Archive for December, 2013

Caner vs. Driscoll – Another Comparison

December 26, 2013

In an apparently removed article (available at the moment, here), John B. Carpenter made a comparison between Mark Driscoll’s alleged plagiarism and Ergun Caner’s alleged autobiographical embellishment. I wonder what Dr. Carpenter would have done if he had seen the translation of Bin Ladin’s 1998 fatwa provided the Federation of American Scientists (link) with the translation provided in the Caner brothers’ papers and books:

  1. “The Doctrine of Jihad in the Islamic Hadith” presented at the Evangelical Theological Society on November 15, 2001 (link to pdf of paper)
  2. “The Doctrine of Jihad in the Islamic Hadith” published in the Southern Baptist Journal of Theology (SBJT) Volume 8, Number 1 (Spring 2004)(link)
  3. “Unveiling Islam” published by Kregel Publications, (C) 2002, Chapter 13, pp. 181-84 (link to partial preview) (See note 1, p. 198, “Translation and emphasis by the authors of this book.”)
  4. “Christian Jihad” published by Kregel Publications, (C) 2004, Appendix B, pp. 228-232 (link to partial preview)

The two texts are very similar. One difference is that in quotations from the Koran, the FAS.org version uses KJV-style English – for example, the FAS.org version states (emphasis added by me):

This is in addition to the words of Almighty Allah: “And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)? — women and children, whose cry is: ‘Our Lord, rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will help!'”

Almighty Allah said: “O ye who believe, give your response to Allah and His Apostle, when He calleth you to that which will give you life. And know that Allah cometh between a man and his heart, and that it is He to whom ye shall all be gathered.”

Almighty Allah also says: “O ye who believe, what is the matter with you, that when ye are asked to go forth in the cause of Allah, ye cling so heavily to the earth! Do ye prefer the life of this world to the hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the hereafter. Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place; but Him ye would not harm in the least. For Allah hath power over all things.”

By contrast the Caner brothers’ version uses contemporary English in most cases. However, in two cases, the Caner brothers’ version lapses into KJV-style English (emphasis again, is mine):

This is in addition to the words of Almighty Allah, “And why should you not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated and oppressed—women and children, whose cry is—‘Allah rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will help!’”

Almighty Allah said “O you who believe, give your response to Allah and His Apostle, when He calls you to that which will give you life. And know that Allah comes between a man and his heart, and that it is He to whom you shall all be gathered.”

Almighty Allah also says “O you who believe, what is the matter with you, that when you are asked to go forth in the cause of Allah, you cling so heavily to the earth! Do you prefer the life of this world to the hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the hereafter. Unless you go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place; but Him you would not harm in the least. For Allah hath power over all things.”

You will notice a few other small differences, like “Our Lord” is replaced by “Allah,” but the most frequent change in this section is between the KJV-style English and modern English, except those two words “thee” and “hath,” which remain the same.  The reader can decide for himself how much weight to give to this evidence, but it’s hard for me to think of any strong reason why a translator working from the Arabic would use “thee” and “hath” in those two places, without using any other KJV-style English.

Moreover, Ergun Caner is aware of the FAS.org translation. In his e-mail correspondence “debate” with Nadir Ahmed in 2005-06, Dr. Caner referred to this very translation (link to “debate”).

Furthermore, recall that according to Norman Geisler:

The Charge that He Could Speak Arabic When He Can’t.—He only claims to be able to speak Arabic the way most non-Arabic Muslims do. Although he was raised in Sweden by a Swedish mother, Ergun learned enough Arabic (as most Muslims do) to read the Qur’an and speak it in prayer.

(source).

Incidentally, in both the paper and in “Unveiling Islam,” the Caners refer to the five men who signed the fatwa as “five Islamic caliphates.”  The term “caliphate” refers to the thing ruled by a caliph –  much like “kingdom” is that which is ruled by a king.  Additionally, the five men weren’t and aren’t caliphs. If the authors didn’t properly understand the term “caliphate,” did they really translate the fatwa themselves and arrive at a version that is so similar to the FAS.org version?  If so, it was quite a remarkable feat.

I wonder if any of Ergun Caner’s supporters have further light to shed on this question of whether the translation in Caner’s books and papers is actually his own, his brother’s, or some combination thereof.

-TurretinFan

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Some Responses to Steven Avery’s and Chris Pinto/NOTR’s Counterpoints

December 23, 2013

In the comment box on my previous post (link), Steven Avery has provided some counter-points to the points I raised regarding the debate between James White and Chris Pinto. Mr. Avery has also quoted some material that he attributes to Chris Pinto/ Noise of Thunder Radio.

Steven Avery said: “If he was to comment on one thing right now, I would be all ears as to his thoughts about the James White papyri blunder. Since that was, in real terms, the James White big chief argument.” Actually, I disagree. The big chief argument was the fact that the codex was not the work of a single scribe, but of multiple distinguishable scribes. And the second was like unto it – there were numerous hands (from different centuries) that corrected manuscript. Either of these arguments alone would sink Mr. Pinto’s ship.

However, let me respond to what Steven Avery (SA) and Chris Pinto/Noise of Thunder Radio (NOTR) has said (the NOTR material comes to me via SA, so I have hopefully correctly attributed the parts to NOTR that belong to him).

Me: 3) There are no known examplars that could have been the source for Codex Sinaiticus.”
SA:

Chris Pinto is a documentarian, he raises the historical issues missed (essentially ignored by James White) and then hopes they get hashed out properly, and he will join in the studies. Chris did mention the ancient Syriac Codex, but he was still somewhat of a beginner on the details about the Vaticanus collations and the textual interrelationships, the question of alexandrian mss on Mt. Athos, and the complexities of what happened to the NT until it arose pristine in 1859.

Once you look at all the details, you see that the source question is interesting (the biggest question is the source for the unique Sinaiticus blunders) but not an especially strong point contra the idea of Sinaiticus not being an authentic 4th century ms. Sinaiticus has major problems in delivery whether 4th century 6th century (Hilgenfeld), 19th century or some combinations thereof, where the NT was especially subject to “care”.

a) The debate over whether manuscript should be dated to the 6th century rather than the 4th century is a different debate. The issue of exemplars is totally irrelevant to the 4th/6th century debate.
b) Yes, Simonides/Chris mentioned an “ancient Syriac Codex,” but they have not produced such a codex. So, as I said, there are no known exemplars.
NOTR:

That is, no examplars known by Dr. White. During the debate, White admitted that he has not examined the manuscripts that were in Simonides’ possession, and was not even fully aware of what they were. In his argument, he overlooked three of the MSS. entirely. He was also unaware that there are many manuscripts on Mt. Athos today that have never been catalogued. His assertion was mere speculation based on his own limited knowledge.

a) There are no examplars known to anyone – not to Chris Pinto, not to any living person.
b) Simonides’ claim to have collated his primary text with three additional manuscripts only makes his story *less* credible. I’m not sure why NOTR has so much trouble understanding this point. Not only does trying to collate three manuscripts dramatically increase the time needed to produce the codex, it also makes it less likely that the exemplars would all be lost.
c) Likewise, identifying that Simonides claimed he had manuscripts is not equivalent to identifying what manuscripts he could have used.
d) NOTR’s argument seems to be that there might possibly be an as-yet-unknown manuscript that could be the exemplar. That argument is simply wishful thinking.
SA: “This is true, and is largely the ignorance of James White, in the area that is supposed to be his bailiwick. And it is best combined with what I shared above, which takes the more affirmative sense of what could have been used.”
I answer: Yes, every person who knows about NT manuscripts is going to be “ignorant” of manuscripts that do not exist. Calling that “the ignorance of James White” is a strange way of putting it – but yes, he’s unaware of non-existent manuscripts.

Me: 6) The amount of time necessary for collating multiple manuscripts of the entire Bible (plus some apocrypha) would have been prohibitive in the timeline proposed by Simonides.
SA:

There is no collation problem, all of that is bogus. e.g. The Griesbach NT, as pointed out by James Snapp, was out and could easily be used as a starting point. Collation could be somewhat ad hoc as well. All of this collation timing point was based on an error of James White that what would be required was the type of Stephanus collation of multiple manuscripts with markings, etc. This was all a straw man complaint where James White fantasized a complex scenario of collation creation, and then complained that his own complex scenario might take too much time.

Beyond all that, the whole question of collation and creation is one area where Simonides and Kallinikos have to be studied with all parts together, including Tischendorf mutilating and tampering with the mss and the distinctions of the NT ms. Beyond that, we should allow that if the SImonides involvement was not all pristine, to make a gift to the tsar, if there were some shady elements involved, the creation story would be the fudgiest element. That should not surprise us much, Tischendorf was a bald-faced liar about the events of those years and Uspensky was considered, like Tischendorf, as one who purloined manuscripts. It was the best of time, it was the worst of times.

Actually, Simonides is the one who claimed he produced his manuscript by a process of collation. Of course, if you’re throwing out Simonides’ claims then we are in agreement.

NOTR:

While Dr. White raised the issue, he never defined the “timeline proposed by Simonides.” He simply claimed it was prohibitive, but gave no explanation as to why.
In reality, Simonides claimed that the work happened over a period of 20 months from 1839-1841. By comparison, Desiderius
Erasmus famously completed his first edition Greek New Testament in less than half that time. He wrote: “I have got through six years work in eight months.” The first edition of Erasmus is especially known for its remarkable number of errors. This is the same characteristic of Codex Sinaiticus. If the work was done hastily by Simonides and his uncle, this would at least partly explain why it has so many corrections.
As a footnote, the number of reported “corrections” in the manuscript have changed since it was first discovered. The first number given was 8,000 corrections in 1862. That number later jumped to 14,800, as reported by Tischendorf. Today, the British Library reports a total of some 23,000 corrections. To understand where the all corrections came from, it would need to be understood why they have so dramatically increased over the past 150 years.

a) Erasmus was one of the brightest minds of his generation. It’s hardly reasonable to compare his speed with that of someone who was primarily known for his good penmanship.
b) Similarly, Erasmus was about 40 and seriously trained by that point. By contrast, Simonides was a teenager.
c) Moreover, Erasmus was focused on the New Testament only, whereas Codex Sinaiticus contains OT, OT Apocrypha, NT, and NT apocrypha.
d) Additionally, except where Erasmus back-translated from Latin, Erasmus was working from Greek manuscripts only. By contrast, Simonides claimed to be working from both Greek and Syriac.
e) The codex may have been composed in haste in the 4th century. However, the more that there is an appeal to haste, the less likely that the work can be a nuanced forgery. It’s hard to simulate a 4th century scribe – it’s harder yet to do so in haste (much less multiple distinguishable scribes).
f) Regarding the “footnote,” all that has increased is the reported number. The reason for such an increase is most obviously the increased amount careful study of the manuscript over the years.

SA:

I would more bluntly say that the whole collation question as raised by James White was simply a red herring, where he simply assumed his own complex machinations. The corrections issue discussed by NOTR is interesting, and can be added to a long list of puzzling questions as to how this ms. has developed. Read the CSP discussions of ink and parchment for other puzzles.

This is answered above.

SA:

As for Mt. Athos mss. James White astutely pointed out that Codex Ψ Psi 044 (giving the three notations) is a Mt. Athos sourced Alexandrian ms. The idea that all mss on Mt. Athos were Byzantine was a James White fabrication as well.

Dr. White did not say (or if he did, he mispoke) that there are no manuscripts with Alexandrian readings in the Athos monestary libraries.

Codex Athous Lavrensis (aka Ψ/044) is a mixed text. Some portions are “Alexandrian,” some are Byzantine (see much more detail here).
Codex Athous Dionysiou (Ω Omega 045, using your notation method) is also a codex from Athos, which has some Alexandrian readings.
Also, Codex Athous Pantokratoros (051) is a codex from Athous with an eclectic text.
Codex Coislinianus (H^p or 015) is a generally Alexandrian ms. on Athos.
Uncial 050 is also a mixed text on Athos.

-TurretinFan

"Rip the Roof Off" – Ergun Caner 2010

December 20, 2013

Some time in 2010, Dr. Caner preached a sermon titled “Rip the Roof Off,” at Bell Shoals. One interesting thing about this sermon is that it appears to be more like the cleaned up testimony we will see in some of the post-2010 sermons, but the description posted with the video still reflects the pre-2010 testimony. The description currently states:

Raised as the son of a Muslim leader in Turkey, Ergun Caner became a Christian shortly before entering college. Today, he serves as president of the Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and Graduate School at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. He has debated Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and other religious leaders in 13 countries and 35 states. Ergun lives in Lynchburg with his wife, Jill, and two sons.

We have searched hard but haven’t found actual debates. Dr. Caner was raised, as far as we can tell, in Ohio, not Turkey.

(3:15) “Seven miles down the road, they called Steven Rummage. I’ve had the blessing of following him, of seeing God use him, and let me say it publicly – and you’re recording – stealing every sermon he has ever preached. Unashamedly. I even use the illustrations and pretend they’re mine.”

I assume Caner was joking in the above, but it does seem a little troubling, in view of some of the illustrations we’ve considered in his sermons

(4:00) “I’m a Turkish, immigrant, and I discovered that I’m a Yankee – because that’s what her daddy told me, with an adjective. Jill’s daddy – neighboring county – his people are from Johnston County, NC, specifically he’s from Possum Kill, NC. So, you can imagine how thrilled he was, when the towelhead showed up at the door to date his daughter. My full name is Ergun Mehmet Caner.”

Caner has listed his “full name” a number of different ways, but “Michael” seems to be his legal middle name, based on what we’ve seen in official records.

(6:00) “I didn’t get saved until later in life. I wasn’t raised in church. I wasn’t raised with AWANA, RAs, GAs, WMU – didn’t know none of that. Didn’t have Sunday school; didn’t have vacation bible school. None of it. Didn’t go to church camp until after my conversion. And so, I got saved in Columbus, OH. My family had moved to America, and from America to central Ohio, Gahanna specifically, where I graduated Gahanna Lincoln High School, 1984. I learned English, there. Couldn’t find a college, because I got called to preach, lost my family, lost everyone, lost everything I had. Sent a letter to all these colleges, because I wanted to study the Bible. Didn’t know that I was called to ministry, didn’t quite understand that concept. All I knew, is that I wanted to study the Bible. And I wanted to go to Bible school, but I didn’t have a cent to my name. Finally, found a school in Kentucky, Williamsburg, KY, that would have me. And so I found myself about a year, eight months, after my conversion, in Kentucky, where I had to re-learn English.”

I suppose Caner did learn English here in America – considering he learned to talk in America.

Caner claims to have “lost my family, lost everyone, lost everything I had.” On the other hand, it seems that perhaps Caner was simply disowned by his non-custodial father. That’s a pretty big deal and very sad for Caner, but if that’s all that happened, then that’s not “everyone” and “everything.”

(32:20) “You know the reason I’m here is because one kid was my warrior. I came to America as a Muslim, moved to Columbus, OH, as a Muslim, my father built mosques, until the day he died, as an architect. I’m the oldest of three sons. I should be doing what my father did. But one boy – one boy – for four years – one boy – one high school kid wouldn’t shut up.”

I have no idea why Caner is so insistent on making it “four years.” He graduated (as he stated above) in 1984. He apparently professed faith some time in 1982 or so. Indeed, that 1982 date seems consistent with claim to be going off to college about one year and eight months later.

Also, saying he “came as a Muslim” seems a little strange, since most 2-3 year olds are too young even to say the Shahada, much less be meaningfully Muslim.

(33:00) “He nagged me, he begged me, he pleaded with me, he did everything he could until finally I decided I was going to give in. And I said, ‘You know what? I’ll go with you to church if you come with me to the mosque.’ And he came. Who’s got that kind of guts. Most of us, if we were trained in any way, we knock on the door, if they slam the door in our face, we go, ‘Huh- he must not be elect.’ And we mark him off our list.”

Do people really do that? That looks like a caricature of Calvinists, but not like anyone I’ve ever run into.

(35:50) “In 1995, my grandmama got saved. Age of 93, at Wood Baptist Church in Wood, NC, where she is buried. This little woman, who never learned English, is buried around a bunch of people who can’t speak it. But do you know why she’s buried there? Because that’s where she met her Lord. Because that’s where somebody shared the gospel with her. That’s where sweet old ladies would blow up versions of Scripture so she could read it in her tongue. Where they loved on her.”

Interesting that Caner does not mention that her tongue was Swedish.

(all times are approximate)

Mohler/Caner Panel at SBTS

December 19, 2013

Someone recently pointed me to audio from a panel at SBTS from several years ago – apparently November 14, 2003, where Mohler and Ergun Caner were speaking about Islam.

Unfortunately, it seems that some of the audio may be missing, as some of the files end a little abruptly. Here are the links: (part 1)(part 2)(part 3)(part 4)

In part 2, Caner speaks. His comments include:

“I was a Muslim for 20 years.” (If he was converted in 1982, as he has said, he was either 15 or 16 when he became a Christian.)

“My father was an ulema – a scholar, a hadithic scholar, more particularly.” (Elsewhere, he claims his father was an architect. Moreover, “ulema” is a plural noun.)

“Everywhere I lived, before we came to America, we were the majority. I come to America, and I have to explain to you, from the Islamic mindset, it is tough, moving to your culture. Because we go from being a majority to all of a sudden becoming a minority and you guys have some annoying commercials and annoying practices. Every time I turned on the television it was another Christmas commercial another thing – I constantly wondered, under this aegis of Christian communication, what did a rabbit have to do with Easter? and what did trees have to do with Christmas? … ” (According to the most recent press release, Caner was 2 or 3 years old when he came to America, having been born in Sweden.)

“I have never, ever – in 41 debates – ever heard one Muslim ever make this statement. As a matter of fact, at a debate at the University of North Texas, I was getting hammered – I was getting beat up like a husband at a Beth Moore conference or something, because question after question after question, coming at me, and the media was hammering me with this – about come back to this group hug kind of thing – and finally I turned to the imam who was with me and I said, ‘Abi, may I ask you a question,’ he said ‘of course,’ ‘do you believe Allah and Jehovah are the same God,’ he said, ‘Oh, of course not, this is ridiculous.'” (We cannot find any record of this debate (or the 40 other alleged debates), despite the alleged presence of media. We cannot find this imam. Moreover, the Koran claims that Christians, Jews, and Muslims worship the same god.)

“It’s not the same god, guys. In fact, any time I come to this moment in this debate where they say it is, I say ‘great, so Allah is triune?'” (Which debate was this? We have been looking and have not found any such debate.)

In part 4, Caner speaks again. His comments include:

“Everything I learned about our country – everything I ever learned about America – I learned by American television, before I came here. For instance, Andy Griffith. I would watch everything on Andy Griffith – so I thought all of America was Mayberry. And I moved to Brooklyn, NY.” (Again, remember that according to most recent press release, Caner came to America when he was 2-3 years old.)

“I don’t wear my laundry on my head. We are not dark. My first job was not a convenience store.”

“I believed you guys hated me.”

“Shabir Ally, when he and I do debate, he will say, ‘you will speak very kindly about Mohammed,’ and I said, ‘as long as you do so about Jesus. You attack Jesus, I’m going after Mohammed.’ And so he said, that’s what I did, and as soon as he did [some describes his gestures as “stone cold Steve Austin”].” (There is no record of Caner debating Shabir Ally, and when Dr. White asked Shabir about this, he is reported to have responded that he had not even met Caner.)

“We were taught as children that the Jews drank the blood of our little Palestinian children. I mean – we were told – we were raised with a tangible, visceral hatred for Israel.”

“This idea of coexisting peacefully with Israel is a silly notion for anyone who knows Arabic. When Arafat in Arabic on Al-Jazeera, he will say ‘[apparently some faux Arabic gibberish] we will push them into the Mediterranean,’ and then turns around in English and he says, ‘We want peace.'” (I would be interested in any Arabic speakers confirming whether the apparent gibberish is really gibberish, or actually something in Arabic. It seems far too short to be the equivalent of “we will push them into the Mediterranean.”

“As far as the translation of the Koran, they believe, and we were taught, that you must know Arabic to understand the Koran completely, however, they work against us by translating the Koran into every language. The one I use up here is by Yusuf Ali, which the Saudi Government paid for back in the 1940’s and they still use it. It’s like the Ryrie Study Bible, so to speak, because it comes with all these prodigious notes at the bottom.” (It’s interesting to see that Caner acknowledges relying on a translation of the Koran here.)

“You gather together, for the recitation of the first Surah of the Koran, five times a day. Either you have your prayer rug in your closet, or you have it in your locker at school, or in our case, you would go to the mosque if you lived close enough.” (Interesting to see the locker story mentioned here.)

“The Imam gives a brief Tawhid, um Talib, the Talib is the sermon, but sometimes its just a basic lecture.” (The name for the sermon at the mosque is the Khutbah, which is delivered by the khatib.

“He is usually trained somewhere else, in a madrassa, he has an ulema, umm – err – he has many ulema, uh ulim, he has a couple of muezzin who do the call to prayer …” (As mentioned above, “ulema” is plural, and the singular of that is “alim.”)

“I would venture to say that a large number of Muslims living in America were shocked by 9-11. I say that because we know the doctrines especially those of us that are first generation immigrants, but here in America that’s precisely what they remained. Jihad – the concepts of Jihad – remained doctrine, theology, Khitab-ology, if you may use the term. For those of us from the other world, it’s more than just doctrine, it’s ethic. We learn to live with jihad. You see a bombing at 8 a.m. and by 2 p.m. you’re back to work.” (Caner was raised in America, as mentioned above.)

“I’ve spent the last 17 years of my life totally devoted to systematic theology and studying church history, but I would go around to churches and speak and talk about reaching Muslims with the gospel. And for the most part, churches were very gracious, very accepting. They would pat me on the head and send me out the door and say, ‘isn’t that interesting.’ And then four planes fly, and then thousands of people get in the backs of pick up trucks and drive to Baghdad from Aman Jordan for the singular honor of dying in the cause against America. And people listen.” (It is interesting to see what we can find about Caner’s pre-9/11 testimony, which was discussed at this link.)

Chris Pinto vs. James White – Debate Summarized

December 17, 2013

The Chris Pinto vs. James White debate on whether Codex Sinaiticus is a modern forgery can be boiled down to a few considerations.

1) Constantine Simonides claimed that he wrote the document based on collating pre-existing manuscripts, and that his uncle corrected the document.

Both sides agree that he so claimed. Dr. White demonstrated that these claims are essentially impossible, as explained below.

2) The most sympathetic source for Simonides says that Simonides was not a truthful person.

Dr. White raised this point, and Pinto did not dispute it except to say that this source was not the only supportive source and that the source himself says Simonides did not always lie.

3) There are no known examplars that could have been the source for Codex Sinaiticus.

Dr. White raised this point, Pinto’s response was to point out that the source(s) could be as-yet-unknown manuscripts on Mt. Athos.

4) Codex Sinaiticus was written by several different, distinguishable scribes (as evidenced by different handwriting, different style of abbreviations, and different accuracy of work).

Dr. White raised this point, Pinto did not respond to it.

5) Codex Sinaiticus has corrections by multiple different correctors.

Dr. White raised this point, Pinto did not respond to it except to say that two other men (a monk and a scribe) may have been involved in the corrections.

6) The amount of time necessary for collating multiple manuscripts of the entire Bible (plus some apocrypha) would have been prohibitive in the timeline proposed by Simonides.

Dr. White raised this point, and Pinto responded that possibly his uncle started on the project years before Simonides began.

Additional notes:

1. Regarding the Mt. Athos manuscripts, there is an on-going digitization project (link). At one point, Mr. Pinto alleges that the one way to resolve the mystery was to explore the Mt. Athos library for manuscripts corresponding to Simonides’ claims. He won’t be able to stand behind that argument from ignorance forever.

2. Simonides himself states that the collation began after Simonides himself joined the project, as demonstrated by Dr. White. So, although the uncle allegedly had corrected the other manuscripts in advance, the collation project had not been done in advance, according to the primary source for Mr. Pinto’s theory.

Conclusion

The fact that the manuscript was written by several different scribes and was corrected by numerous additional hands makes it impossible for Simonides’ story to be true. The necessary hypothesis would be that Simonides deliberately altered his handwriting several different times during the writing of the manuscript to give the impression of different scribes. Such a hypothesis is simply implausible – there is no reason for Simonides to do this for the purpose of creating a text for the Tsar (as he claimed).

The fact that collation of documents takes an enormous amount of time, especially when one of the documents is not in the base language (allegedly one of the manuscripts was a Syriac manuscript), also weighs against Simonides claim. While it might be conceivable that such a collation could take place, the necessary time and training for such a collation to be undertaken are simply not there.

The fact that the supposed exemplars of Sinaiticus do not produce the unique readings of Sinaiticus and the fact that some of these unique readings are found in later discovered papyri also weighs against Simonides’ claim.

In view of these facts, it’s hard to see how anyone could come to any other conclusion than that Simonides was not the scribe of Sinaiticus, whether or not Simonides actually did create a manuscript intended for the Tsar.

-TurretinFan


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