• Home
  • About
  • Tracts
  • Topics
  • Study Series
  • Contact

You Be The Judge

See for yourself the actual text of the infamous Codex Sinaiticus. You will see a supple, paste-white document, with corners in excellent condition, scribal writing around worm holes, inconsistent fading, smearing on pages of the document, and multiple scribal entries. Then a quick look at Vaticanus, and its paragraphs with 14th century-styled drop-cap initial letters. Quite suspicious for supposedly old and reliable documents. For comparison, we look at the Washingtonian, a 4th century copy, where the ink is literally falling off the page.

(Article with links)

Sinaiticus

I looked into the Codex Sinaiticus project online, and came across these pages. (Right-click the links below to open in a new window.)

Notice the paste white appearance … even the corners are in spectacular shape.

I was kind of surprised to see how mangled the pieces were from Genesis; in fact, when you start there and move ahead a few chapters, you almost get the impression that it's really old.  But when you get past the first several sections (quires), then it starts to look very white.

This video shows how supple Sinaiticus is, which is very odd for a book claiming a date of ~350 AD.  At the 57-second mark, watch how flexibly the pages turn.  Notice how white they are.  This clearly is not an old document.   

The empty spot for the last 12 verses in Mark chapter 16.  It's like someone planned this empty space.  Bear in mind, parchment of this quality was very expensive, and every writable portion would be used.  

Writing around worm holes (double-click to zoom to top left of Proverbs ch.15 vs.1).  First, you need to see what a hole looks like.  These holes are likely used to stitch the page, since they are regularly spaced, but it gives you an idea a hole's appearance.  Scroll elsewhere to see the text goes around every hole on the page.  If it is old, worms will eat through the velum, ink and all.  This lends support to Constantine Simonides, who said that in 1839, he took an existing blank parchment folio (which already had some worm holes in it) and began to write what Tischendorf called "Sinaiticus".  (Source: Dr. David Sorenson, Neither Oldest Nor Best, pg. 51.) 

Inconsistent fading, in Acts 1.  Why is the middle of the page faded, and not the edges?  The presence of oxygen fades documents, and you find greater air penetration around the exposed edges -- not the center of the book.  This is the reverse.  It appears that someone did a cheap job of trying to age the book, using lime juice, coffee or tea to stain the page, creating an appearance of age.

Very different scribe, in Isaiah 1:1.  So which scribe do you trust - the one who wrote at the top, or in the middle?  Which entry is really the Word of God, if this is a reliable copy?

Unbelievable - In Psalm 1:1, it is painfully obvious the text is smeared.  You also have a red letter edition, a luxury not likely for the church on the run for survival in the 3rd century.

 

Vaticanus

Vaticanus clearly shows not only medieval drop caps, exactly as Dr. David Sorenson identified, but also reveals other differences in Revelation sharply contrasting the rest of the book.  You will find:

  • The earlier books are written in all upper case (called uncials),
  • Book of Revelation written in italicized Greek, by a very different hand.

The only thing in common is that all pages are very white, with well-maintained, distinct edges and corners.

The Vaticanus website's tool doesn't enable a direct copy of URL links, but you can find these exemplars by using the navigation aids listed below the link. 

Site: http://digi.vatlib.it/view/MSS_Vat.gr.1209  

Navigation Aid: click the = mark to the top left, to pop open the index (in Latin, what else?).

Check out these pages:

  • p. 1-46 Genesis: then click pg.11 at the bottom. Notice the italicized Greek in miniscule.
  • p.1304-1349 Evang. sec. Lucam: then click pg. 1303 at the bottom.  See the empty space for the missing verses in Mark 16.  Dr. Sorenson points out that even the letter spacing appears tighter in the first column, but then spaces out greater and greater towards the end.  It appears that the author noticed that he would run out of text before reaching the end of the page, and tried to fill in the gap.  Notice the use of all uncials.
  • p.1304-1349 Evang. sec. Lucam: Notice the drop cap (like a colored fish) at the start of Luke 1:1.  Drop caps weren't invented until 14th century.  Notice the text is all uncials.
  • p.1523-1536 Apocalypsis: Revelation 1, here in italicized Greek.  This seems to be written by the same hand that did Genesis.  Note the large fancy red dop cap, another dead giveaway that this is medieval in age.

 

Washingtonian

Now look at the Washingtonian, an authentic 4th century document.  Only the four gospel accounts are online. (Navigation aid: click Matt 1.1, and zoom in around the dark spots and the tattered edges.  You can also "Jump to Book - Mark", and navigate to Mark 16:17, by scrolling with your cursor inside the section with the thumbnails.)

What you will see very clearly are --

  • very dark edges (where there is more oxygen penetration)
  • lighter coloration on the interior (less oxygen penetration)
  • torn, tattered and rounded edges, with only the center spine somewhat straight
  • ink coming off the words leaving a slightly lighter mark underneath
  • wax spots on the pages.  They actually used this, and read it by candlelight.
  • the last 12 verses of Mark 16.

This isn't rocket science … Vaticanus and Sinaiticus are clearly not old.  Why is the lie still perpetuated that these are old and reliable?

Visitor Comments (1)

Materials?

Why is Sinaiticus not as Dark as the other Manuscripts?
A: Like any written document, the pages will darken as they age. White, supple pages are indicative of a young manuscript. - Bro. Vince