[b-hebrew] T-SADE

Barry nebarry at verizon.net
Sun Jul 25 08:03:34 EDT 2010

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Arnaud Fournet" <fournet.arnaud at wanadoo.fr>
To: "James Christian" <jc.bhebrew at googlemail.com>
Cc: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Sunday, July 25, 2010 6:11 AM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] T-SADE

> I'm not a dating expert

Have you tried eharmony.com?  Sorry, it's a bad joke, but somebody had to 
say it. Serious comments below...  :)

>but as far as I'm aware dating was primarily a matter of philology via 
>examining the style of the handwriting. Personally, I'm not sure how 
>objective such a method of dating could be.
> Obviously, nobody is about to give portions of ancient MSS to destructive 
> (and unreliable) dating methods like carbon dating. In summary, if the 
> truth be told we have absolutely no idea of how old the MSS is and don't 
> really seem to have any real scientific basis for dating MSS other than 
> MSS found in archeologically dated sites. But don't even these rely on 
> pottery shard dating? Just how reliable a system is that?
> James Christian
> ***
> Yes we have the right to doubt everything; Maybe it's not a manuscript and 
> it's not in Greek.
> How much are we sure of that? Who saw that manuscript? and who can certify 
> what he saw really was that particular manuscript...

Do I detect just a hint of sarcasm, here?  :)

This sight has a number of links:


Here's a link that actually works to van Minnen's article:


Pretty good article discussing paleography itself:


Of course therer is a subjective element, but please remember that 
manuscripts are archeological artifacts.  The van Minnen article points out 
that there are ancient manuscripts, particularly non-literary papyri, that 
may be precisely dated due to internal evidence (i.e., they are dated by the 
writer of the manuscript himself).  These provide a base line to help the 
paleographer determine the dating and provenance of undated manuscripts...

N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Classics and Bible Instructor, TAA
(2010 Savatori Excellence in Education Winner)
Mentor, TNARS


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