Monday, November 19, 2012

The Truth about Constantine Simonides' claim to be the creator of Codex Sinaiticus Pt. 2

Today's radio show by Chris Pinto continues the discussion of the evidence for the creation of Codex Sinaiticus in 1840 by paleographer Constantine Simonides, The Simonides Affair Revisited, opposing the claims for it as an ancient manuscript that undermines the trustworthiness of our Bibles.

In this show he discusses how it came to be at St. Catherine's monastery at Mt Sinai in Egypt where Tischendorf found it many years later.  (I think I'm getting some of my dates mixed up, a few in the last post, so I'll have to correct them later if I'm able), and also how it came to have so many corrections in it, far more than any other Bible manuscript ever had, 14,000 as counted by Tischendorf himself, but 23,000 as counted by the library in England where it now rests.  Some of them were done by Simonides and his uncle as he himself says.  Which ones I wonder?  And how many?  And why didn't they make them in the original which was the basis for the one Simonides was making?

Overall I am convinced that Pinto's presentation of the evidence does support his own conclusion that Simonides is credible and that his reputation was unjustly smeared by those who had a vested interest in treating the manuscript as genuinely ancient. One piece of the evidence is that Tischendorf's story about how he found the manuscript isn't believed even by those who accept it as an ancient manuscript.

Listen to the show.  He covers a lot of issues.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The truth about Constantine Simonides' claim to be the creator of Codex Sinaiticus Pt. 1

Finally, I got to see Tares Among the Wheat (available from Adullam Films).   It certainly lives up to my expectations, does a masterful job of mustering the evidence for Codex Sinaiticus' having been the work of paleographer Constantine Simonides.  The story is that Simonides' uncle Benedict of Mt. Athos monastery in Greece, wanted to present Czar Nicholas of Russia with a fresh copy of the Greek Bible as thanks for the Czar's favors to the monastery.  Simonides had the knowledge and the talent for such an undertaking and found an old but mostly blank book of parchment at the monastery as a foundation for the work and spent a year on the project. 

But as it turned out, the death of his uncle and the unavailability of enough parchment to complete the intended project left the work unfinished, and eventually he was persuaded to give what he had done so far to St. Catherine's monastery at what is supposed by some to be Mt. Sinai, for their library.

Which is where Tischendorf found it a few years later and mistook it for an ancient text, or at least feigned to regard it as ancient although there is some evidence that he knew better.

The information presented in the documentary is quite credible it seems to me, VERY credible, which makes the information to be found from the usual sources to be highly suspect such as this Wikipedia entry on Simonides.  The lies on that page are staggering if what Pinto has presented is true, and I believe it is.  Just one small point:
On 13 September 1862, in an article of The Guardian, he claimed that he is the real author of the Codex Sinaiticus and that he wrote it in 1839. According to him it was "the one poor work of his youth". According to Simonides, he visited Sinai in 1852 and saw the codex.
It is quite clear from the letter Simonides wrote to the Guardian to give evidence that he was the creator of Sinaiticus, that he had done the work over a year at Mt. Athos monastery starting in 1839, and that a year or two later he GAVE the codex to the monastery at Sinai, and that after Tischendorf had published it he saw the Codex in Liverpool in 1860 and recognized it as his own work. 

Apparently there are powers in this world with the intention and the ability to slander a man beyond recognition if it serves their purposes.  After spending some time with Chris Pinto's work it's hard to avoid the impression that there really are true conspiracies in this world, one in particular for certain, or at least many emanating from one source in particular, the Vatican, in the service of their Antichrist project to bring down the true Church of Jesus Christ.

I would like to present more of the facts from the film here and Lord willing I may yet, but let's put it this way:  I have some of the principalities and powers on my own case these days to such an extent that it's hard for me to get anything done at all.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Testimony of Constantine Simonides who claimed to be the author of Codex Sinaiticus

I haven't seen Tares Among the Wheat yet, it must be in my mailbox, hope to get out there soon, but meanwhile Chris Pinto is doing some radio shows giving information about one of the most interesting parts of the film for some of us: the claim by Greek paleographer Constantine Simonides that he was the actual maker of the manuscript Codex Sinaiticus, which is one of the "Alexandrian" texts used by Westcott and Hort in their revision of the Bible in 1881.  

On today's show Chris reads from a letter Simonides wrote to the British newspaper The Guardian explaining how he came to create the manuscript: The First Letter of Simonides.  There was a lengthy exchange of letters and discussion in other publications on this subject that lasted a few years starting in 1862.  Chris reads from a book that contains the whole exchange, titled Codex Sinaiticus and the Simonides Affair. Unfortunately the book is not available online and is extremely expensive to buy outright.

Codex Sinaiticus had been presented as an authentic ancient manuscript by Constantine von Tischendorf, and when Simonides saw it publicized he came forward to tell his story.  He wasn't believed and the Codex is today revered as authentic and is used in the critical texts that underlie our modern Bibles. 

Simonides is usually represented as a professional forger and his testimony about this manuscript is treated as fraudulent but from the sound of it, as Chris Pinto reads his letter on his show, the man is quite credible.  He gives all sorts of particular circumstances connected with his claim -- names, dates, specifics concerning events, even the fact that he had to write around a worm hole in the parchment.

The worm hole is particularly telling it seems to me, since if the manuscript is really as ancient as is claimed by the textual critics, it would originally have been written on fresh parchment and the hole would have eaten into the writing itself later, but apparently it is quite clear that the writing was done around the hole, showing that the parchment was already old when the writing was done, which is consistent with Simonides' testimony.

There will be more on this subject on Chris Pinto's radio show on Monday, so I plan to keep adding to this information.