Daniel Wallace This is our second and more detailed response to a video that was posted concerning our film, Tares Among the Wheat. The video in question features a presentation given by Dr. Daniel Wallace, who is a professor of New Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, speaking on the subject of Constantine Simonides and his claim to have authored the Codex Sinaiticus in a manuscript ordinarily dated to the fourth century. Our film presents evidence from the 19th century that strongly suggests Simonides may very well have been the true author of the codex, and indeed, he went to his grave defending this claim. However, Dr.
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Daniel Wallace This is our second and more detailed response to a video that was posted concerning our film, Tares Among the Wheat. The video in question features a presentation given by Dr. Daniel Wallace, who is a professor of New Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, speaking on the subject of Constantine Simonides and his claim to have authored the Codex Sinaiticus in a manuscript ordinarily dated to the fourth century.
Our film presents evidence from the 19th century that strongly suggests Simonides may very well have been the true author of the codex, and indeed, he went to his grave defending this claim.
However, Dr. Wallace supports the predominantly held view that his story was false, and presents a number of reasons for this belief. Perhaps the most important part of Dr. But was this the case? The purpose of this article is to demonstrate the flaws in Dr. We generally believe most scholars today are largely unaware of the specifics surrounding the discovery of the Codex Sinaiticus, and the story of Simonides in general.
Our desire is that a more perfect history be established concerning this controversy, for the benefit of the Biblical record and the understanding of the Church.
Sinai in Egypt. While he was very secretive about his original discovery, Tischendorf later claimed that the pages he found had been jettisoned by the Greek monks in a rubbish basket, and were destined to be burned in the fire. The monks to this day claim that he stole them. Tischendorf visited the monastery a second time in , where he discovered a fragment of Genesis; but his next major discovery of the codex was in , when he found the New Testament portion and part of the Old, along with the Epistle of Barnabas and a partial copy of the Shepherd of Hermas.
At this point, the manuscript was named Codex Sinaiticus, and declared to be the oldest Bible ever found. The story was astonishing, and a debate concerning the issue raged back and forth from to , much of it in the newspapers of England.
In short, the critics of the 19th century rejected his claims. Simonides published a final work in , in which he reaffirmed all that he had said, and then left London, never to return. Wallace mentions the opinions of the 19th century scholars, Samuel P. Tregelles and Henry Bradshaw, both of whom opposed the claims of Simonides. But could it be said that these men in any way settled the issue? Simonides had written Bradshaw a letter, and provided examples of his own handwriting in ancient Greek characters to prove that he was the true author.
Henry Bradshaw, the keeper of MSS. Simonides, The Journal of Sacred Literature, April It is strange that Bradshaw never commented on the handwriting of Simonides, to say whether or not it might have matched with the writing in Codex Sinaiticus.
It is also strange that Bradshaw showed no interest in learning more about the witnesses that were named either. Instead, they had a debate about how to determine the genuineness of a manuscript. It does not appear that either of them examined the codex from the perspective that it might be a forgery. Wallace finds the assertions of Bradshaw and Tregelles to be authoritative, it is important to consider that their opinions were dismissed by renowned scholar James A. Farrer in his classic work, Literary Forgeries It cannot be said to have been settled by the mere opinions of Tregelles or Bradshaw, or by the more critical and palaeographical objections urged by Mr.
The two former examined the Codex two months before Simonides had made his claim to it as his work, so that they had no reason to examine it with suspicion…. The question therefore, pending the acquisition of further evidence, must remain among the interesting but unsolved mysteries of literature. We believe this is the only conclusion that one could come to at that point in history, after having examined the many writings and newspaper articles on the subject. They relied on little more than their own academic credentials for proof, and found it more convenient to search for ways to discredit him, rather than discover whether or not he was actually telling the truth.
The difference is that there is much more documentation to support the assertions of Simonides than a vast majority of what is claimed by textual critics today. In London, Simonides had more than 2, manuscripts in his possession, and these were seen by many witnesses as recorded by Mr.
Charles Stewart, his biographer. As such, he obviously had access to lots and lots of vellum parchment. More importantly, Simonides openly declared that he obtained the vellum used for Sinaiticus from a Greek monastery on Mount Athos in the year , and that it was already of ancient character when he found it. This had been prepared apparently many centuries ago — probably by the writer or by the principle of the monastery, as it bore the inscription a Collection of Panegyrics , and also a short discourse, much injured by time.
Simonides would have gained the permission to use the parchment from his uncle, Benedict, who was a leader in the Greek Orthodox Church at that time. It was he along with other leaders who wanted the manuscript created as a gift for the Czar of Russia. So, the vellum was simply acquired through the resources of the monks on Mt. Athos, and it would not have been at all necessary to purchase it.
This analysis is combined with identifying the character of the papyrus or parchment used for a particular codex. Papyrus was typically used in the first three centuries of Church history, while vellum parchment made from animal skins came into regular usage about the fourth century. Depending on how letters are shaped and words are spelled i. Hence, if Simonides wrote in ancient Greek characters, and on vellum that was already ancient, it becomes very possible that he could have created a work that would have deceived Western scholars, because of the methods they use for dating manuscripts.
Wallace is the assertion that an Italian explorer mentioned seeing Codex Sinaiticus in the year , after a visit St. Catherine and described a manuscript he saw there that matches Sinaiticus to a tee. This was 79 years before Simonides forged it, and 59 years before Simonides was born. Wallace asserts? Thankfully, the specific words he wrote are recorded by the British Library on their website under the history section for the codex. They are not quite as confident as Dr.
Wallace said. We also consider that there are currently more than 3, manuscripts at St. If a man claimed to see a beautiful painting in a room filled with 3, paintings, would you know which one he meant? If he had truly seen it, his description would most likely have included at least one of the following prominent details: 1 Codex Sinaiticus is written in a four-column format a rare feature: while Dr.
Wallace says it is the only one of this type, the British Library says it is one of very few 2 The manuscript has 23, corrections, an average of 30 corrections per page it is the most corrected Biblical manuscript in history 3 It is one of only two Greek manuscripts that deliberately omits the last twelve verses of the Gospel of Mark.
The other manuscript that contains the shorter ending of Mark is the Codex Vaticanus, which, prior to the 19th century, had been hidden away in the Vatican Library, unavailable to most scholars.
Most all the other Greek manuscripts that include the Gospel of Mark also include the longer ending. As such, if there had been a manuscript at St. But how did these pages come to be detached? And why would they be hidden in this secret room? How did they get there, if Simonides penned the manuscript somewhere else? Athos in , but how did it then arrive at St. The answer is provided by Simonides himself, in his letter to The Guardian newspaper, on September 3, Constantius took it, and, having thoroughly examined it, urged me to present it to the library of Sinai, which I accordingly promised to do.
Constantius had previously been Bishop of Sinai, and since his resignation of that office had again become Perpetual Bishop of that place. The patriarch was, however, absent from home, and I, consequently, left the packet for him with a letter. All of this happens approximately three years before the first pages of the manuscript were discovered by Tischendorf in As such, it is reasonable to conclude that Constantius would have delivered the manuscript to Mt.
Sinai within a short time after he received it. Typically, when someone is lying, they do not provide the kind of specific details that he did, and would be reluctant to name prominent people who could be sought out for fear that they would expose him.
A dishonest person who makes a story up from nothing is more likely to be vague and short on specifics, but this was not the case with Simonides.
According to Hort, it was written in the West, probably in Rome, as suggested by the fact that the chapter division in the Acts of the Apostles common to Sinaiticus and Vaticanus occurs in no other Greek manuscript, but is found in several manuscripts of the Latin Vulgate. Harris believed that the manuscript came from the library of Pamphilus at Caesarea, Palestine. It could not have been written before because it contains the Eusebian Canons , which is a terminus post quem. Kenyon argued: "There is not the least sign of either of them ever having been at Constantinople. The fact that Sinaiticus was collated with the manuscript of Pamphilus so late as the sixth century seems to show that it was not originally written at Caesarea".
Codex Sinaiticus and the Simonides affair
Shagul Your request to send this item has been completed. Nor does it make sense to ask Chris Pinto afafir work with the weakest questions, when you have not done the homework. Whereas Merrill is abusively cited by Pinto to bolster one of his twisted retellings of church history, Pinto deceitfully ignores where Merrill most certainly cuts against his Sinaiticus conspiracy. George E. Farrer looked at all of that, let us review Please enter your name. And you really should read carefully the Farrer — Kallinikos material.
CODEX SINAITICUS AND THE SIMONIDES AFFAIR PDF