a document is no older than the materials used

Steven Avery


The above is an important quote from David W. Daniels.

"a document is no older than the materials used"

After the initial physical discoveries about the colouring of the manuscript, CSP compared to the CFA, and the disparities of colour even within the CSP, and spurred by a good question by Peter Kirby on the BCHF forum, our research team has begun to also emphasize the element of the youth of the parchment of Sinaiticus.

(Remember, no testing has been done, and the one series of professional tests planned for 2015 by BAM in Berlin was cancelled.)

This was obvious from discussions and quotes about the conservation, our reading and from the pictures of how it was handled (we are also searching youtube to see if there are any ultra-visual examples.) And from all the "exceptional" quotes that Gavin Moorhead placed in the CSP. .

Here is one that is especially interesting, from the men who really handled Alexandrinus and Sinaiticus:

From The Codex Sinaiticus and the Codex Alexandrinus with Seven Illustrations, 1938, 1963 reprint edition. It is published by the Trustees of the British Museum, the basic information is from Skeat and Milne.

6. Appearance of the Manuscript (Plates VI, VII)

Alexandrinus ... The vellum of the Codex varies in quality but is for the most part fine, so fine that the ink has frequently bitten right through and fretted many of the pages. Owing to its treatment at the hand of binders the vellum has lost its natural resilence, and presents limp, dead appearance in marked contrast to the vellum of the Codex Sinaiticus. p. 37
What an amazing contrast!
The simpler Ockham explanation: an old manuscript "limp, dead", and a young manuscript, "flexible, supple, alive".


Keep in mind that Sinaiticus has even, by circularity, skewed manuscript science.

While it is often written that manuscripts get yellowed and more brittle with age and use and handling (Sinaiticus is thought to have had continuous handling over 1,000 years and more) a quick look at the CFA shows a white, excellent condition manuscript. Thus Sinaiticus itself becomes a contradictory benchmark to the norm.

(Similarly, see the discussions on the fountainpennetwork on the effects of iron gall ink on parchment, where Sinaiticus is continually used to show that there does not have to be any deterioration.)

British Library related personnel, however, even today, cannot allow that their fundamental 4th century paradigm should be checked at the door, it should not be driving the physical science of the materials of the manuscript, parchment, ink, binding (where the theories are similarly skewed). The physical science should drive the historical reconstruction, not the reverse.

We saw this also in the British Library difficulties in relating to the colouring of the 1850s (and that, conceivably, could have occurred even with an ancient ms.)

improper ms dating will create circularity errors in the vellum and ink sciences