In the Wake of Simonides
Finnish ethnos through Elias Lönnrot’s Kalevala and Gaelic embers in James Mcpherson’s Ossian bear indirect echoes of Constantin von Tischendorf’s epic search for the ‘Manuscript’ (Sinaiticus) in the former and Constantine Simonides in the latter, both existed in the context of Europe during the first half of the 19th century. Tischendorf lived in a Manichean universe with his antagonist Simonides.
I believe as we look at Tischendorf’s motives, we need to see Europe through the lenses of historic-laden Romantics, who searched for the embers of epics and manuscripts to distill an original elixir. This type of Romantic dystopia was only stopped by the European implosion of 1945.
The Sinaiticus mania is taking the totality of our religion off the precipice through an endless catalog of ever-newer translations. This neurosis of Sinaiticus and its half-sister Vaticanus has shaped an unstainable narrative. The process of deconstructing the Authorized Version vis-à-vis the Sinaiticus has spawn translations, which has not only has weakened the spiritual fibers of Western civilization but corroded the cultural foundations of Anglosphere.
It is perhaps strange that I should write this as a non-native speaker of English who incidentally lives in Kyrgyzstan. However, not being part of Anglosphere and looking into the colossal monument of the Authorized Version, I have donned a different perspective. From the onset, I adhere to the notion that the Authorized Version is inerrant and infallible as Divinity's instrument in the cloak of the modern lingua franca (i.e. Anglo-American) to evangelize the world.
Could someone like Simonides have concocted Sinaiticus? Well, Macpherson probably created Ossian, just like Kalevala was strung together (manufactured) by Lönnrot. This age was the age of religious seekers who authored ‘new’ texts, e.g. Joseph Smith and James Strang, who used 'discovered' manuscripts (plates). David Daniels's extensive video catalog regarding Sinaiticus merits to be watched and re-watched. It is here that I have learned the little that I know about Sinaiticus; although I have a personal testimony of Authorized Version before becoming aware of the Alexandrine school of manuscripts.
I hypothesize that Sinaiticus and Vaticanus are not part of Constantine’s 50 Bibles rather that they (50 Bibles) are the Majority Text’s antecedents. Simonides along with Tischendorf did play an essential role in unmooring Textus Receptus. There are many ancillary issues in search of the real Simonides, viz.
- Greek Independence;
- European Romanticism of ‘ethnos’;
- The need for recognition; and,
- Modernity vs. Byzantium (as a construct).