responses from those involved in textual criticism

Steven Avery

The historical forensics research of SART has received supportive and helpful responses from around the world to the Sinaiticus research and discoveries. Major new research help, information additions and translation help have come from scholars, professionals and laymen in Russia, England, German, Austria and the USA. Sometimes on the record, sometimes off, including important elements in process in research which surprise the SART team. And we remain open to all potential explanations of the events surrounding the "exceptional" Codex Sinaiticus. There is a highly unique combination of circumstances around this manuscript.

Even those in manuscript history and science at the British Library (much less so at Leipzig) have been very helpful and willing to dialog and discuss Sinaiticus iron sharpeneth. Even if they are not, so far, going to consider, on the record, the alternate historical possibilities to the vulgate version of the Sinaiticus discovery, provenance and authenticity. One major skill you utilize in the discussions about Sinaiticus is the ability to "read between the lines".

As rejoice44, a gentleman named Norm, pointed out in 2011, way before the most critical new evidences arose .. the academics have been asleep.

There seems to be a dead silence in the Academic world as to all the problems associated with this manuscript. Why?
What this thread will not do:

The BCHF forum (with a widely diverse contribution base) discussion represents an area where at least a good number of the participants asked probing questions. Peter Kirby and Andrew Criddle and Stephen Huller (who related to us the views of David Trobisch) are three on that forum. That may get a special section or thread. Similarly, discussions with actively involved individuals like the British Library or Alexander Schick (writer on Tischendorf) and Dirk Jongkind and others, will not be part of this thread. Also this thread is not designed to show the many supporting comments and websites.

What this thread will do:

We find, not surprisingly, the most resistance to even considering what has been discovered about Sinaiticus to come from those involved in "textual criticism". Ironically, we find ourselves to be the only individuals who took seriously the call of the Codex Sinaiticus Project to continue the research they had begun.

Gavin Moorhead, who was one of the conservators who worked on the project. He mentioned that initially there were plans to do a detailed study of the colour variance between parchment leaves, but for reasons of time and finances this was not followed through on, and instead the information was put up on the Sinaiticus website in the hope that researchers might be able to make some use of it. - Cillian O'Hogan, British Library, 3/13/2014 email
On textual criticism discussion forums, a few, however, have helpfully at least tried to take the role of debunkers, with a wildly varying quality of response. This includes, so far, James E. Snapp, Jr., Thomas Wasserman, Bill Brown and Jacob Peterson. In addition, Elijah Hixson tried to very helpfully share his manuscript experiences, on a forum where simultaneously Jacob Peterson took the role of debunker. Overall, most have not addressed the basic issues, although James E. Snapp, Jr. did at least make attempts on some elements in a number of discussion forums.

What this thread will do is first simply document the posts and positions taken by the textual criticism community. In fairness to their posts, we will not modify one word (if a salutation is omitted, or a spelling correction is made, that will be noted with the post). Nor will we do any any quick response here. Any responses we make will be simply links to the discussion. Or we will add comments separately further down in the thread. In addition we will be pointing you to some existing threads here on PBF, some of which discuss a group of arguments for authenticity summarized by Scrivener and Stanley E. Porter.

And a new writing is planned that discusses with a title like:
"Why the James Keith Elliott book tells you very little about Sinaiticus authenticity".

Since the British textual types, especially, seem to consider that book as all that is needed to consider about Sinaiticus.

By placing some of these posts here, we can encourage those considering these issues to look at all sides of the discussion. Those trying to really study the issues, and engage in analysis and discussion, iron sharpeneth, should be able to come to this site and feel that they are able to get the resources to study all sides of the manner. SART is a research group, and we simply desire to follow the evidences.

Steven Avery - April 1, 2016

Steven Avery

Jacob Peterson, manuscript experience


Earlier we had the Uspensky translation, for which Dirk Jongkind also expressed thanks.

[textualcriticism] Porfiry Uspensky views Sinaiticus in 1845 and 1850
Steven Avery - Feb 8th, 2010

George Eller
George linked to this article on Westcott-Hort

This also led to a nice discussion with Dirk Jongkind about the fine value of the Uspensky material.


[textualcriticism] Sinaiticus studies - emphasis on the physical condition

Steven Avery - 8572

Jacob Peterson - 8574

Steven Avery - 8583

Thomas Wasserman - 8584

Jacob Peterson - 8587

Bill Brown - 8588

James Miller - 8589

David Inglis - 8590


Steven Avery
March 30, 2016


The various actual posts, which were up for about a day, are being removed, while the urls are being made fully comprehensive.

(A request is in with the forum as to their mirroring policy. Note: this is a very legitimate courtesy question, and we are happy to abide by whatever policies are determined.)

A forum archive like this is very helpful in crafting my response. My large post was put in yesterday, and posted today (thank you textualcriticism).

Last edited:

Steven Avery

April - springtime (snow in Dutchess) new posts

April 4, 2016
These are new.

Bill Brown - 8591

Elijah Hixson - 8592

SA: Even though I think he misses the point, I really like Elijah's posts. At least he tries to make a generally coherent case.
Tommy Wasserman - 8593

Simonides ... The list goes on. I will write up an article on this topic.- Tommy Wasserman
SA: See my fallacy discussion in the review of Elliott's book.
Steven Avery - 8594

This was my response to the five posts from others in the previous thread, 84,87,88,89,90.
A bit was truncated, by a 64K limit on the online version, although those receiving by email get the whole post.

Tommy Wasserman - 8595

Now, it will be interesting to see if the readers note the review of Elliot's book, the basic physical evidence anomalies and other elements covered in post #8594. There are definitely some sharp cookies on the forum. One of the problems is that the colour tampering evidence is so exceedingly clear and simple. :) And textual critics do not do well with simple.

As for Bill Brown, is there really a point in responding? Close call.
In Dutchess, we wonder if the turtles are coming out, or if something happened, I would rather feed the turtles than the trolls.


8594 - what does not show online:

> Tommy Wasserman
The theory that Simonides copied Codex Sinaiticus is complete nonsense.

Tommy, I'm not sure what this is saying. If I take it literally, as meaning Simonides alone I would agree. Since the original document had about 3 hands involved. However, that is consistent with the evidences from the 1840s period, with the Lambrou catalog from Athos being helpful (see the review above.)

By contrast, though, the theory that Simonides was involved in the production of the manuscript c. 1840 has extremely strong evidence.

nd the theory that the manuscript is young fits compelling evidences.

And the theory that the 1859 St. Petersburg section was doctored by colouring is simply observable fact.


The post from:
#5 - Bill Brown #8588
is clearly sans substance, and irrelevant. And we will simply hope that this approach is not endorsed by, and thus a reflection upon, his textual criticism teacher at Dallas Theological Seminary, Daniel Wallace.


Thanks you for the time going down these recent responses to the posts from your readership!

Steven Avery
Dutchess County, NY
Sinaiticus Authenticity Research Team

Last edited:

Steven Avery

Added 4/6/2016

Tommy Wasserman - 8596

David Inglis - 8597

Bill Brown - 8598


Now, there are seven posts to which I could respond in one: three by Tommy Wasserman, two by Bill Brown, one by Elijah Hixson and one by David Inglis. Ironically, the last two are the higher quality writings. And I will be interested to see if any posts come through that actually examine the issues.

Steven Avery

Last edited:

Steven Avery

my short response to two more Bill Brown posts

This is my response 8601

[textualcriticism] Sinaiticus studies - emphasis on the physical condition
Steven Avery - April 6, 2016

And the section below is not in the post, I send the textualcriticism forum here for the reply to diversion and nonsense:


And I really could not in good conscience drag the textualcriticism forum discussion down to the mud, so I placed a little response here:

Bill Brown #8591 and #8598

With Bill Brown, my forum shadow (the milder term) of some years, we still get nothing substantive to the Sinaiticus issues, or to my posts.

It is quite clear that his real goal is to bait me into his silliness and diversions so that the textualcriticism forum will ignore the substantive issues. And the moderator will have to shut down the Sinaiticus discussion thread due to bickering.

There is a difference between sincere questions and politics. (If anyone sees anything substantive in what he writes they can discuss it with me off the textualcriticism forum, e.g. by email, or on Facebook, or the new discussion section of this forum.)


One point Bill tries to make is humorous, so that I will address. While the spelling “Tisssendorf” appears in the writings of Simonides, I always use the proper spelling: Tischendorf.

For informal writing, I did create a new word to describe a creative fabrication that is meant to make a nefarious action look benevolent and helpful. (Such as the stories that Tischendorf came up with about the 1844 saved from burning experience, which he started pawning off 15 years after the heist. And the related 1859 red cloth fabric-ation story.)

My new word for this type of fabrication, a tissuedorf, small "T".(Think, a tissue of lies. And I knew it got the point across my sharp cookie niece Danielle gave a smiling laugh.)

Granted, I studied those years of the 1840s through 1860 fairly closely, most see just the pablum stuff in most of the textual books. I don't really use the word now that we discussing Sinaiticus in more rarefied realms, but it definitely was never used as an alternate name for Tischendorf.
On another topic, I would not necessarily take the strange approach of Bill Brown as a reflection on his mentor, Daniel Wallace.

Steven Avery
Last edited:

Steven Avery

Added 4/6/2016

David Inglis - 8599
inquiry about background colour

Elijah Hixson - 8600

David Inglis - 8602
colour bars and raking

David Inglis - 8603
a-b-c-d causes of colour differences

Last edited:

Steven Avery

responses to David Inglis and Elijah Hixson

Added April 19, 2016:

[textualcriticism] Sinaiticus studies - emphasis on the physical
Steven Avery - April 10, 2016

April 10, 2016

Hi textualcriticism,

Today we have four high quality posts that can use responses, 3 from David, one from Elijah.

CSPO = Codex Sinaiticus Project Online
CSP = Codex Sinaiticus Pretropolitanus (St. Petersburg 347 leaves, in England, Sinai 1859)

CFA = Codex Friderico-Augustanus (Leipzig 43 leaves, left Sinai in 1844)

This is done to avoid the "CSP" clash.


It ends prematurely online, likely because of a 64K limit. (Note, the pics can be seen online of the spot where page numbers are incomplete.)

This is what is not available online, at the url above:


What is astounding is the head in the sand approach of those who actually refuse to look at and discuss the 2009 CSP evidences. And go back to the grossly deficient 1982 Elliott summary of the historical back-and-forth in the Journals. And who try simply the argument from fallacy.

Now, I understand this to a degree. If the textual criticism luminaries give even the slightest nod to the possibility that Sinaiticus is recent, it may undermine their prestige and position within the textual establishment and even of the textual criticism field as a whole. And it immediately casts a shadow over a cherished evidence and the theoretical constructs that were historically built on that evidence. And it also casts a humorous question mark over the Sinaiticus Scholarship Cottage Industry (which was itself to a large extent aided by the CSPO event.) If the current science is built on a fake? Oops. So best take a "deny everything" approach. Impossible!


Elijah Hixson – 8600

Thank you for your correction on the trimming of a couple of page numbers. Much appreciated. (By explanation, you can see that it was just raw note jots, from our team, taken from a Facebook Messenger conversation. See below as to the mixed nature of the purebibleforum.)

Note that this still does not remotely address the major substance of the issue, which is margin notes gone.

First, the original dimensions (per Aland and Metzger from Gregory) were significantly larger in length and width. 43 x 37.8 cm. (about 17.3 in. x 10.9 in.), reduced to 38 x 34 cm . A reduction of approximately 2" in height and 1 1/2" in width.

How were the original page sizes known? It seems that those pages were in the hands of Tischendorf. How else? In this scenario, Tischendorf measured them, and passed the information down in one of his writings or correspondence, and destroyed the evidence. Granted, that would be pretty dumb on his part, since the obvious question would be "where are those partial notes you mentioned?". Yet, nobody has criticized this for 150 years of Sinaiticus science.

These are key quotes we have on the margin notes:

"marginal notes have sometimes been partially cut off by the ancient binder."

"the mutilated appearance of certain notes and letter numbers belonging to them shows."

"Professor Tischendorf states that there are many letters in the marginal notes which have been lost, from their having been written close up to the edge, and from the further circumstance of the edges having suffered injury"
So how did Tischendorf known this? He would have to see some partial notes, that he eliminated. Was he mangling the ms. for his own purposes? Did he record the notes before they were "gone notes". What type of ms. science would cut off notes from a supposedly 4th century ms. ?

And notice that marginal notes were a specific point of contention between Simonides and Tischendorf. The Tischendorf berating of Simonides, claiming that there were no marginal notes, now sounds hollow.

More on this question at:

did Tischendorf trim away Sinaiticus notes?


Note that purebibleforum pages are sometimes reasonably polished, and sometimes a work-in-process, a research and compilation center, a bit on the raw side, like a note board.

Overall, we appreciate any counterpoint, finding of possible errors, new information, etc. We will also publish, if requested, responsible articles that favor authenticity, as we offered with Tommy Wasserman's planned article. Why? Simply because we are a research team.

One interesting project on the warm burner that the textual critics may find especially interesting is the search for an exemplar(s) as a source of the Sinaiticus homoeoteleuton spots. (A search that is not ready for the purebibleforum notes.) Another one is to really look at the James Donaldson linguistic arguments of the 1860s and 1870s. Another is a full study into the Barnabas of Simonides dated 1843 (referenced by Donaldson.)

Thanks you textual criticism forum and excellent contributing posters!

Steven Avery
Last edited: