"parchment was often quite thick" - Christopher de Hamel

Steven Avery

We know from numerous other studies and quotes (e.g. "phenomenally good condition" Helen Shenton, 2009) that the condition of Sinaiticus is simply not consistent with its purported age. This is even before we have the smoking gun of the tampered by colouring ms. in Russia compared to the white parchment in Leipzig. We saw that Morozov could peg the phoniness of the ms. age claim even without having the ability to see "the tale of two manuscripts".

A very interesting quote from Christopher de Hamel (used by Metzger in The Text of the New Testament, 1995). Trey Lee brought this quote to our attention.

Dr Christopher de Hamel

Medieval Craftsmen
Scribes and Illuminators (1992)
Christopher De Hamel, British Museum

In the early monastic period of manuscript production parchment was often quite thick, but by the thirteenth century it was being planed away to an almost tissue thinness.
Yet the Codex Sinaiticus is so thin that seeing the ink from the flip-side is common. In fact, we have many measurements from the Codex Sinaiticus Project of the parchment being about 1/10 of a mm thick. (approx .004")

Codex Sinaiticus - John 1:1 - see physical description-->parchment

egular copy paper ranges from 0.05 to 0.10 millimeters. Thus some regular copy paper is as thin as some sheets of Sinaiticus. Tissue paper is about 035. I'm a little skeptical that any parchment is quite that thin. I would like to know of any that is thinner than the .08 we see at spots on the leaf above.

This thread will try to emphasize the thinness issue. Remember, historically, Tischendorf kept the actual manuscript away from sustained examination, and pointed everyone to his facsimile edition. A printed edition is protected from embarrasing parchment and ink examination.


The Sinai Bible Or Bibliorum Codex Sinaiticus Petropolitanus: Read Before the Albany Institute, December 15, 1863
Howard Townsend

The manuscript is on very thin vellum.
It is likely that Townsend is working off a Tischendorf quote, I have not seen any indication that he saw the manuscript.


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