Kevin McGrane - Sinaiticus colour & material evidences - David W. Daniels

Steven Avery

(Oct 26, 2018) - this thread crashed, likely from the pics. Working with a fairly recent text copy, I am improving the posts now, done on Oct 29, 2018. A couple of pics and videos (BBC vid, David vid, picture of the book cover from Kevin and the actual book) may go in later, after we have a text backup (so a similar thread crash will not lose much).

Please note that #2 and #3 refute the Kevin McCrane paper, as he de facto acknowledges the whiteness of the Leipzig leaves, while #4, about the photography in Leipzig, is directly connected.


Kevin McGrane - Sinaiticus colour & material evidences - David W. Daniels book

There is a new paper by Kevin McGrane, posted Oct 18, 1018, focusing on the book of David W. Daniels, while McGrane's previous paper focused on the book by Bill Cooper. Here we will go over the new Daniels paper from beginning to end. And we will find many problems. Kevin is sincere, and at places he is a good researcher, however he approached the David W. Daniels book in a somewhat adversarial manner, struggling to make integrity accusations of no merit, and bypassing most all of the Daniel's book. The attempt to try to make integrity accusations severely damaged the McGrane paper.

(David W. Daniels is very careful with his research and writing, and Kevin thought he could try a hack job and come out with a real refutation .. at least on the one point raised in the paper about the Leipzig and British Library colour issues, while ignoring many connected elements.)

Is David W. Daniels' "Codex Sinaiticus Evidence" a Fake?
Kevin McGrane - October 19, 2018 put up on

RESPONSE by Steven Avery of the SART team (when done, double-click descriptions take you right to the post)


Sinaiticus Authenticity - Kevin McGrane vs. Bill Cooper
post with intro to David's book{"tn":"R"}

Kevin McGrane paper on David W. Daniels book - Only one topic, all substance, avoid any posturing

Note that I will at times add emphasis to quotes, (if the emphasis is in the quotes I will so indicate) and very minor formatting changes, such as "..." added when appropriate. Sometimes spacing is added for clarity. Planned is ongoing material in the following study and research spots (urls will be placed as they are set up):

1) The thread here will continue, and may be tweaked. Shortly it can be stabilized as Version 1.
2) A separate thread is planned here to encourage discussion.
3) There will be an abstract PDF, pointing here (and perhaps a full PDF) placed on Or PDF’s on specific points.

And readers can suggest more. I'm hoping to have a pop-up here for those who do not want to officially join the forum, however I believe you do see the many pictures easier, directly, if you are a PBF (no-spam forum) member. Another suggestion was live chat for website visitors or better Facebook integration. Maybe Paltalk.
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Steven Avery

Kevin McGrane theorizes that the Leipzig pages were cleansed, brightened (whitened)

Amazingly, I had pointed this out here on 10/10/2018, in reviewing the Bill Cooper paper. Since Kevin knows this forum-blog, he should not have ignored this element. Yet Kevin, oops, totally omitted his own theory from the new paper - a huge integrity fail. Here is what is written on this forum, the three quotes below in brown are directly from Kevin's paper:

Pure Bible Forum - Oct 10, 2018
Next we go to a phantom cleaning that becomes a major part of the Kevin McGrane theorizing.

Kevin McGrane
Introduction p. 3 ....
elicits questions to which convincing answers—especially of any treatment applied to the Leipzig leaves—would be welcome. ...

all the evidence leans towards the Leipzig leaves looking slightly lighter because they have been cleaned and perhaps artificially brightened by conservators...

In a misguided way, some such treatment of the Leipzig leaves might have sought to improve contrast: darkening the iron-gall ink, and lightening the substrate. p. 111

The hypothesis that the Leipzig leaves have had an artificial brightening p. 113


On this topic, we have an incredible irony in the approach of Kevin.

On one hand:
1) Kevin wants to claim that the CSP difference is virtually all photography. (Without any proper discussion of streaks, stains and lack of colour consistency, all of which is 1859 British Library, not 1844 Leipzig.)

On the other hand:

2) Kevin theorizes some (unknown, no evidence) cleansing, bleaching, lightening of the Leipzig leaves.

Hopefully Kevin will see the obvious and blatant contradiction in his approach .. playing both ends against the middle.


In fact, Kevin goes into a huge theoretical conjecturing about how Leipzig pages became whiter, involving specific aggressive reagents, which we will study more carefully below, post #3. This is quite amazing.

And we will add another quote, from the first Kevin McGrane paper, a reference that was craftily omitted from the new paper:

Kevin McGrane
”It is acknowledged by conservators that the Leipzig leaves are somewhat lighter in colour."

Yet Kevin does not give us any (Leipzig?) conservators, or any of their words.

One conservator, very much a part of the CSP project, we have noted on this forum, from the British Library:

Gavin Moorhead in email correspondence:
"Yes, the Leipzig folios are notable for their whiteness"

Gavin Moorhead is the author of the following paper on the CSP website:

Parchment Assessment of the Codex Sinaiticus - May 2009
And at the 2009 conference was listed simply as "Gavin Moorhead, Conservator, British Library."

This observation of "conservators" unnamed is such a primary and fundamental point that it was amazing, and scholastically distressing, that this important information was left so vague by Kevin.


Kevin also bewrays his position in footnote #250, given in post #4.

250 Folios 148 verso and 278 recto, for example, exhibit on the same leaf a full spectrum: from the whiteness of the Leipzig leaves to the yellow-brown of the aged parchment in St Petersburg, London, and Mt Sinai
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Steven Avery

more on the McGrane treatment theorizing

More theorizing on the colour, again this is in the Bill Cooper paper, and curiously omitted in the current paper:

Kevin McGrane
... It is acknowledged by conservators that the Leipzig leaves are somewhat lighter in colour because they have been exposed to high humidity.247 Aqueous washing would present difficulties, because parchment is damaged if saturated by water and then air dried, and there is always the danger of some solutes in the ink running;248 but a humid atmosphere with dilute anhydrous ammonia gas, or hydrogen peroxide vapour (synthesized 1811) with anhydrous ammonia, are worth considering as possible candidates for treatment, as a fixative for the ink (reducing the acidity, retarding ink corrosion), with mild bleaching properties on the substrate to reduce yellowing and staining, as well as arresting fungal or microbial rot. After all, hydrogen peroxide with ammonia was still being used in the twentieth century to brighten yellowed and foxed 'white parchment', for example the Juliana Anicia Codex, a 'white parchment' codex produced around AD 512.249 Indeed, some folios in that codex have been selectively brightened using the peroxide-ammonia method.250 In a misguided way, some such treatment of the Leipzig leaves might have sought to improve contrast: darkening the iron-gall ink, and lightening the substrate. Because the flesh side suffers so badly from ink fading with age, the flesh sides have suffered the most from reinforcement, i.e. overwriting the faded letters with fresh ink before they fade to oblivion forever. Of course, such ink may be a slightly different composition, and will not be as old as the original. But being iron-gall ink, the reinforcing ink that by 1844 had itself become somewhat faded may have darkened appreciably when exposed to ammonia gas.

... This codex was written with iron-gall inks, which have little colour at the moment of application as they contain neither dyes nor pigments in suspension. Due to exposure to oxygen they slowly precipitate a black pigment in situ after penetrating the substrate, which pigment is not water soluble and is very difficult to remove.251

... Modem day conservators would be horrified at treatments that parchments were subjected to in former times, which in some cases have permanently damaged the documents.253 But we can suggest good reasons why the same treatment was not performed on the leaves recovered in 1859. Firstly, conservation of the leaves was not the responsibility of the same party and would have attracted different methods; secondly, the use of aggressive chemicals was reduced with the lapse of time; thirdly, having witnessed the deleterious effects of reagent on the leaves recovered in 1844 (especially on the flesh side), the leaves recovered in 1859 would certainly not be subjected to the same treatment. p. 111-112

247 The leaves in the British Library were also subjected to high humidity for a time: 'Each leaf was placed in a humid atmosphere, and when thoroughly limp was transferred to a wooden frame...and the sheet dried as flat as a drum-head.' T.C. Skeat, Four years' work on the Codex Sinaiticus, in The Daily Telegraph, January 11,1938.

248 The black precipitate formed in situ as the sink oxidizes has poor solubility, but because the ink when applied is fairly colourless, containing no pigment, some formulations of iron-gall ink have a small amountof dye added so that the ink is visible when applied; and these dye additives can be soluble.

249 O. Waechter: The restoration of the Vienna Dioscorides, in Studies in conservation, Volume 7, Number 1, (1962), pp.22-26.

250 Folios 148 verso and 278 recto, for example, exhibit on the same leaf a full spectrum: from the whiteness of the Leipzig leaves to the yellow-brown of the aged parchment in St Petersburg, London, and Mt Sinai.

251 Hence specialist iron-gall inks are still used for archival documents, being much more stable than modern dye inks.

253 The aforementioned Cardinal Mai was famous - or infamous - for the use of such chemicals especially on palimpsests, resulting in near destruction of some manuscripts.

#247 can be seen online here:

The Collected Biblical Writings of T.C. Skeat
Four Years’ Work on the Codex Sinaiticus: Significant Discoveries in Reconditioned ms.
Theodore Cressy Skeat

So we have a short period of humidity simply to allow the leaves to be flattened and be made more suitable for binding. Does Kevin really conjecture that this changed the colour of the leaves? And Ccckerell did not notice ?? Please.

And a curious sidenote: See how Kevin goes way out into left-field above. He is mind-reading the St. Petersburg conservators “having witnessed the deleterious effect” (who? when? the manuscript was in a safe most of the 1860s and was possibly going to be en route back to Sinai.) And he is mind-reading their reactions to a c.1845-1850 cleansing that itself is a conjectural fabrication without a shred of evidence, as discussed right below. This is not scholarship.

In fact, if this had been a heavily used, dry desert climate manuscript, with acid ink deterioration and the normal brittleness that is a result of the dry heat, handled by scribes and readers for 1600 years, it should have been ripped by the intense conservation processing applied in the 1930s at the British Museum. Note the Skeat comment:

With vellum 1,600 years old, and often only two or three thousandths of an inch thick, the risk of its parting under the strain might have seemed a grave one; but Mr. Cockerell’s good opinion of its strength was confirmed, and no mishap took place. - Skeat, p.110

The real answer is simple. The manuscript is in "phenomenally good condition", as pointed out by Helen Shenton of the British Library.

And why?
Simple, because it was only written upon and brought into use in 1840.

The conservators saw the suppleness and youth and strength of the parchment, thus they confidently embarked on the dangerous parchment handling, as described by Skeat. Library employees are generally not going to risk conjecturing (publicly) on the real reason for the incredible condition. Or they are simply geek-conservators, accepting whatever they were told about the age of the manuscript. And assuming what they were told by the owners of the "priceless" manuscript was the truth. That Sinaiticus was, somehow, a fourth-century manuscript.

acknowledged by conservators that the Leipzig leaves are somewhat lighter in colour because they have been exposed to high humidity.

And, more problems in Kevin's scholarship, where is the reference for the unnamed German conservators? Where is this acknowledged? What exactly did the unnamed (Leipzig?) conservators say? Why does the footnote jump to the barely relevant quote from Skeat? Living us with no sources.


This whole section above is a hodge-podge of conjectural speculation absurdity.
Kevin offers not one iota of evidence that any of these processes were applied in Leipzig.

Kevin McGrane
It is acknowledged by conservators that the Leipzig leaves are somewhat lighter in colour because they have been exposed to high humidity - p.111

"dilute anhydrous ammonia gas, or hydrogen peroxide vapour... with anhydrous ammonia ... reduce yellowing and staining .. the reinforcing ink that by 1844 had itself become somewhat faded may have darkened appreciably when exposed to ammonia gas ... the peroxide-ammonia method ... exposed to ammonia gas... aggressive chemicals" - p. 111

the deleterious effects of reagent on the leaves recovered in 1844 (especially on the flesh side) - p. 112


Kevin goes into all this hyper-conjectural speculation, without even giving us one word from Leipzig. Or any reason at all for thinking any of this was done at Leipzig. This is not scholarship.

Please, friends, read his section carefully, and you see clearly that Kevin is actually assuming this aggressive reagent treatment in Leipzig c. 1845-1850, in order to sort of "explain" the whiteness of the Leipzig leaves.

And remember, Germans are meticulous, accurate record keepers. Kevin wants to speculate a tricky, potentially dangerous treatment application on the Codex Friderico-Augustanus (and that it failed, yet ths ms. is clearly in superb condition anyway) -- without ONE IOTA of real evidence.

Kevin keeps digging this whole idea deeper and deeper into the mud. Kevin actually assumes that this unknown treatment occurred and conjectures a whole series of what never happenned:

1) Leipzig applied this treatment
("good reasons why the same treatment was not performed on the leaves ... 1859")

2) the treatment did not work well (yet the leaves are superb today)

3) this Leipzig failure was noticed in St. Petersburg

4) so St. Petersburg did not do any treatment.

All without ONE IOTA of evidence, on any part of the theory.

Kevin McGrane
Modem day conservators would be horrified at treatments that parchments were subjected to in former times, which in some cases have permanently damaged the documents.253 But we can suggest good reasons why the same treatment was not performed on the leaves recovered in 1859. Firstly, conservation of the leaves was not the responsibility of the same party and would have attracted different methods; secondly, the use of aggressive chemicals was reduced with the lapse of time; thirdly, having witnessed the deleterious effects of reagent on the leaves recovered in 1844 (especially on the flesh side), the leaves recovered in 1859 would certainly not be subjected to the same treatment.

Ironically, all this is the same type of worthless speculation, circular, without evidence, against the evidence, that Kevin McGrane is properly oncerned applies to some of the Cooper writings.

Kevin even assumes a c.1844-1850 aggressive reagent treatment in Leipzig, unknown and unmentioned by Tischendorf, Tregelles, the German press, scientists or anybody. Nobody else has come up with this absurd speculation.


Ink Effects

Kevin McGrane
And any effects of the ink (#251) in situ would have applied totally equally to the Leipzig and British Library pages, so that is not remotely relevant.

Kevin tends to make proclamations without giving any scientific source, such as the one we are discussing:

Kevin McGrane
This codex was written with iron-gall inks, which have little colour at the moment of application as they contain neither dyes nor pigments in suspension. Due to exposure to oxygen they slowly precipitate a black pigment in situ after penetrating the substrate, which pigment is not water soluble and is very difficult to remove.

This may, or may not, be accurate. The source would be quite helpful.

In fact, some sections of Sinaiticus have rubrication, red ink, so this definitely is not true in the comprehensive way Kevin states. And the chemical composition of the ink is still speculation, it has never been tested.

The lack of any acid corrosion (and his claimed black pigment in situ) is shown to clash with the ink on the ground of Sinaiticus. This is covered especially in our Palaeography Puzzles section where we look at ink on one page that was variously dated as having been applied from the 4th century to the 19th century.

Pure Bible Forum
Codex Friderico-Augustanus 1845 ink next to theorized 600 AD ink

Also helpful is:

Pure Bible Forum
"ink...release of acid ... as in other ancient manuscripts, eaten through the parchment, leaving a stencil of many letters"


Sinaiticus is in “phenomenally good condition” (Helen Shenton, British Library) and generally any truly ancient manuscript will be yellowed with age, quite brittle from oxidation, worn, and suffer from acid ink deterioration from iron-gall ink. Also it will have foxing and grime spots from handling, unless stashed away for a millennium-plus (Sinaiticus was clearlly heavily handled over the centuries, per the standard theories.) And thus there will be no comparison at all to the ultra-supple and flexible Sinaiticus, with even a wonderful easy-peasy page-turning, as shown to us in the BBC video. Think of the “limp, dead” description of Alexandrinus given by Skeat, in his comparison to Sinaiticus.

The Vienna Dioscorides mentioned in Kevin’s footnote 249-250 has been the one ancient manuscript offered as somewhat comparable to Sinaiticus. This comment is reported to be by Tregelles, quoted in Scrivener's 1864 Full Collation, p. xxxi. And later is noted by Ezra Abbot in his 1872 paper On the comparative antiquity of the Sinaitic and Vatican manuscripts of the Greek Bible - p. 152. However there is no evidence Tregelles actually saw and handled the Vienna ms., he may well have simply repeated what he was told by Tischendorf. The DNB does have him going down the Danube (thank you Kevin), but we have no idea whether he spent time in Vienna, got into the library, and they pulled out the manuscript and gave him physical access?

In fact, while Tregelles was well traveled in Europe, Wiki gives many cities but nothing down by Hungary, Austria and Romania. If Tregelles was not in Vienna, he could not be a neutral observer of the Dioscorides, because he was not an observer at all.

Samuel Prideaux Tregelles

In 1845 he went to Rome intending to collate the codex belonging to the Vatican. Although he was not allowed to copy the manuscript, he did note important readings. From Rome he went to Florence, Modena, Venice, Munich, and Basel, reading and collating manuscripts. He returned to England in November 1846, continuing to collate manuscripts in the British Museum. Tregelles also visited Paris, Hamburg, Berlin (where he met Lachmann), and Leipzig (where he collaborated with Constantin von Tischendorf), Dresden, Wolfenbüttel, and Utrecht.

And the facts we can gleam from the restoration that are in the Waechter 1962 paper bewray the Tregelles comparison. This is from the abstract:

”There are 479 paintings, 392 of them full-page. In the course of time the parchment had become brittle and weakened. Holes and breaks needed repair and flaking paint needed restoration. The stages of restoration were as follows.”

Sinaiticus, as we know, has zero need for a major conservation restoration, and even stood up very well to the rigours and challenges of the (questionable) 1930s Cockerell stretchings for the rebinding.

The Sinaiticus ms is definitely not brittle, and every Leipzig and British Library page is strong. And you have to search hard for any holes or breaks (humorously, the one CSP note that highlighted a hole turned out to be an erasure spot.)

You can always go back and see the incredible suppleness and flexibility of Sinaiticus in the amazing BBC video (unmentioned by McGrane in his 130 pages.)

The Tregelles reports of Sinaiticus are quite unreliable, he clearly wanted to be nice to Tischendorf and to be in on the Sinaiticus action. Let’s take his report as subject to confirmation bias.

And here is what Scrivener wrote (afawk, Scrivener never handled even one page of either section of Sinaiticus):

Many pages, especially on the inner and smoother side of the vellum, have suffered much from age, and yet scarce a single word is absolutely illegible. Hence, though the general semblance of the whole work is somewhat less worn than that of Cod. Vaticanus (whose extensive hiatus prove how carelessly it has been kept), when it comes to be contrasted with such a manuscript as the illustrated Dioscorides at Vienna (whose age is fixed by internal evidence at about a.d. 500), that interesting and valuable manuscript looks comparatively quite fresh and modern 6.
6 For this, and some other statements in my Introduction, I rest on the evidence of Dr. Tregelles, who bore testimony to them as an eye-witness on the occasion of a lecture I gave on the Codex Sinaiticus to the Plymouth Institution, Oct. 8, 1863.

As we showed above, this looks to be the biased and unreliable and false testimony of Tischendorf, 3rd hand.

Often it helps to read between the lines. The amazing fact that every single page and verse (except for corruption omissions like Acts 8:37 and the Mark ending) is in the New Testament is often noted as a "too good to be true" aspect of Sinaiticus. As if it was planned that way, recently. Similarly, the ability to see every single word after c. 1500 years of supposed heavy use, most in the hot dry desert climate, fits in that category as well. The answer, my friend, is simple, the manuscript only had ink to parchment c.1840.

We can see that Kevin McGrane, first quoting Tregelles, tries this Dioscorides attempt as well.

Kevin McGrane
The Juliana Anicia Codex evidences that it is possible for the finest parchment and ink to remain in good condition from antiquity.255

Kevin is simply unconcerned that the evidence shows this to be false, if the comparison is with Sinaiticus. And the unreliable Tischendorf is the source.

Footnote 255 is an interesting hand-waving foonote reference to Nikolai Alexandrovich Morozov (1854-1946), which would be under "phenomenally good condition", if McGrane actually discussed the condition in either paper.

And remember, we asked Kevin McGrane, in looking at his Cooper paper, for his list of independent palaeographers who have examined Sinaiticus, and reported on its condition, and so far .. nothing.

Morozov's analysis was astute and powerful.

Ironically, returning to the Dioscorides, Kevin McGrane totally ignores the major conservation work that was performed on this Codex and that he had just reported on earlier on p. 111.

Consistency, the jewel.


One last irony in this area, another McGrane fishing expedition:

A natural material such as parchment that had lain for centuries in the hot dry Sinai desert was not likely to respond well to being transferred to steamy Cairo in the height of summer of 1859, and thence to a freezing St Petersburg in Russian winter. Uspensky himself complained about the treatment that the codex was receiving in St Petersburg in December 1859, that

[It had] been exposed to the sight of the whole people of the capital in the space of two weeks and the people looked affectionately on the relic of Sinaitic antiquity, and kissed it devoutly....256

256 Uspensky, Мнение о Синайской рукописи, содержащей в себе Ветхий Завет неполный и весь Новый Завет с посланием Св. Апостола Варнавы и книгою Ермы, (St Petersburg, 1862).

However, Uspensky was not complaining about manuscript conservation.

His book -

"Opinion on the Sinai manuscript, which contains the Old Testament incomplete and the entire New Testament with the message of the Holy Apostle Barnabas and the book of Erma the Archimandrite Porfiry."

«Мнение о Синайской рукописи, содержащей в себе Ветхий Завет неполный и весь Новый Завет с посланием Св. Апостола Варнавы и книгою Ермы Архимандрита Порфирия Успенского». (St. Petersburg, 1862)

was concerned with the doctrinal heresies! Thus he was questioning reverence to a heretical book! Not the minimal conservation issue of a week visible to the Russian populace (I doubt that kisses were on the open parchment pages, with thousands of hands shuffling pages around!)

Did Uspensky see all this happening?
Unclear, since we are told he arrived in St. Petersburg in 1861.

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Steven Avery

did Leipzig fail by manipulating and doctoring their photographs?

The Codex Sinaiticus Project clearly trumpeted the integrity of their photography, with an oversight committee to try to have consistent standards (they even explained how this was more difficult in Sinai.) Some of this is given below with the quote from the Technical Working Standards committee.


Kevin thinks those claims were essentially false, the CSP failed and that they actually "doctored" and "manipulated" the Leipzig photographs. (Rather than simply have a degree of colour variance; without the dishonesty implied in manipulation and doctoring.)

And then Kevin wants to accuse David for the supposed Leipzig and CSP dishonesty and failure.

Kevin McGrane
Specifically, the colours on the leaves recovered in 1844, and now at Leipzig, have had their colours distorted to present the parchment as a bleached out shade of grey, and the ink as darker brown, which is not how they appear in real life. This is very obvious when we look closely at the individual photographs that make up the collage. p. 3

The bottom strip shows the colour separations from the Leipzig University Library images. The blue is much too dark - almost black. Green is too dark, but yellow is too pale. Magenta has become pinky-red. Thus it is plain that the Leipzig leaves are displayed in somewhat false colour. The colours have been adjusted with the result that the yellow colour of the manuscript parchment has been washed out to a shade of light grey and the brown ink has been darkened. Moreover, the contrast has been slightly increased, as is evident from the associated grey scale. The team who did this was surely well meaning.4 They may have considered that this would improve legibility.5 - p. 9

4 Elisabeth Fritsch (now Fritsch-Hartung) et al.

5 And possibly would make it look more like the facsimile edition of the Leipzig leaves that Tischendorf published in 1846.

Footnote 5 is simply a weird conjecture of no merit. A fishing expedition. An 1846 facsimile is rudimentary. And Tischendorf had very strong reasons to hide salient features of the manuscript sections. (Which is why he pointed people to his facsimile edition of 1862 and the actual ms. sections were virtually inaccessible.) Why would Leipzig care about sacrificing their mandate to look like a 160 year-old-facsimile??

Why not ask Leipzig about their photography?
(We tried, but they were very hush-hush, although Elisabeth, no longer employed there, was willing to comment on the excellent condition of the parchment. "the pages were in a very good state according to conservation standards."
Very much appreciated! This seemed to be a big surprise to the CSP workers, although they are reluctant to publicly discuss the rather obvious implication, that the authenticity of the manuscript as 4th century should be revisited. Time for BAM (the superb group in Berlin) testing! .. As was planned in Leipzig, and cancelled.)

Kevin McGrane
Leipzig University Library was the first location to digitize its leaves, in 2007. Professor Ulrich Johannes Schneider, Director of the Leipzig University Library stated at that time, in relation to the digitization programme, that ‘Handwritten texts are complicated documents that are usually hard to read’,6 and Christoph Kappes, CEO of Xplain GmbH, who worked on this digitization project with Leipzig University Library, confirmed that their aim was to 'provide the Codex Sinaiticus in a quality that is better than the original... We can show the scripture in so many different ways that it gives a vivid impression'.7 Colour fidelity does not appear to have been an overriding aim, and appears to have been subordinated to other considerations. Unquestionably, the Leipzig images presented on the Codex Sinaiticus Project website did not achieve colour fidelity. - p. 10

6 „Von Hand geschriebene Texte sind komplizierte Dokumente, die normalerweise schwer zu lesen."

7 „Mit der von uns in Zusammenarbeit mit Microsoft entwickelten Silverlight-Lösung können wir den Codex Sinaiticus in einer Qualität bereitstellen, die besser ist als das Original...Wir können die Schrift in so vielen verschiedenen Darstellungen zeigen, dass ein lebendiger Eindruck vom Original entsteht."

You have to watch Kevin carefully. Here he gives two quotes, one truncated, that are totally irrelevant to the discussion.

Notice that Kevin does not indicate any word direct from Leipzig. Did he contact the Library or the CSP and ask if the photos were adjusted in colour? Kevin does not tell us. Maybe they told him they did not "adjust" the colours. Kevin is very secretive about information that does not fit his narrative.

Analysis - The Two Leipzig Quotes in the Footnotes
As for the quotes, where Kevin should give the source with the quote, the Ulrich Schneider material is here:

Alte Texte in neuen Medien. Aktuelle Projekte und Projektvorhaben der Universitätsbibliothek Leipzig

And gives ZERO support to deliberate colour doctoring. ‘Handwritten texts are complicated documents that are usually hard to read’,6 And this is why a transcription is given in the CSP.

And the Christoph Kappes quote is simply from a press blog!
And is about fonts and zoom functions and such:
(both articles do fine in "Google Mangle" which is quite good in modern German)

Älteste Bibel der Welt wird multimedial

And gives ZERO support to deliberate colour doctoring.

The next quote, mangling the context of Christoph, is tricky, because Kevin's interpretation is based on extracting a snippet out of context.

Kevin McGrane
It need hardly be explained that if certain image attributes are enhanced to be 'better than the original' then something eise will be sacrificed.

This is the type of writing that Kevin properly criticized in Bill Cooper, and is totally false. Let us look at the full quote. From the same Google translate used by Kevin:

Christoph Kappes
With Silverlight, fonts that are precious and irreplaceable because of their uniqueness can be digitized and made accessible to research and the public. The new technology goes beyond the pure mapping of the typefaces: high-resolution quality of the material, cinematic navigation, zoom functions, accompanying information, references to special interesting parts of the writing material, even dog-ears, blood stains and others? Blemishes? make the digital font for the user a real experience. And the delicate originals are spared.

Christoph told us he was talking about functions like the superb zoom function. And the digitized fonts that are in the transcription section. The CSP actually synchronized the transcription with the parchment text, supply "cinematic navagation". They use mouse pop-ups for more information for the viewer. None of this is a "sacrifice" of the parchment viewing experience. This all makes sense, and has nothing to do with changing, "adjusting" the parchment colour.

Moving ahead in Kevin's paper:

p. 11 shows a "Microsoft Silverlight" image - and yes, the parchment looks off-white, not yellowed like the British Libary.

p. 12 goes into the Technical Working Standards, which strongly supports the position that Leipzig would not have doctored the parchment.

CSP Technical Working Standards
3. the natural appearance of the parchment and ink had to be faithfully reproduced.

To make sure that the images produced were consistent, common Standards and imaging practices were established across all venues by the Technical Standards Working Party. The recommendations included equipment (cameras, camera Software, lighting, lenses, etc.) and processes (setup, colour profiling, etc.).

So Kevin accuses Leipzig of failing in their mission:

Kevin McGrane
We can see the results of course in the images on the website, and if faithful colour reproduction was included under point 3 above ('the natural appearance of the parchment and ink') then we cannot but adjudge the results as a failure to follow the recommendations for consistency and 'colour profiling', except in regard to the British Library leaves. It is very apparent that the images produced were not consistent between locations, at least by the time and in the form that they were uploaded to the website. - p. 12

...the Codex Sinaiticus Project did not meet its aims, no matter what good intentions there were or best practice they sought. - p. 13

... all images of the leaves of Codex Sinaiticus on Daniels' front cover have been significantly 'doctored' in respect of colour except the British Library leaves. - p. 14

...colour balance, hue, saturation, contrast etc have been significantly manipulated (as they have been on the Leipzig leaves imagcs)- p. 15

Now Kevin, without a speck of real evidence, has the Leipzig crew involved in a massive photoshopping con, to radically change the images, without a word to the public. And Kevin makes these accusations without one bit of correspondence with the libraries, the computer tech, or the photographers. This is not scholarship.

There are two different possibilities for colour variance from Leipzig to the British Library.

1) some differences in implementing the methodology
2) a deliberate massive technical manipulation involving "colour balance, hue, saturation, contrast"

(1) is easy to support, (2) is not. Leipzig should not be accused in this manner.

So then, based on Kevin's conclusion of a Leipzig failure and massive manipulation in disregard of their mandate, Kevin says that we should have the same confusion conclusion:

Kevin McGrane
It is therefore invalid for Daniels, Avery and others to make colour comparisons and draw conclusions in relation to the colour of the original leaves when one set of the images being compared has had its colours and contrast manipulated.

Kevin is arguing in circles. He never demonstrated that the Leipzig colours and contrast were manipulated. Kevin simply gave a mangled misinterpretation of what was written by Christoph, and then assumed his own analysis error as a starting point. Then, error begetting error, he accuses the Leipzig CSP program.

The most amazing is his totally unsupported accusation against Leipzig of massive tampering:

Kevin McGrane
...colour balance, hue, saturation, contrast etc have been significantly manipulated

This is basically an accusation of malfeasance on the part of Leipzig.

Continuing through the paper, has a couple of more references to Russia and Sinai, which is discussed above. Then he is examining his own patched together picture.

Kevin McGrane
Just beneath the word 'Leipzig' upper right is a little inset picture showing the colour of a leaf in Leipzig against a white handling glove. Clearly, the Leipzig leaf is anything but white. - p. 13

Which is the difference between a sharp or bright white, compared to an off-white.


The Colour Codes

Then on p. 14 Kevin switches to the visual numbers, like S1005-Y20R, and S1010-R. Using these on the British pages has a special set of problems, which was discussed when Jacob W. Peterson tried some similar argumentation. However, Jacob was more informed and honest about the unreliability of the numbers than Kevin.

The British leaves are wildly inconsistent with stains and streaks. This is an important evidence of tampering that Sinaiticus supporters will generally not discuss. Especially since the Leipzig pages are consistent, both within the pages, and the 86 pages compared. (Where did they come from? Why are they not on the 86 1844 Leipzig pages?)

With the inconsistency within the pages the British Library numbers are inherently unreliable.

In addition, Kevin simply ignores the fact that the British leaves have a wide variance, they are very inconsistent, with eight different numbers assigned to pages. Thus Kevin errs again:

The typical colour of the London leaves is S1010-Y10R

When his "typical colour" is assigned to only 40% of the leaves! We placed this information here:

the wide variation of the British Library colour numbers - Leipzig off-white and consistent

Next Kevin switches over to the brown background, and Kevin chooses two pages, which he does not identify!

Kevin McGrane
the right is a leaf in Leipzig University Library.9 Seeing the images side by side we immediately notice that the brown background upon which the leaves are resting is not the same colour, though it is the same material in both images.

9 We have chosen different leaves from what Daniels chose on his cover because we will be showing below what that particular Leipzig leaf actually looks Iike in a real environment, and also to represent a London image with a colour strip on the right and not inverted, for easier comparison - p. 15

A small brown difference is minor. Clearly trying to adjust white, cream and yellow based on brown is going to be very dicey and give an unreliable result. And Kevin does NOT tell us his actual methodology (maybe some photoshop tool?), making the next section totally worthless.

Kevin McGrane
On the right is the Leipzig leaf brought closer to true colour. Notice how the backgrounds on which the leaves rest are now a similar colour, as also the colours of the inks. The similarities are obvious.

Likewise, we can manipulate the colours of the London leaves towards the falsc colour on the Leipzig leaves, and the result is as shown below.

It is evident that the British Library leaves exhibit more uneven reflectance because the leaves do not sit as flat as the Leipzig leaves. The reason is that the British Library leaves were photographed in their bindings, whereas the Leipzig leaves were unbound into individual leaves and drawn flat on a permeable bed by a vacuum pump. Because the Leipzig leaves are so flat the reflectance of their leaves is optimized, compared, for example, with the British Library leaves, and this of itself has an effect on apparent lightness and coloration.- p. 16

The first two paragraphs are of little value, as explaned above, since Kevin is doing unknown manipulations with hidden tools and methodology.

And he has acknowledged that he is not really able to cover the variables:

Kevin McGrane
Leipzig leaves images ... it may be difficult to restore them to true colour because there are so many variables, and because some information is lost. Cooper, p. 15

Plus within the variables, we can expect that Kevin will choose the methods that most fit his goal.

The comment about reflectance (and some crinkles) is reasonable. And this can be viewed in more BL pages. Checking one page, the first page in Matthew

And I would conjecture that Kevin has enhanced the light and reflectance somehow. His not telling us the page he used was unscholarly.

Next Kevin goes into the question of the Hendrickson publication of 2011-2012, where he really stumbles again:

Kevin McGrane
But because the colour Separation strips and greyscales have been included in all the original photographs taken in London, Leipzig, St Petersburg and Mt Sinai then it is possible for a printer to print all the images in closer to true colour. When Hendrickson publishers attempted that in an expensive high quality colour facsimile William Cooper complained that

Its fault lies in the fact that every page of the facsimile bears a uniform colour throughout for the parchment of the original. In other words, the white colour of the original parchment belonging to the Leipzig masked by giving them the same colour and tone as the rest of the book's leaves.10
10 W. R. Cooper, The Forging of Codex Sinaiticus (2016). Daniels comments similarly on his Videos. p. 17

We discuss this in some depth on this forum, with a helpful PIC.

British Library and Hendrickson book has 86 pages of Leipzig photoshopped yellow to look like British Library pages web site, it would certainly be quite easily noticed and raised questions. (Easier than on the CSP, because of page-turning at contiguous points.) Personally I believe that the decision was more than simply aesthetics, and qualifies as scholastically sinister. Nobody at the British Library or Hendrickson would take responsibility, or even make it clear who made the decision.

So now we get from Kevin:

Kevin McGrane
In reality, the 'white colour' on the website is false coloration. The printer did what he was expected to do with all the images: use the colour Separation guide and greyscale included in every image to restore the colours in all images as best he could.

There is ZERO indication that the Hendrickson printers did any such thing. Kevin is simply making up, fabricating, a history. From all indications, all they did was start with the CSP and then simply make Leipzig pages = to London in an ad hoc manner. NOBODY was willing to take responsibility for this tampering, since they were supposed to be using the same pics as the CSP. NOBODY even acknowledged working on the printing and colour issues, NOBODY said they did colour separation or technical restoration. On all this, I made many inquiries to the Brits and to Hendrickson.

Page 18-22 are a collection of pictures. All they really tell you is that individual unstandadized pics can vary a lot. e.g. Compare the Ute Feller pic with the off-white parchment and the white glove:
with the white glove pic on p. 22.

Yet based on the CSP they should be the same. All Leipzig parchment pages are consistent.
Remember, Kevin thinks the Leipzig pages were brightened and cleansed, ie. whitened. Gavin Moorhead said the Leipzig pages are notable for their whiteness.

The simple solution to see the absolutely real, no debate, degree of difference is simply to have one 1844 Leipzig folia (remarkably consistent) brought to England and photographed with the 1859 pages.
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Steven Avery

"normalize the colour rendering"

Kevin McGrane
These commentators did not normalize the colour rendering of the internet images before making their comparisons in order to make such comparisons valid, robust and meaningful.
The idea is good, but there is no standard agreed upoin way to "normalize the colour rendering".

In fact, Kevin points out later that the variations (which in the colour bars are largely in the darker colours) make this impossible to do scientifically and accurately. And then Kevin claims to do so later in the paper, WITHOUT giving a methodology. His approach is quite puzzling.

First of all, we do not believe the St. Petersburg and Sinai pages are very relevant. Too much unknown individualistic handling, very little material in Russia, plus the dodgy problem of the Sinai dump room.

There is a difference in the colour rendering of Leipzig and the British Library. Our visual examination of the colour bars indicates this is not a major issue on the paler end of the scale.

Kevin McGrane is welcome to claim otherwise, but he does not offer the evidence to prove his point. And we see above all the various reasons why Kevin thinks the Leipzig pages are whiter (some of which are truly absurd, such as aggressive reagent treatments c. 1845-1850.)

Kevin McGrane
.. had they done so, their argument on the basis of colour would have collapsed, for there is a far greater difference between the colour processing of images from the four locations on the internet than the actual differences in colour of the leaves themselves.
...The situation appears more serious than mere ignorant assumptions about the state of the images, for Daniels make positive assertions that are demonstrably untrue, on the back of which he rests further positive assertions.

Another integrity disaster from Kevin.
Nothing in David's quote is "demonstrably untrue".

David W. Daniels
Starting in 2009, digital images of all the known pages of the Sinaiticus became available to view online. So anyone could view undoctored photographs of every known page, for the first time. In early 2014, Steven Avery asked me to look at these photos...So I just looked at the CFA [Leipzig leaves] and other Sinaiticus pages, back and forth, over and over, for hours. Steven gave me a hint that perhaps someone had whitened up the pages of the CFA, So I was looking to see if there was evidence of this. But what I found was even stranger: someone had darkened the rest of Sinaiticus! - p. 2

Kevin is arguing in a circular fashion.
He does not believe the ms. was darkened, fair enough. That would be an honest discussion.

Yet Kevin offers absurd theories for the whiteness of Leipzig. And Kevin ignores many of the evidences of the tampering with the 1859 pages. And Kevin ignores the salient actual specific accusations of colouring that were made publicly in the 1862-64 Journal debates. In the blind, he would claim, but by historical forensics that makes no sense. Only with the 2009 CSP could we check the accusations.

Tischendorf was surely going only to obfuscate the material condition problems in his facsimile editions, which were the primary Sinaiticus source for 150 years.

Then, based on his own very limited reasoning, and selection bias, and absurd conjectures like the 1840s-1850 aggressive reagent treatment, and ignoring salient evidences (ironically, his accusation against Cooper) Kevin tries an integrity accusation against David. Total nonsense.

Integrity first.

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Steven Avery

what colour is "wonderfully fine snow-white parchment"?

Kevin goes into the observations about white parchment. His writing gives support for the idea that "white parchment" can be used generically, for unstained parchment, as contrasted to blue or purple or other coloured parchment. However there is a lot of vague usage, and we have to go back to his earlier paper, starting from p. 39 in Uspensky's autobiography:

79 'The remaining days of July [1850] have been on book work. I studied the ancient Greek manuscript on thin white parchment leaves containing part of the Old Testament and the entire New Testament with the epistle of the apostle Barnabas and the book of Hermas', Второе путешествіе архимандрита Порфирія Успенскаго в Синайскій монастырь в 1850 году (St Petersburg, 1856). p. 39

Kevin omits the direct quote from the 1845 visit, in the 1856 book, which we have on a PBF page. This has a fascinating history of being put into Google with only the Russian text, and thus spurred the research.

Pure Bible Forum - Dec, 2015
Porfiry Uspensky views Sinaiticus in 1845 and 1850

Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics of 1910, p. 583. And Dobschütz was at the University at Halle, very near Leipzig, and far from St. Petersburg. We can sensibly conclude that Dobschütz saw the Leipzig leaves. So the comparison from Kevin is once again unsound. In summary, there is zero basis for McGrane's claim that:

"M'Clymont and Dobschütz were simply repeating Tischendorf's opinions."

Nonsense. Tischendorf never described any Sinaiticus parchment as white, much less snow-white.

On p. 107, McGrane makes a point about the color in an 1850s book of a plate from Uspensky. Yet who can really tell the process of an 1850s photograph going into a book?

Kevin McGrane
"Codex Sinaiticus. All old 'white parchment' manuscripts have a yellowed appearance and none look white." p. 1

Really? How old? And who says? A claim like that needs specifics.

We find all sorts of Sinaiticus defenders vaguely trying to tell us that the off-white parchment of Leipzig (probably somewhat whiter in 1845 than today) is not all that unusual. And the learned Dr. Ira Rabin wrote me that a DSS manuscript did come out of the jar quite white, but quickly yellowed.

Kevin McGrane is sloppy again and again:

In 1864 Scrivener, echoing Tregelles who had seen it in 1862, refers to its 'present look and condition. The vellum leaves, now almost yellow in colour', F.H. Scrivener, A full Collation of the Codex Sinaiticus with the received text of the New Testament (1864),

No reference for "echoing Tregelles". We have no indication that Tregelles ever described the physical condition of the folia he saw in his mini-examination in Leipzig (allowing that he could have spoken to Scrivener.) However, Tischendorf describes the pages as sufflava. So it is likely that Scrivener in "almost yellow" is “echoing” the totally unreliable Tischendorf.

Of course, there is a big difference in being yellow, and being yellow with age. The Sinaiticus parchment is in "phenomenally good condition" and somehow did not age, if it were from c. 400-600 AD.


Now, having noted many errors from Kevin McGrane, let's extract the most salient information where he adds to the scholarship:

Here he is quoting Uspensky:

Golden Evangelistarium: 'written in large characters on the thinnest white parchment two columns, in rather beautiful gold letters.' - Cooper book, p. 108

This is fairly similar to the Robert Curzon description, given later by Kevin:

Visits to monasteries in the Levant (1849)
Robert Curzon
"written in golden letters on fine white vellum."

Curzon later contrasts the white vellum with other mss, some of which are blue or purple vellum.

Despite his many errors above, Kevin does a good job on these pages, 107-110, showing that the term "white parchment" can be used for the original nature of the parchment, as well as its colour today.

However, this is very minor to the overall discussion because:

1) the significance of the "white parchment" comment of Uspensky is primarily historical. Found first on Wikipedia, in an extract from Uspensky’s 1856 Russian book, this comment pointed the researchers to the colour and streaking and stain and consistency disparity of 1844 Leipzig and 1859 British Library. Very little rests on the Uspensky comment itself (although Bill Cooper may have given it too much emphasis, however he was weak on the colour points.)

2) Dobschütz's comment of snow-white parchment takes us out of the realm of types of parchment and right smack into colour. Thus bewraying much of the emphasis of Kevin McGrane.


Kevin McGrane
Steven Avery ... who make the same fundamental mistake. Fortunately 'Steven Avery' has come to realize that Uspensky saw the 'white parchment' leaves at Mount Sinai in 1850 well as 1845, so he has had to tailor his account to make the distressing start after 1850.- p. 110

Once again, McGrane shows a lack of integrity, in fabricating a history. When did I ever discuss a distressing before 1850? We had Uspensky translated in the very early stages of our research. And quite properly include his history, that of Tischendorf and others, in developing a solid reconstruction, one that has the colouring of the manuscript done after 1850.

McGrane follows this up with a dubious chronological claim:

Kevin McGrane
... The Codex returned to St Petersburg from Leipzig in 1862 and Uspensky was in St Petersburg from 1861 to 1865. He would surely have noted if any tampering had taken place since his last sight of it in 1850. Uspensky had much to say about Codex Sinaiticus after its first arrival in St Petersburg in 1859, and also wrote about it, but none of it relates to any suggestion of tampering in his lifetime. There were thousands of witnesses to its state in 1859 because it was on public display for two weeks in St Petersburg late that year, and also was exhibited in Warsaw. It was seen by many eminent men of government, including heads of state, as well as scholars who would be familiar with Uspensky's descriptions of the Codex in his two volumes of travels to Sinai and Egypt, published in 1856, and his colour plates of samples of the Codex (produced in 1850), published in 1857. We nowhere hear of any question about alleged discrepancies in colour. It appears that observers in the mid-nineteenth century fully understood that 'white parchment' was a type not a present colour attribute. - footnote 245, p. 111

Wait a minute. If Uspensky actually saw the manuscript after 1850, he should give a report. Where is it?

And McGrane himself noted (without a reference for this or most of the report above):

Kevin McGrane
From 1862 to 1869 the codex was secure in a fireproof safe in the custody of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

So for much of the time Uspensky seeing, much less yet studying, the manuscript, was impossible. And very few of the thousands of witnesses would know what Uspensky wrote, nor would they be spending time on authenticity questions.

Once the manuscript was in the safe it is highly unlikely Uspensky saw even one page. Maybe, perhaps, he saw it in a 1861-1862 window after he arrived in St. Petersburg. However, with his copious writing, if he does not give a report, our conclusion is simple, he last saw the manuscript in 1850.


Kevin McGrane
Thus the leaves in the British Library could not have been 'distressed' between 1845 and 1859. p. 114

This particular fragment:

Sinaiticus Hermas leaf, Q93-7V

is a puzzle piece. Why does it have accents, consistent with a person weak in Greek trying to read the text? What exactly do we know about the supposed "1845" piece? Since Uspensky was implying a full Hermas at that time, how could he rip a piece out? There is no way to jump to quick conclusions on this piece, which was only published in 1959. It has no verifiable provenance from 1845-1850.

Pure Bible Forum
Quire 93 - Folio 7 - where Hermas was mangled and folio was taken by both Uspensky and Tischendorf
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Steven Avery

faux integrity accusations

More Integrity Accusation Problems

"superimposed fake shadows"

From p. 7. We will show you an image from Kevin (he does not specify the precise source) and then, my iPad taking a picture of the book.

There are no "fake shadows" in the pictures, which are based directly on the CSP pics, sans any doctoring at all.

Kevin McGrane
To make the case more visually apparent, the larger image in the centre is a collage of all the extant pages of Codex Sinaiticus, which by some artistry is casting a false shadow over the leaves upon which it is superimposed. - p.7

Does Kevin think that David did some photoshopping to create "false shadows"? Where? Kevin wrote to me that it is visible on all four sides, which means he does not even have the actual book.

The simple situation: the collage pic has an edge. That edge is totally invisible in the book on the top and bottom because it is the same colour as the background.


Note, in the video Colouring the Truth, David did show the cover image starting at 4:30 and then added 2 additional different views. So we have Regular Color (the cover), Enhanced Shadows, and Enhanced Shadows with Highlights. And all three images had large clear lettering indicating the identity of the picture, matching the narrative. You can see this at:

vlog 06 - Colouring the Truth - Jan 7, 2016
David W. Daniels


another false integrity attempt by Kevin

On p. 5 Kevin makes a big deal about fingers obscuring the colour bars in the videos.

03 - Who Darkened Sinaiticus - Dec 7, 2015
- picture held up 6:17-6:23

06 - Colouring the Truth - Jan 7, 2016

Kevin McGrane
The images below are stills from a video featuring Daniels showing prints of a Leipzig leaf and a British Library leaf taken from screenshots of the Codex Sinaiticus Project website. Daniels' various ways of holding up the clipboards have the unfortunate effect always of obscuring one of the colour separation strips. Most viewers will never have seen such images juxtaposed side by side before. But had they been able to see the colour separation strip on the Leipzig image they would have seen that it was different from the strip on the British Library image, indicating that Daniels was making a false comparison. However, Daniels never shows the images side by side without obscuring one of the colour separation strips. The difference only becomes evident by comparing two stills taken many minutes apart, as shown below.
... Below is a still from another video where Daniels obscures as before. Observant viewers might nevertheless notice that the brown background behind each page appears as different shades, though it is the same material. This is a clue that at least one of the images must be in false colour. p.5

All Kevin, or any reader, had to do was go to the static, easy-read SART team pages:

Codex Sinaiticus Authenticity Research Parchment Colour
Four Contiguous Points

And there you see all the colour bars with the pics. This is far more important than a few seconds of a video where fingers go naturally along the edge (where are the colour bars.)

Plus, in 2016-2018 we have had many discussions about the colour bars on the Facebook forums. Kevin falsely accuses that David was super-cleverly holding the pics to obscure, when all his movements and actions are totally natural.


It seems that Kevin suffers from an unfortunate syndrome where he has to continually manufacture false integrity accusations.
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Steven Avery

"Rather than inspect the Codex physically himself"

Kevin McGrane (to David):
”Rather than inspect the Codex physically himself ... " - p. 2

Does Kevin McGrane think that the libraries will give any inquirer close inspection, with various camera techniques? We have numerous posts here explaining the very limited access, even going back to the 1860s and up to the last decades.


And what import would our personal visual observations have, if miraculously the libraries were cooperative? When we see that Leipzig is noticeably whiter, that would be dismissed as a confirmation bias observation ... and the reply would be “where are the professional photos?” (Which is what we have now.)

Plus there is a far more effective method. As we have explained here before.

Since all the Leipzig folia are uniform, and unbound, simply bring one 1844 leaf, (i.e. recto and versa) to England and photograph the leaf side-by-side with 1859 pages. Since the English leaves are wildly inconsistent, you should do that with a few English leaves.

Simple enough.

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Steven Avery

selection bias - omitting major corroborative evidences

Here are major physical elements that corroborate the colouring showing the ms as recent.
You will find very little discussion or response to any of these from the Sinaiticus authenticity defenders.

1) British Library pages are inconsistent in colour, Leipzig is consistent

2) British Library has staining and streaking, (inconsistent internally) not Leipzig

3) both sections are in "phenomenally good condition"
- far too good for its proposed history in the hot dry desert

4) neither has the grime around the edges of a heavily used monastery manuscript

5) the 1850s colouring of the manuscript was specifically mentioned in 1862-64

And let’s add:

6) never been any real independent palaeography involving Sinaiticus

7) never been scientific materials testing of parchment and ink

8) the tests planned for 2015, by the esteemed BAM group in Berlin, were cancelled

This list goes on, including the lack of ink deterioration, the palaeographic puzzles, and more.

And this is just on the physcial, without getting into the historical "coincidences", the linguistics, the Zosimas source, the homoeoteleutons and much more.

My point in this last post is not to go into all of these, but simply to say that we hear very little on these from Kevin. And since he is discussing the physical manuscript question, simply showing that Leipzig today is a bit less off-white after a proposed correction is only one small piece. (Especially when Kevin himself is trying to figure out how Leipzig was cleansed and brightened!)


Let's close with a reminder that Kevin McGrange works with major pseudo-facts that have no support at all:


a) the Leipzig University Library treated the Codex Friderico-Augustanus c. 1845-1850 with aggressive reagents that made it whiter

b) the St. Petersburg conservators avoided treatment, because they saw that it had not worked in Leipzig

c) the Leipzig photographers of the CSP doctored and manipulated the photography colour to make it more readable,
and that is why the Leipzig CSP pages are notable for their whiteness.

d) Hendrickson (unknown individuals, no hint anywhere) got involved in a major high-tech “colour correction” enterprise of the CSP pictures, and this is the explanation for the uniformity of parchment colour between the 86 Leipzig pages and the Brit pages.


My suggestion. The paper should be rewritten. The faux integrity attacks should be simply dumped.

And section like a-d above should be dumped. If they are maintained, they should be given as conjecture, with the difficulties noted.

Note: We really like honest dialog, iron sharpeneth. In fact, we appreciate the historical connections that Kevin has brought forth, and think he could be a fine Sinaiticus researcher, if he could overcome the problems mentioned in the conclusion. (And this is said simply as part of the search for truth, not presupposing any conclusion.)
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Steven Avery


Let’s start with the good points.

Kevin is solid in digging up historical material. Usually from Google, which is fine, since it has become a rich repository. He added especially to the foreign language material, digging into Russian, Greek, Latin and German material. This is generally done in the Cooper book.

In a few cases, his research impacts points raised by the SART team. More on that when I return to the Cooper book, the last 50 pages, since the first 70 offers little beyond disassembling Cooper errors.

In the 21-page article here, the only real addition (originally in the Cooper book) was that “white parchment” can have a usage related to type, uncoloured, leaving the parchment to a significant variance. Kevin, however, stumbles here when he tries to make Dobschutz’s “snow-white” be secondary or tertiary from Tischendorf. Tischendorf gives no such usage and Dobschutz is at Halle, near Leipzig.

The Colour Evidence

Plus we should always be aware that the CSP photos might make the distinction of the 1844 and 1859 sections (only on colour, not on consistency, stains and streaks) greater than the reality. To a degree.

This was discussed quite a bit in the last year or two. With Sinaiticus authenicity defenders like Jacob W. Peterson being caught in contradictions and absurd claims that they simply could not support. So they try to control the conversation by using censored venues and refusing to answer the questions that really must be examined.

The simple solution, bring a Leipzig page to the British Museum and take photographs.


Kevin will be offering his own theories in a Three Constantines book. He seems to believe that Tischendorf never saw much of the ms until 1859. And I look forward to see his sources and logic (note, though, my concerns below.)

To his credit, at least Kevin knows a bit about the Sinaiticus history, unlike the piddle and weak performances of Snapp, Peterson, Wasserman, et. al.


There are three major failures in both books.

1) Ignoring many points for which he has no real response. A simple example, the "phenomenally good condition". Kevin only mentions the Vienna Dioscorides, an attempt that is a total fail. This is a fundamental argument.

Similarly he mangles the inconsistency of the British pages, and then we found him giving false colour number data. And he never discusses the stains and streaks.

An interesting example of this vapidness is his phantom palaeographers.

This list of what Kevin McGrane does not handle well goes on and on.
2) a group of false and bogus integrity attacks on the SART team work of David and myself.

And I appreciate any actual improvements and corrections from any source. Especially as Kevin has spent some time and energy on important Sinaiticus elements. (Unlike Snapp, Peterson, Wasserman, et al.) Kevin would have done better seeking an honest discussion, iron sharpeneth. Still possible, better late than never.

btw, the title of the McGrane book is an ill-considered integrity attack. With 30+ chapters, most of the book is not touched or covered. And his specific "fake" attempts failed, especially as Kevin's contradiction of claiming a Leipzig cleansing is a self-destruction of his position. (The "shadows" and hand positioning stuff are total joke arguments.) This penchant for faux integrity attacks becomes a huge problem when you see the contradictions an weaknesses that come forth from Kevin.

(Note, a separate issue is the Cooper book, and the corrections to the writing style, claims and logic. These are often correct. And I am not checking how McGrane handles the integrity issues there.)
3) a certain clumsy logical ineptness that arises again and again. A dozen and more examples documented in these posts. Distressingly, this leads to historical conjectual fabrications of no merit, and various attendant problems, error begets error. In general, this means you have to read with caution lights on.

Possibly the worst is his contradiction of theorizing a c.1845-1850 whitening in Leipzig, and not realizing that this deep-sizes his whole position.

And I have tried to help with this review.


Will (2) effect his Three Constantines book?

We shall see.


There is one more point to share. This is where

logic, coincidence, probability and historical forensics intersect.

You can see an example where McCrane is talking of the Shepherd of Hermas having been written and published years before Sinaiticus, waxing about how this was described as for Simonides "serendipitously ... doubly fortunate" p. 79 :) . Kevin is hampered by not understanding the value and historical forensics of post-facto “coincidence”. James Anson Farrer offers an astute contrast on this point.

In general, Kevin simply wants to handwave many elements, such as the accurate reports from Sinai by Simonides and Kallinikos, that are central to a solid historical forensics understanding. Kevin uses a backwards mind-reading technique that is we know well from textual critics trying to defend corruptions as likely the original text.
Note related to the above:

For some reason Kevin writes that our Hermas today has the "ending" with the New Finds, an important error on his part because of how he tries to structure arguments.


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