Codex Sinaiticus - the facts

Steven Avery

Well-known member
All scholars today with only very few exceptions such as Donaldson, i.e. from Zahn ("Der Hirt des Hermas") in 1868 onwards, accept that Maximus is the preferred reading.

If a scholar accepts the bogus Tischendorf date for Sinaiticus, their conclusions have no weight, since Sinaiticus wrongly becomes the #1 authority.
For Zahn, see p. 4.

The only possible exception would be if they actually addressed the Tischendorf and Donaldson objections to the early dating of Hermas.

The good news is that you are learning about circular, presuppositional "deeply entrenched" Sinaiticus "scholarship."
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Steven Avery

Well-known member
motivated by an animus promoting a wild conspiracy theory (even KJVO), rather than the cause of objective truth

This blah-blah when you are struggling with the actual factual linguistics is a bit humorous.

You are wildly making multiple weak conjectures to try to explain the Vulgata text and what is the original Greek, as I explained.


Well-known member
This blah-blah when you are struggling with the actual factual linguistics is a bit humorous.

You are wildly making multiple weak conjectures to try to explain the Vulgata text and what is the original Greek, as I explained.
He is being very reasonable. You are making fun of his logical explanations like some immature kid. Maturity is called for. Even if you disagree.


Well-known member
Thanks for demonstrating 100% that you are not in any sense Christian, as in your recent wacky and sick vulgar sex life post.

I'm being told this by an individual (you never have told us your pronouns btw) who not only rejects the Triune God (but doesn't want to declare that) and would be burned at the stake by the translators of the English Bible he defends for his heresy.

That would give gaslighting a whole new term.

Just know this - I've been called far worse by far better.

Here, your attack on forum moderation is reported.

I didn't attack any forum moderation. But since you brought it up, I guess you're still sore about the six months you got banned from this place in 2010 for attacking a moderator is what gave rise to this.

Remember folks: it's ALWAYS projection with Mr Anti-Vaxxing Can't Read Biblical Languages Fake Moon Lander.

Your posts are in a sense a wonderful test of CARM moderation.

Your crying about being attacked after the insults you unleash is a wonderful revelation of your lack of personal character, too.

Remember boy, I'm only here for your elementary-level COMEDY, not any sort of scholarship.

I'll read books by people who have actually written them or better yet COLLATE MY OWN MANUSCRIPT if I want to know something.

Why? Because unlike you I can do all the things you pretend on this forum to do.


Well-known member
There are much higher research priorities.

In no world of scholarship does "I put this phrase into Google and found something" translate into research.

You have literally never performed research in your entire life.
Feel free to ask for commentary from Arabic epigraphical and palaeographical experts. In my experience they have not weighed in on Sinaiticus.

Individual who rejects experts about infectious disease, space exploration, explosives, and nuclear bombs now says people should go ask experts.....


Well-known member
It was explained to you, but the non-Christian rants caused the thread to be deleted.

Not true.

You being a toddler bully who thinks it's okay to insult people but then goes crying to the teacher when you get belted in return is the only reason the thread got deleted.

That and the fact your conspiracy theory regarding the moon landing was flirting with sociopathic territory.

I have my bookmarks from that thread, on a puter that is out of commission for a day or three, and I have the information summarized in a special writing.

And no life as well.

You cherry-pick your quotes,

Gaslighting alert!!!

since the Vulgata Hermas is generally considered hundred of years earlier than the Palatine.

By whom? The same experts who date Sinaiticus to the fourth century??

The issue is not what is given "authority", the issue is the indications that the Sinaiticus Greek is in various spots, indicative of having a Latin-->Greek transmission history And that, in cases like Maximo, the Latin is the Palatine.

Every time I read this nonsense, it becomes more obvious you don't even understand the BASICS or know how to use beginner tools of research.

Here's a hint: do you know how to use BDAG? Do you even know what it is?

When you go through the Tischendorf arguments,

Why would I go back 150 years or more and PRETEND NOTHING HAS BEEN DONE SINCE THEN?

Only a complete idiot would so something like that.

you have to drop any where Sinaiticus does not have text, also any where the Athous and Sinaiticus texts differ. You are still left with a good number of strong attacks against the dating of the Athous (and Sinaiticus) manuscripts. These attacks by Tischendorf were made before 1859, so they have a special "clean room" element.

The only thing the above paragraph tells me is you still believe in some sort of magical "Abracadabra" as if you simply making assertions makes something so.

That paragraph above is mindless, inductive and quite frankly a waste of your and everyone else's time.

Do you have anything other than ASSERTIONS that any of us can make?


Well-known member
This blah-blah when you are struggling with the actual factual linguistics is a bit humorous.

You are wildly making multiple weak conjectures to try to explain the Vulgata text and what is the original Greek, as I explained.
Your attempt to deceive the world as to Sinaiticus Hermas being translated from the Palatine somewhat resembles Simonides trying to dupe the world that he wrote Sinaiticus.


Well-known member
You didn't mention your skill with Latin. Care to answer?

I'll show you what his skill in Latin is...or better yet is NOT - it's as bad as his French botchery:

That was a snapshot in time from 9/15/12 of some previous insanity he posted.

Then there's November of 2015 here on CARM that was documented on BDVD in February 2016 about how Avery falsely claimed Colbertinus as an Old Latin witness for the Comma Johanneum, and which he simply pivoted and acted like he didn't get it absolutely wrong.

He's not doing any better right now.

Let me put it this way: any time he argues Latin, it's more ridiculous than when he argues Greek, and he has never studied either one.

(He always whines about CARM posts disappearing, but the ones I've recorded on BVDB in real time don't exactly put him in the best light).


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The reason for the current priorities.

Discovered amazing connections between Sinaiticus text and correctors and manuscripts.

Yes, anyone with an apparatus can look and see "hey, Sinaiticus and this manuscript share the same reading!"

Normal people realize that's not the same thing as proving this manuscript was at Athos and Simonides wrote Aleph.

These were largely overlooked till late 2022.

No, they were in the apparatus years ago. The fact you just now noticed this doesn't mean anyone else overlooked it.

Working with the gentleman with special language skills,

This is the old "I know a guy who is smart."

Problem is - unless you're smarter than he is, you have no way of gauging his skills in any competency.
And if you were smarter than he is at those competencies, you wouldn't need him in the first place.

who was with me on the James Snapp debate.

Kirk DiVietro?

This is your big scholar? Pardon me while I laugh......

Looked more into the special situations, like the rubrications, formatting and headings of Song of Songs.
Have time and health by the grace of God to be on the projects.

I continue on other elements as well, but this has been the priority interests, and will likely stay that way for awhile.

You just used a hodgepodge of sentence fragments to say nothing at all.


Well-known member
Maximo does not arise from a Latinism, it comes from an error in the Latin tradition, and it does not explain the magna in the Vulgata. I pointed this out to you numerous times and you only threw sand.

You keep making claims despite not knowing either language.

Again - there's a reason you're here where you can get away with this juvenile nonsense and not actually presenting to a group of people who would laugh you out of the room at your claims.


Well-known member
NO. I gave the general scholarly consensus that the original Greek text of hermas is unrecoverable. However, as to Maximo, the evidence from the Greek manuscripts is that Maximo is the correct rendition, largely due to the Palatine following the extant Greek manuscripts.

It never ceases to amaze me how someone says something and he reads something into the post that isn't there but is, well, really all he understands and so he attacks what he understands as opposed to what is actually said.

It's an embarrassment quite frankly.


Well-known member
Donaldson "A Critical History of Christian Literature Vol 1", p310: "The Palatine accounts well for the origin of Maximo in the Sinaitic Greek, but it is not possible to account for the common 'magna' if Maximo has been orignally in the Greek."

The flaw in this nonsensical argument by Donaldson is straightforard to grasp: how did "Maximus" get into the Palatine if it wasn't originally in the Greek? To which Donaldson has no answer. And the "Palatine" has got to account for the origin of Maximo in multiple Greek manuscripts which all differ from one another in other respects (as inferred by Donaldson) which is even more improbable.

It's not surprising that no-one credits Donaldson's fallacious logic today.

Donaldson was wrong on almost everything he said - not because he was a bad scholar or anything but because his tools and access to some things were limited. He truly thought some words weren't found in Koine Greek that subsequent studies have shown WERE in Koine Greek. This is not because he was dumb or anything but he was limited by the time in which he lived. It's like those morons who for years argued that Mark couldn't possibly end at verse 8 "because you can't end a sentence (or book) with GAR" and then in 1972 one was discovered.

I informed Avery of this no less than four years ago (July 30, 2018) that his assertions regarding Donaldson are wrong.

He's never acknowledged it, never done the research, never admitted he's wrong to keep saying this.

Every one of you ought to just save the link above and put it in your responses to him regarding Donaldson.

Donaldson's arguments are dead and gone and ain't coming know, like Donaldson himself.

Truth: Donaldson did not advocate the 19th century date for Sinaiticus, either.

(Has anyone else noticed he keeps quoting folks left and right who disagree with his conclusions but pretends their arguments support his desired conclusion? Nongbri, Donaldson, Shenton, all of them).


Well-known member
This blah-blah when you are struggling with the actual factual linguistics is a bit humorous.

You are wildly making multiple weak conjectures to try to explain the Vulgata text and what is the original Greek, as I explained.

Remind me where you studied linguistics?????

And again.....those assertions from a guy who thinks NASA and the government all conspired to pull off several fake moon landings and the Apollo 13 emergency really kinda make us know that irony can be pretty ironic.


Well-known member
Here's part of that old article which has a bearing on the non-existent Athos exemplar:

The Journal of Sacred Literature and Biblical Record
Volume 3

Page 232, Paragraph 4/5 (beneath the line) through to Page 234.

See after: "Sir, - Mr Hodgkin seems to imagine..."​

“ Sir,—Mr. Hodgkin seems to imagine that his letter dooms me to annihilation. He has upset my facts, shewn the weakness of my reasoning, and
my animus. I am so much of an Englishman, however, as not to know when I am beaten, and, so far from being discomfited by Mr. Hodgkin’s withering scorn, I am ready to continue the fight, and to hail him as an ally. He has supplied me with a fact which materially strengthens my case. I had come to the conclusion, for reasons which I will now give, that before the 7th of October, 1862, Simonides was unacquainted with the Codex Friderico-Augustanus, which is known to be a part of the same MS. as the Codex Sinaiticus.

  1. On the 7th of October, 1862, Simonides came into the Cambridge University Library. The facsimile of the Codex Friderico-Augustanus was put before him. Every one who is acquainted with that MS. knows that at the end of 2 Esdras, and again at the end of Esther, is a note to the effect that it [i.e. the Sinaiticus] had been compared with the extremely ancient copy corrected by the hand of the holy martyr Pamphilus. Simonides was asked, ‘Have you at Mount Athos the very copy which Pamphilus himself corrected’? He was unable to answer at the time, but came next day with a lame story that they had, not the original of Pamphilus, but a copy.'
  2. He was asked, ‘How is it, if your MS. was deposited at Mount Sinai in 1841, that within two years and a half—that is, by May, 1844—it was found in the mutilated condition described by Tischendorf?’ ‘This he could not explain.
  3. Simonides, in his letter to the Guardian of the 3rd of September, 1862, claims to have seen his own MS. again in 1852. He simply says it was ‘much altered, having an older appearance than it ought to have.’ In 1840 he had had it newly bound. In 1844 it was entirely disintegrated, every vestige of binding had disappeared, and large proportions of the MS. were lost. Had he seen the MS. in 1852, he could not have described its condition as he has done.

NOTE: Has Simonides "copy" with the 2nd Esdras and end of Esther note about Pamphilus, that he lamely spoke of, ever been found at Mt Athos? He testified "they had" ("they" being Mt. Athos) "a copy".

NOTE: Emphasis added by me above.

Steven Avery

Well-known member
Your attempt to deceive the world as to Sinaiticus Hermas being translated from the Palatine

Often, like in Tobit and Song of Songs, Sinaiticus is a mixture of Greek and Latin sources, and back-translation to Greek a part of the mix. This would apply to Codex Athous and Sinaiticus in Hermas. It does not make Sinaiticus as translated from the Palatine, that would be a section-by -section consideration. The New Testament also has quirky Latinisms as well.
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Well-known member
In response to christ_undivided's query about Avery's knowledge of Latin, this is a fantastic example.
You'll note the same specious methodology - including things that make it obvious he is critiquing something he did not even bother to read.




Here, I would like to look at a short section from Jacobus Hendrik Petzer (University of South Africa, Pretoria) on the Latin Bible. This is a little more abstract that the recent Bruce Metzger studies on the Old Latin, where we were mainly dealing with very specific, unsupported assertions by Metzger. Here we are talking, and questioning, more the general approach to the textual evidences. Note: I have seen the following section used (and this may not have been Petzer's intention at all) in an aggressive way to simply dismiss Latin evidences! And this from a student studying under a major textual scholar. Thus I believe the Petzer section warrants careful review, for strengths and weaknesses. I move ahead on this most happy to be corrected or answered on any points that I raise, as a simple plowman trying to work through somewhat turgid scholastic argumentation.


....It is in this aspect that one can judge the value of this (Latin) version for the reconstruction of the history of the Greek text. Again Fischer has aptly dealt with the theory of this matter in his brief survey of the Old Latin NT, and I need not repeat it here; 49 it will suffice to refer briefly to the two main points of the theory. The first is that the Latin version does not have any direct bearing on the "original' text" (autographs) of the NT. It is much too late for that.

This is stated in an awkward and anachronistic manner. Nothing past the 1st century has any direct bearing on the autographs. Not quotes by Justin Martyr or Cyprian, not Codex Vaticanus. If anyone can explain the relevance of this point #1, I would find it interesting. Manuscript theory is based on reflections of the autographs, their lineage, not upon influencing the autographs. The Latin could NOT have influenced the autographs because INFLUENCE denotes FIRST OCCURENCE. Obviously as Latin translations are AFTER the GREEK ORIGINAL, Steven knows this is a stupid argument. Why he opts to pull garbage like this, only he knows.

Its only value as a direct witness, therefore, is to the history of the Greek text, insofar as it had contact with that history.

Again, simply an obvious truism if the autographs are Greek. (Although it should be pointed out that Mark's autograph could just as well have been Latin as Greek, or a Graeco-Latin dialect, or two versions).

Second, it is not so much the individual Latin witnesses that are important for reconstructing the history of the Greek text, but rather the text-types because they represent a revision on the basis of (a) Greek MS(S). This point is important, since it is only the text-type that had consistent contact with Greek evidence.

It this text-type assertion is questionable. Even more so since text-types are very fluid, especially in Old Latin manuscripts, which also have a small manuscript count to contend with.

"Text-types are thus identified by means of differences in patterns of vocabulary and diction in the different Latin witnesses as well as differences in their relation to the Greek text. This specific definition of text-type used in this research makes the research both easier and more difficult. It makes it easier in the sense that one works with a more defined or dixed definition of what one is to search for. What makes it more difficult, however, is the state of the evidence, since it is clear what is available today represents only a small part of what once existed and that this part does not come from the main line of developments. The MSS, representing what is called the direct tradition, are not only fragmentary but also often very late. This makes it difficult to decide where and how particular MSS relate to others. What makes the matter worse is that almost every MS is of a mixed nature. Most probably not one single 'pure' Latin MS of the first millennium has survived. Every VG MS of the period contains OL readings in a greater or lesser extent, and every OL MSS seems to have been contaminated to some extent by Vg readings. Even in the MSS with a predominantly OL text, apparently few contain a text that represents one of the OL text-types 'purely.' They are all mixed." (119)


Well-known member
Petzer is obviously aware of this,so why is he channelling research into text-type concepts that barely function?And, practically speaking, what does this assertion mean, and can it ever be given a meaningful application ? What text-types are Petzer referring to, and how are they to be represented?

"The state of the extant evidence also means that one has to take individual view of the history of each book, for the Fathers that seem important witnesses to text-types of one book do not cite from another at all." (120)

"Not only does one find that one book has no trace of evidence of a text-type that is well documented in another, but often a single witness attests to two text-types with differing qualities in two different books. It is impossible to use the same symbols for denoting text-types in all the editions, for the witnesses and qualities of the identifiable text-types differ." (120)

"Tertullian's text is consequently represented by the symbol X in the Vetus Latin editions. Only with the citations of Cyprian, the bishop of Carthage in the mid-third century, does one start to tread on firmer ground, for it is clear that Cyprian cites from an identifiable text-type - probably the first textus receptus of the Latin Bible - not least because these citations can often be realted to MSS. The association of Cyprian with Africa has led to this text being called the African text...It is denoted by the symbol K in the Vetus Latina editions." (121)

"It is from this mixture, characterizing the state of the text in the fourth century that the Vg was produced. Unlike its character in the OT, where it represents a new translation from a Hebrew Vorlage, its character in the NT is that of a revision of a European text. In general it seems as if it represents a revision of some witness(es) to the I- (in Paul and Acts) or T-texts (in the Catholic epistles), but it also reveals ties with other Europeran texts." (121)

Are there some special, secret Critical Texts that exist that we do not know about? And why are these text-types more meaningful than their component elements? In other words, why is Petzer implying that, while it may make sense to talk about some Old Latin manuscripts, text-type glasses is in some way superior to, and even necessary?

"It is important to see that each text-type represents only one Greek witness, the one that is assumed to have formed the Vorlage on which the revision was based."

"With respect to the OL tradition, however, a text-type is defined somewhat differently than in the textual criticism of the Greek NT. In the latter it refers to forms of text that developed largely as as result of copying mistakes. In the former it has a more formal definition and refers in general to revisions and/or new translations of the Vorlage, whereby a deliberate attempt was mde to revise an existing version." (118-19)

Rather than sharing precisely what is in each Old Latin manuscript. After all, often in a study there are only 10 Old Latin manuscripts involved anyway and they are virtually impossible to classify in any regular system.

"What do these editions look like? Their overarching goal is to present as comprehensive and as detailed a picture as possible of the evidence concerning the (Old) Latin Bible up to the ninth century. Consequently, the editions include the redaings of all Latin MSS with an at least predominantly OL text and all Vulgate (Vg) MSS up to the ninth century. In a patristic apparatus every citation from and allusion to the Latin Bible in ecclesiastical writings up to this time are recorded in full." (115).

And it is unclear to me at this pointalso if Petzer is trying to apply this to the Vulgate. Petzer does mention the Peregrinus, Alcuin and Theodolf revisions, but what he considers textually significant is not stated. Let us remember what Petzer is not saying. The Old Latin line was developed way before, and largely independent of, Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, and any precursor Alexandrian papyri. Petzer is also not mentioning that Jerome's textual analysis would have included Greek and Latin manuscripts from before B and Aleph. So I wonder, why all the effort to awkwardly hand-wave their significance? (at least in this section of this paper).

No doubt individual Fathers and scribes did have passing contact with Greek evidence,

This I believe is a major understatement. In the early centuries bilingual skills were commonplace among the early church writers.
Petzer mentions the case of Tertullian where even today it is unclear whether he was quoting Greek or Latin manuscripts. Such bilingual elements are commonplace.

and this contact did influence their Latin text on occasion. But that this contact was in passing and inconsistent makes it worthless for reconstructing the history of the Greek text, as it cannot really be evaluated.

This is a conceptual category confusion by Petzer. The issue of such influence is not so much that it can be pin-pointed,
but simply that it adds to the authority of the Latin text, since it was not being read and copied in isolation. There was not individual vectors of transmission as might be theorized say for the major Syriac versions, where, after each version was translated, the textual transmission was largely uninfluenced by Greek. Thus the Petzer hand-wave is what is itself "worthless".

Furthermore, in evaluating the evidence of these text-types, it is important to see that each text-type represents only one Greek witness, the one that is assumed to have formed the Vorlage on which the revision was based.

This is another strained exposition. First, I would like a list of the text-types. Second, with all the Latin-Greek interplay (including dual-language manuscripts like Bezae, why would you impose an artificial limit. However, the most puzzling aspect is this. Say you count three Old Latin text-lines and have them "represent" 3 Greek witnesses of, say 200 AD. This would make the evidence incredibly significant, far more important than any Greek manuscript, Vaticanus included. So why not state that truthful understanding?

"From a thematic point of view the most serious problems seem to be age-old. The first is the problem of the origin of the Latin version - where, when, why, how? Traces of a Latin Bible have been found fairly early in the second cnetury - well before Tertullian. There is, however, no direct evidence thereof, neither in MSS nor in citations, cine up to Tertullian most Fathers still wrote in Greek. Consequently it is still not possible to form a comprehensive picture of when, where, or why biblical passages were translated into Latin for the first time. Second, the most important biblical citations in the writings of Tertullian need to be assessed comprehensively, since Tertullian is the first to cite from the Bible consistently in Latin. But these citations do not fit into the rest of the Latin tradition." (126)

The Latin version's relation to the Greek text is, as can be seen, fairly complicated, fluctuating between the Alexandrian and Western texts.

And this is of course circular to the famous Hortian Box-out of the majority Greek evidences.
Which has been artfully dismembered by Professor Maurice Robinson and other writers and is barely worth more than a circular