, A, B, and D, are arranged side by side in the three first columns of Plate III.

There is possibly room for legitimate doubt whether Tischendorf was right in distinguishing A from B ... (continues) p. xviii-xix
Ludwig Traube said that the A who wrote the historical books was not the A who wrote the NT
Lake NT 1911 p. xviii and Lake mentions the pics on this Traube page

It will be convenient at this point to summarize the scribes who have so far been shown to have been working in the scriptorium, for none of the other early correctors can be proved with certainty to have belonged to it. The list is:—

Scribe A, wrote the greater part of the text, and subscriptions.
Scribe B. wrote the Shepherd of Hennas.
Scribe D, wrote the cancel-leaves, and superscriptions.
Corrector A1, probably identical with scribe D.
Corrector A1, almost certainly identical with scribe D.
Scribe E, the writer of the Eusebian apparatus.
Scribe S, the writer of the (Grk)

All these writers worked on the MS. before it left the scriptorium. It is highly probable that the same is true of some of those which remain to be considered, but evidence is not forthcoming. p. xxii
The terminus ad quem cannot be so easily fixed. we are here entirely dependent on palaeographical considerations, and on the comparison of the writing with that of papyri. The earliest vellum MS. of which the date can approximately be fixed is the Vienna Codex of Dioscorides, which cannot be far removed from the year 500. No one doubts but that the Codex Sinaiticus and various other MSS are earlier than this; but the history of writing shows that the development of hands is by no means regular, and decisive dating is usually very difficult. Nevertheless a comparison with papyri suggests that the Codex Sinaiticus is more likely to belong to the fourth than to the fifth century; Dr. Hunt, indeed, expressed the view that if it had not been for the evidence of the Eusebian apparatus, he should have not regarded the third century as an impossible date. This view of the date of the MS. is based on the assumption that the provenance of the MS. is the same as that of the papyri—Egyptian; but an element of doubt cannot be excluded on this point, and it is clear that if the assumption be baseless, the date is proportionately less certain. (continues) p. x