Codex Sinaiticus - the white parchment Friderico-Augustanus

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Steven Avery
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Codex Sinaiticus - the white parchment Friderico-Augusta

Post by Steven Avery » Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:25 am

Hi,
Leucius Charinus wrote:Interesting thanks Steven.

Welcome
Leucius Charinus wrote:It's provenance is unknown. Tischendorf claimed he found it "in a rubbish bin" in a church monastery.

The trash bin saved from the flames story arose in 1859, in the time of justifying the manuscript heist from Sinai before the Russian authorities, and also the public arena.

When Tischendorf wrote to his family about obtaining the 43 leaves in 1844 the cover story was not yet in place, nor is it seen in any form before 1859.
Leucius Charinus wrote:Background story:

As has been pointed out, there is no confirmation of these stories. The basic piece of information is that 43 leaves were taken from Sinai in secretive circumstances in 1844 and the other 90% was taken in 1859 under the guise of a loan. For what happened before 1844 and between 1844-1859, Tischendorf has to be considered as, shall we say, unreliable. Except for telling us about the 1846 publication of the CFA.

Tischendorf did say he had help in 1859 with the ms. in Cairo for a couple of months, from two vaguely identified Germans. My memory is that they were supposed to be copying certain sections, although where those supposed copies ended up is not known or discussed.
Leucius Charinus wrote:... He retrieved from the basket 129 leaves in Greek which he identified as coming from a manuscript of the Septuagint.

Thus the 43 leaves that he retrieved and took to Leipzig are white parchment, without stains. The other 86 leaves are totally different, part of the Sinaiticus mass of leaves.
Leucius Charinus wrote:Rev. J. Silvester Davies in 1863 quoted "a monk of Sinai who... stated that according to the librarian of the monastery the whole of Codex Sinaiticus had been in the library for many years and was marked in the ancient catalogues

This is likely a reference to the 1734 catalogue of Nicephorus Marthalis, who both copied and signed manuscripts in that period.

The Library
http://www.sinaimonastery.com/en/index.php?lid=203
In 1725, Nicephorus Marthalis was elected Archbishop of Sinai. He had been a scribe, and the library contains manuscripts written in his hand. He had a great concern for the manuscripts, and asked that they be gathered into a new location opposite the Archbishop's quarters, and that a catalogue of the manuscripts be drawn up..

The Mount Sinai, Monastery of Saint Catherine, Sin. Gr. 1464 is signed by Nikephoros the Hieromonk [Νικηφόρος Ἱερ[ομόναχος] ὁ Κρητός ] on fol. 270v..
http://www.doaks.org/library-archives/l ... in-gr-1464

Interestingly, despite the great interest in the provenance of Sinaiticus, afaik nobody has produced or examined this 1734 catalog, or any ancient catalog.

The Davies account, twice removed, is far less significant than the poof factor of the catalog (why was it never produced?) and the general poof provenance.

Many European adventurers and manuscript hunters had passed through Sinai without indication of a special ancient manuscript that could match Sinaiticus. In fact, what received notice from the Sinai visitors before 1840 was the Golden evangelistarium:

Lectionary 300
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lectionary_300
Leucius Charinus wrote:.... Is it likely... that a manuscript known in the library catalogue would have been jettisoned in the rubbish basket." Indeed, it has been noted that the leaves were in "suspiciously good condition" for something found in the trash.
Now we see that even "pristine condition" applies to the 43 leaves.
Leucius Charinus wrote:The story of how von Tischendorf found the manuscript, which contained most of the Old Testament and all of the New Testament,

An interesting aspect is how the OT is in textual tatters, and every single leaf of the NT was found. Allowing for the cancel sheets.
Leucius Charinus wrote:British Library on C14 dating Sinaiticus: ... I can confirm that the Library has not previously subjected either manuscript to C14 dating, nor do we have plans to do so. There is broad scholarly consensus on the dating of both codices based on various well established criteria for judging the date of a manuscript. ... a range of non-destructive techniques including contextual and imaging analysis. ....To undertake research into the history of the Codex . . . , to commission an objective historical narrative based on the results of the research which places the documents in their historical context ...."--
Yes, there is a lot we could go into here. Contextual analysis sounds like simply "our textual theorists say...". "Imaging analysis" might mean "we took pictures".

Here is a comment the British Library made about analyzing the color distinctions:
"... Gavin Moorhead, who was one of the conservators who worked on the project. He mentioned that initially there were plans to do a detailed study of the colour variance between parchment leaves, but for reasons of time and finances this was not followed through on, and instead the information was put up on the Sinaiticus website in the hope that researchers might be able to make some use of it." - Cillian O'Hogan, British Library, email correspondence
So at least we are right in the bullseye of their hope!
Leucius Charinus wrote:I have no ideas how to explain the different coloured sheets. However I'd be interested to know why Tischendorf - the discoverer - did not make a note of this. From your summary above it appears that Tischendorf never mentioned this himself. Is that correct? Why would that be?

Yes, this is 100% right, and quite curious. So far, I have seen no indication of any mention of this color and condition disparity from Tischendorf. (You can't be too dogmatic, because Tischendorf has writings and letters and articles untranslated.)

Remember that until 2009, there were not that many people who had seen the two sections.

Nonetheless, you would think that anyone who saw the CFA would make a "wait a minute" comment about the condition. And not just in the context of not being burned (as above.)

Steven Avery

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Re: Codex Sinaiticus - the white parchment Friderico-Augusta

Post by Stephan Huller » Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:52 am

I know from the Mar Saba document that the pages seemed to be white when first discovered by Morton Smith and by 2000 they were yellow also. Could just be indicative of the way they were stored and kept.

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Re: Codex Sinaiticus - the white parchment Friderico-Augusta

Post by perseusomega9 » Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:05 am

low humidity to high(er) humidity? possible.

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DCHindley
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Re: Codex Sinaiticus - the white parchment Friderico-Augusta

Post by DCHindley » Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:58 am

The most logical solution is that the larger bulk of the ms, the leaves with yellowing and stains, simply indicates that Tischendorff must have introduced to the monks the bad habit of drinking coffee (hitherto the monks had surely only drank pure spring water) and smoking cigars in order to put on scholarly "airs." Either that, or the 43 leaves of the CFA are in fact a whitewash! :cheeky: [insert favorite conspiracy theory here]

DCH

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Re: Codex Sinaiticus - the white parchment Friderico-Augusta

Post by andrewcriddle » Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:46 pm

This could possibly support Tischendorf''s claim that in 1859, and presumably for some years before, the manuscript was not being properly looked after at Sinai and consequently deteriorated.

Andrew Criddle

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John T
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Re: Codex Sinaiticus - the white parchment Friderico-Augusta

Post by John T » Wed Oct 29, 2014 1:19 pm

I would be more concerned about forgery if all the pages were of the same color and texture.

"The folios are made of vellum parchment primarily from calf skins, secondarily from sheep skins.[13] (Tischendorf himself thought that the parchment had been made from antelope skins, but modern microscopic examination has shown otherwise.) Most of the quires or signatures contain four leaves save two containing five. It is estimated that about 360 animals were slaughtered for making the folios of this codex, assuming all animals yielded a good enough skin. As for the cost of the material, time of scribes and binding, it equals the lifetime wages of one individual at the time.[14]...wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_epistles

As far as the date it was written, that is not in much dispute.

"The codex was written in the 4th century. It could not have been written before 325 because it contains the Eusebian Canons, which is a terminus post quem. It could not have been written after 360 because of certain references to Church fathers in the margin. This means that 360 is a terminus ad quem.[14]"...wiki

My big question is, who was the editor of the scribes?
Was it Hosius of Cordova, Athanasius, Eusebius or someone else?

"Constantin von Tischendorf, discoverer of Codex Sinaiticus, believed that Sinaiticus and Vaticanus were among these fifty Bibles prepared by Eusebius in Caesarea. According to him, they were written with three (as Vaticanus) or four columns per page (as Sinaiticus).[9][10] Tishendorf's view was supported by Pierre Batiffol.[11]..wiki

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifty_Bibl ... onstantine

Some people mock the Codex Sinaiticus because of over 20,000 corrections and spelling errors.
I say it was a masterpiece of the time and likely the master copy used for Constantine's 50 Bibles.
I only wish some rich guy would finance the project and finish translating all the pages into English.

http://www.codex-sinaiticus.net/en/proj ... ation.aspx

Sincerely,

John T
"It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into."...Jonathan Swift

Steven Avery
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Codex Sinaiticus - the white parchment Friderico-Augusta

Post by Steven Avery » Wed Oct 29, 2014 1:37 pm

Hi,
andrewcriddle wrote:This could possibly support Tischendorf''s claim that in 1859, and presumably for some years before, the manuscript was not being properly looked after at Sinai and consequently deteriorated.
Andrew, I do appreciate your cautious approach. And I think that the claim from Tischendorf, of Sinai monk carelessness, is related more with Sinaiticus to the 1844 saved from burning story. Since his story had the manuscript totally out of sight in 1853 and then discovered in the monk's living quarters carefully kept under a red cloth in 1859. And with every page intact from the NT. So it is hard to paint the monks as being slipshod leading up to 1859. They were supposed to have realized that the ms. was a treasure.

(In the current British Library story, the monks even rebound the ms. between 1844 and 1845, explaining why Uspensky saw a codex. A British Library theory may not be the most Occam-friendly connection of evidence dots, since it starts from a presumption that Tischendorf's story is a reasonable base of conjecture.)

Also, what factors would cause widespread yellowing with stains?

Coffee, tea, lemon water and herbs are all known to be used to create such stains and yellowing.

And it is true that the Dead Sea Scrolls scholars were chastised for drinking coffee near the mss, at least decades after the fact. However it would have to be almost like the:

Coffee and Tea Festival
http://www.coffeeandteafestival.com/nyc/

run amok to be so extensive.

This idea of using simple liquids for aging is frequently discussed in the world of artificial aging. Whether making replicas or actions more nefarious, it is recognized that some of the best tools are low-tech and common-place. Perhaps we should consider the possibility that for the 10-15 years when the Sinaiticus manuscript was "left behind", there was a spot of tampering. Or many spots.

Anyway, I appreciate the various theories and ideas, both serious and whimsical. Iron sharpeneth.
ficino wrote:Steven, is your suspicion that Tischendorf faked Sinaiticus? Or parts of it, maybe the whiter parchment leaves?

Good question. If the white parchment unstained leaves are not authentically ancient, then it is pretty definite that the stained yellow leaves, the full manuscript, is also not authentically ancient.

If that is the case, there are lots of scenarios that could explain the poof provenance of Sinaiticus. In that case .. if .. Tischendorf could be anything from a dupe to an orchestrator to various in between possibilities. Right now, we see through a glass darkly. Tischendorf was accused of tampering with and aging the manuscript in the controversies of 1861-1863. So I suggest first .. if we see hard evidence of that today, we should look at it with open eyes.

There are times where physical hard evidence trumps contextual theoretical conclusions.

Steven Avery

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Leucius Charinus
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Re: Codex Sinaiticus - the white parchment Friderico-Augusta

Post by Leucius Charinus » Wed Oct 29, 2014 5:03 pm

Steven Avery wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:I have no ideas how to explain the different coloured sheets. However I'd be interested to know why Tischendorf - the discoverer - did not make a note of this. From your summary above it appears that Tischendorf never mentioned this himself. Is that correct? Why would that be?


Yes, this is 100% right, and quite curious. So far, I have seen no indication of any mention of this color and condition disparity from Tischendorf. (You can't be too dogmatic, because Tischendorf has writings and letters and articles untranslated.)

Remember that until 2009, there were not that many people who had seen the two sections.

Nonetheless, you would think that anyone who saw the CFA would make a "wait a minute" comment about the condition. And not just in the context of not being burned (as above.)
At the end of the day there is a sure way to add in to the equation of provenance (in all its positive and negative attributes) further quality data. The more information available, the better, and especially if it is information that is scientific.

C14 dating.

perseusomega9 wrote:
Blood wrote:
British Library wrote:C14 dating requires a relatively large sample to be taken from a collection item and destroyed
Is this correct? I thought only a small sample was necessary. The DSS were C14 dated.
See my link, or short answer without clicking: about 100mg of sample, vs tens of grams using previous techniques
It is relatively miniscule when given the physical volume of substance in this massive codex. It is not a fragment,
Even fragments have BLANK SPACE. Why does the museum or library want to preserve BLANK SPACES?

See below.

Steven Avery wrote:
FIRST CFA SECTION - 19 LEAVES - Quire 35, 36 8x2=16 and the first 3 leaves of quire 37
The first 4 leaves, Quire 35, 1,2,3,4 - involve duplication. See below.
The following image is a screen shot of that URL in which a small red rectangle has been placed in the bountiful BLANK SPACE above the text at the top of one of the hundreds of folios which are available. My rough and ready estimate is that if this rectangle of BLANK SPACE were to be surgically removed this would support a great number of independent radiocarbon dating tests at multiple radiocarbon units around the world.

Image


PETITION to C14 Date the "so-called" Oldest Bibles: http://www.mountainman.com.au/essenes/c ... 0bible.htm

I don't know what more I can say. I have absolutely no reason to trust, and every reason to be suspicious of, the [human] church organisation of the 21st century. This assessment only gets worse every century we step back through time. In the 20th century they were doing deals with Mussolini. In the 19th century they may have planted a "forged relic" in a rubbish bin inside a church monastery. In the 17th century they very kindly provided the King of England with Alexandrinus, also now retained in the BL. Jumping quickly for a fleeting glimpse at the 9th century, the massive ecclesiastical forgery mill known as Pseudo-Isidore was in full swing (it would not be completely exposed until the 17th century FFS FFS FFS FFS). Sorry keyboard glitch lol

C14 dating the Gospel of Judas. UA 1995 test. Here is the UA publication: http://uanews.org/story/ua-radiocarbon- ... as-genuine
The samples are "milligram size".

Image

I have been reading some interesting blog sites which have been continually pointing out the benefit of scientific "ink tests:.
See for example: http://alinsuciu.com/

Anyone would think these oldest bible codices were "Holy Grails".

Be well,




LC
A "cobbler of fables" [Augustine]; "Leucius is the disciple of the devil" [Decretum Gelasianum]; and his books "should be utterly swept away and burned" [Pope Leo I]; they are the "source and mother of all heresy" [Photius]

Steven Avery
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Codex Sinaiticus - the white parchment Friderico-Augusta

Post by Steven Avery » Wed Oct 29, 2014 5:29 pm

My reading of C-14 studies is that, almost invariably, they lead to more controversies. I don't think I have ever heard of a C-14 test ever truly resolving a question.

While I appreciate your desire to place real science to the manuscript, I believe much more would be accomplished first through chemical tests of the ink and parchment and stains. And spectrographic testing that does not even touch the material.

Combined with having true parchment and ink specialists (I doubt that there are any of those in the NT palaeography realm) really weigh in on issues like the parchment color and material and various anomalies, preferably with the chemical tests in hand (e.g. they know a lot about the chemistry of ink over the centuries.) Palaeographic issues include the apparent super-ink and also places with tiny-ink, even issues like the Arabic writing have received wildly wide-ranging off-hand results. Thus, there are various palaeographic and codicology issues that have been handled by NT scholars with modest skills and vested interests (see the David Trobisch quote from Stephan and also the British Library quote that made the pretension of dating being a done deal, a fait accompli.)

Keep in mind that certain aspects of palaeography are a one-direction discipline. A writer in 1500 AD can not emulate a future hand-writing in 2000 AD, however a 2000 AD writer can easily write in a style from 500 years earlier.

For an example of how incredible calligraphic skills can be, take a look at this pic of an AV-1611 Bible page.

A Skillful Facsimile Page in a 1611 King James Bible
http://manifoldgreatness.wordpress.com/ ... mes-bible/

For studies today, there are very sophisticated non-invasive tools available. I suggest you read about the Viking Map (there is a good video on the topic), the Voynich ms and similar modern controversies, including the continuing controversy on the Artemidorus papyrus. Without double-checking, I doubt that you will find that C-14 actually resolved any such issue. Although it might help in a contributory, corroborative fashion to a position.

Now, I realize that you have put a lot into the public call for C-14 testing, honestly, I think your puppy is barking up the wrong tree. :)
Leucius Charinus wrote:I have been reading some interesting blog sites which have been continually pointing out the benefit of scientific "ink tests:. See for example: http://alinsuciu.com/

Here we agree. You linked to the whole blog, I think you were focusing on a couple of articles like this one:

Joost L. Hagen – Possible further proof of forgery: A reading of the text of the Lycopolitan fragment of the Gospel of John, with remarks about suspicious phenomena in the areas of the lacunae and a note about the supposed Gospel of Jesus’ Wife
http://alinsuciu.com/2014/05/01/guest-p ... f-the-lac/

While this thread is emphasizing the "facts on the ground" nature of the hard evidence of the white parchment, without stains, and how it is hard to reconcile with the stained yellow ms (and hard to reconcile with 1650+ years) Sinaiticus has other very major problems in Greek linguistic analysis, and ms history, far beyond the poof provenance. A fuller presentation would go through the whole gamut.

However, the emphasis now is on the simple, easy to see and understand "two manuscripts" problem, which was, afawk, only discovered in 2014. This is probably the first time there has been an open-ended non-partisan discussion, iron sharpeneth.

Steven Avery

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Codex Sinaiticus - the white parchment Friderico-Augustanus

Post by Steven Avery » Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:15 pm

Steven Avery wrote:However, the emphasis now is on the simple, easy to see and understand "two manuscripts" problem, which was, afawk, only discovered in 2014. This is probably the first time there has been an open-ended non-partisan discussion, iron sharpeneth.
Let's try to place at least one picture showing the basic colour distinction.

Ok, I'll have to learn the best ways to make bigger pictures here.

White Parchment - Codex Friderico-Augustanus
http://codexsinaiticus.org/en/manuscrip ... omSlider=0

Next leaf - Yellow Parchment
http://codexsinaiticus.org/en/manuscrip ... omSlider=0
Cillian O'Hogan example.jpg
Cillian O'Hogan example.jpg (108.75 KiB) Viewed 5530 times
Steven
Last edited by Steven Avery on Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:23 pm, edited 9 times in total.

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