the tyranny of the scholarship consensus

Steven Avery

Some notes for a study.


So-Called Science of Palaeography - deeply entrenched scholarship

"The so-called science of paleography often relies on circular reasoning because there is insufficient data to draw precise conclusion about dating. Scholars also tend to oversimplify diachronic development, assuming models of simplicity rather than complexity".
The Bible and Radiocarbon Dating: Archaeology, Text and Science (2014)
"Problems of Paleographic Dating of Inscriptions"
William M. Schneidewind

"As for how we "know" Sinaiticus is from the 4th century, this is actually something I have wondered myself, but this dating seems too deeply entrenched in the scholarship of early Christianity to have a rational discussion about it ... " (From a top scholar in manuscript forgery studies today, sent privately in 2014.)

"David Trobisch's suggestion that Codex Sinaiticus could date from the 8th century" - Stephan Huller on radio interview

Is Codex Sinaiticus Important?
Sunday, August 2, 2009

"Dr David Trobisch gave the key note address at the recent Codex Sinaiticus conference in London (July 6, 2009). ... His speech in London was entitled ‘Codex Sinaiticus and the formation of the Christian Bible.’ His conclusions were that the manuscript isn’t nearly as old as the hype suggests. He dates the text to the fifth or even sixth century. He believes that many people with a vested interest in promoting the work gave it the earliest date possible which is the early fourth century."

Steven Avery comment using the quote above:
By that time [186os and 1870s when James Donaldson showed that Hermas and Barnabas were late texts] the Sinaiticus 4th-century juggernaut had gained momentum. The dynamic was as noted as the David Trobisch position, given by Stephan Huller: ".... many people with a vested interest in promoting the work gave it the earliest date possible which is the early fourth century."


Codex Sinaiticus - the white parchment Friderico-Augusta

British Library on C14 dating Sinaiticus:

Many thanks for your enquiry. Having consulted with colleagues in History & Classics and our Collection Care team, I can confirm that the Library has not previously subjected either manuscript to C14 dating, nor do we have plans to do so. There is broad scholarly consensus on the dating of both codices based on various well established criteria for judging the date of a manuscript. ... relying on a range of non-destructive techniques including contextual and imaging analysis.
My short commentary on this is here:

However, I did not go into the tyranny of the scholarly consensus of the uninformed.
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