FRDB Archives

Freethought & Rationalism Archive

The archives are read only.


Go Back   FRDB Archives > Archives > Religion (Closed) > Biblical Criticism & History
Welcome, Peter Kirby.
You last visited: Today at 03:12 PM

Notices

 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 06-12-2013, 07:34 AM   #1
stephan huller
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: seattle, wa
Posts: 9,337
Default June 6, 2013 - the Official End of the 'Forger's Tremor' Argument

When Stephen Carlson changed a lot of people's mind about Mar Saba 65 - the Letter to Theodore (= Secret Mark) he did so principally because he argued that he found a smoking gun, a 'forger's tremor' in the handwriting. The fact that Carlson was a patent lawyer at the time rather than a professional document examiner didn't seem to bother anyone. More strikingly, neither did the question of how Carlson was 'found' these 'forger's tremors.'

Now at long last Roger Viklund and Timo S. Paananen have published Roger's initial findings that Carlson used low resolution images of the manuscript from Smith's printed 1973 book to 'find' the 'forger's tremor.' The peer reviewed article on the handwriting in Clement’s Letter to Theodore has just been published in Vigiliae Christianae - “R. Viklund, T.S. Paananen, Distortion of the Scribal Hand in the Images of Clement’s Letter to Theodore, Vigiliae Christianae 67 (2013), 235-247”.

Quote:
This article discusses Morton Smith’s famous manuscript find, Clement’s Letter to Theodore (including the so-called Secret Gospel of Mark), and critically assesses Stephen C. Carlson’s study of its handwriting (2005). Carlson’s analysis is found to be wanting due to line screen distortion introduced by the halftone reproduction process in the images he used. We conclude that the script in the manuscript of Clement’s Letter to Theodore lacks all and any kind of “signs of forgery”.
http://booksandjournals.brillonline....-brill-live-01

If anything demonstrates how modern scholarship is utterly subjective and has very little interest in truth the fact that so many top notch scholars got sucked into this nonsense about Mar Saba 65 'being forged.'

Just because you don't like the news you shoot the newsman - or try and prove he forged the news!

Congratulations to the two young Scandinavians for arguing for truth. Yet this will still not change the minds of the convinced. They already 'know' that its a forgery because - well - they don't like what it says about early Christianity.
stephan huller is offline  
Old 06-12-2013, 11:40 AM   #2
andrewcriddle
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Birmingham UK
Posts: 4,876
Default

Does the article discuss Agamemnon Tselikas' arguments ? e.g.
Quote:
A big number of lines of the letters and links are not continuous, fact which
means that the hand of the scribe was not moving spontaneously, but
carefully and tentatively to maintain the correct shape of the letter.
The non-spontaneous and non-continuous nature of the handwriting amounts to saying that the text has been carefully drawn rather than written in a normal way.

Andrew Criddle
andrewcriddle is offline  
Old 06-12-2013, 11:45 AM   #3
stephan huller
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: seattle, wa
Posts: 9,337
Default

No they only wanted against Carlson in part 1. Part 2 is against Memos. But there's always the Hunter book if you want "solid proof" Smith was really a pulp fiction character. I say he never even existed.
stephan huller is offline  
Old 06-12-2013, 01:10 PM   #4
Clivedurdle
Contributor
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: London UK
Posts: 16,024
Default

Quote:
The non-spontaneous and non-continuous nature of the handwriting amounts to saying that the text has been carefully drawn rather than written in a normal way.
A forger would get that right, a barely literate monk beavering away in a scriptorium could be almost guaranteed to copy something out like an eight year old!

(Umberto Eco Name of the Rose).
Clivedurdle is offline  
Old 06-12-2013, 01:23 PM   #5
andrewcriddle
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Birmingham UK
Posts: 4,876
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clivedurdle View Post
Quote:
The non-spontaneous and non-continuous nature of the handwriting amounts to saying that the text has been carefully drawn rather than written in a normal way.
A forger would get that right, a barely literate monk beavering away in a scriptorium could be almost guaranteed to copy something out like an eight year old!
If authentic, the original copied by the scribe at Mar Saba was unlikely to have been written in 18th century cursive. (Depending on date, it would probably have been written in medieval minuscule or pre-medieval uncial) I.E. the scribe would be copying the text but not the script.

A forger would probably concentrate on making the letter forms look right even if this meant a loss of speed and spontaneity.

Andrew Criddle
andrewcriddle is offline  
Old 06-12-2013, 01:46 PM   #6
stephan huller
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: seattle, wa
Posts: 9,337
Default

Just to keep it real. From an email earlier this month after I sent him the link to Biblical Archaeology Review page which lists Tselikas's assertions:

Quote:
now I had the time to look through the material you sent to me. I must say that the arguments of Agamemnon Tselikas did not convince me, neither the paleographical nor the grammatical and stylistical nor all the scenario of the maintained forgery. Of course, I am not a specialist in the field, my concern is Byzantium itself, especially 10th to 15th centuries, but it seems to me that it would be worth the trouble to refute the assertions of Tselikas one by one. I cannot do this, because I am involved in another great project (a new edition of Psellos' Chronographia) that tooks all my time. But you are young and interested. Go on!

With my best wishes

Diether Roderich Reinsch

http://www.geisteswissenschaften.fu-...sch/index.html
stephan huller is offline  
Old 06-12-2013, 01:49 PM   #7
stephan huller
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: seattle, wa
Posts: 9,337
Default

And if you don't like German's and prefer Austrians instead:

Dear Colleague,

concerning Your request for further informations about the manuscript Mar Saba 65 I give You the following information. The handwriting You sent is certainly from the late 17th or (better) 18th century. The date given for the main part of this manuscript (17th century) can be seen as a terminus post quem. Unfortunately I do not have more information to answer Your question. An other expert for modern Greek handwriting is Maria Polite, the daughter of the famous Greek palaeographer Linos Polites.

With the best wishes

Prof. Ernst Gamillscheg

Sammlung von Handschriften und alten Drucken

Österreichische Nationalbibliothek

Josefsplatz 1

1010 Wien

Österreich
stephan huller is offline  
Old 06-12-2013, 01:58 PM   #8
stephan huller
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: seattle, wa
Posts: 9,337
Default

I could keep posting these but it is ultimately meaningless. Tselikas's main assertion is that Mar Saba 65 looks more like four manuscripts which Smith saw on his travels than material from Zagoras which the Greek experts Smith consulted said the manuscript resembled. This is so ridiculous that it calls into question his objectivity. He never read Smith's 1973 book. Never read anything ever written in the field (as far as I can determine). From the very beginning - I have emails to show this - he knew the official line on the story (from the Patriarchate) and wrote accordingly.

One should question his close relationship to the Patriarchate itself (he has an office at the main office and once answered the phone when I called the Archbishop Aristarchos). I remember the conversation vividly. Tselikas passed the phone over to Aristarchos who proceeded to question my interest in the document 'why aren't you satisfied with the four gospels given to us by God!' He then proceeded to question my faith in God, ask me if I accept Jesus and the Nicene Creed - all with Tselikas standing in the room.

Give me a break if any of this is science. It's job security on Tselikas's part. He bragged to Hedrick about his closeness to the Patriarchate. And then the manuscript is now lost? Can't find it? He happens to be the only person who studies seventeenth and eighteenth century material - because nothing of any worth is ever found there. Just Greek nationalists and things of interest to Greeks. It reminds me of Quesnell. He went to Mar Saba 'sure' that Smith made up the existence of the manuscript. He got there and then found that all his stupid ideas were refuted when they handed him the MS. He examined it for multiple days. He comes home - does he write a paper about his experience? Of course not. He couldn't find any evidence to bolster his case so he didn't mention the facts which disproved his original accusations against Smith. Very high-minded on his part.

I spoke to Quesnell before his death. He told me that the ink markings that Tselikas points to in his article were not there when he examined the text - he said something like 'I studied the book very carefully. There were no other pen marks or ink in the other pages.' Gee I wonder whether or not a test of that ink will 'prove' (or 'suggest') that the other 'ink' (from the text now missing) is a forgery. Funny how Tselikas tries to suggest the letters match Smith's own handwriting.

And why can't they produce the manuscript? Why? That would solve everything. Dourvas says it is somewhere in the monastery. The monks still say it is somewhere there. But why not actually make efforts to bring it forward and resolve this once and for all if they were really confident it would support the conclusions they support. Like saying that you could beat anyone in a race and then somehow never agree to a match with anyone.

It's silly, silly, silly. The Special Olympics of scholarship.
stephan huller is offline  
Old 06-12-2013, 02:16 PM   #9
andrewcriddle
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Birmingham UK
Posts: 4,876
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephan huller View Post
I could keep posting these but it is ultimately meaningless. Tselikas's main assertion is that Mar Saba 65 looks more like four manuscripts which Smith saw on his travels than material from Zagoras which the Greek experts Smith consulted said the manuscript resembled. This is so ridiculous that it calls into question his objectivity. He never read Smith's 1973 book. Never read anything ever written in the field (as far as I can determine). From the very beginning - I have emails to show this - he knew the official line on the story (from the Patriarchate) and wrote accordingly.
Paleography is something I don't claim to be competent in.

However I think it a pity that Agamemnon Tselikas' detailed analysis of the problematic way the letters and ligatures of Mar Saba 65 were written has been overshadowed by some of his other claims, which although interesting seem rather more speculative.

Andrew Criddle
andrewcriddle is offline  
Old 06-12-2013, 02:25 PM   #10
stephan huller
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: seattle, wa
Posts: 9,337
Default

As I was cleaning the car I came up with another story. A couple of years back when I learned that Dourvas was still alive, I asked my friend Harry who is friends with Tselikas to find out where he was (because he was no longer in Athens). Harry email me back (I still have the emails), Tselikas found out that he was banished to a small mountain village near the Bulgarian border. It was inferred that Dourvas was banished by both men because the Greek Church they told me is like the Greek civil service - they can't fire you, they just move you around (things apparently have changed recently).

Harry started talking about 'misdeeds' of Dourvas, that he was a person of low character - it's all in my emails. In any event, so I start asking here there and everywhere for financing. I get money. I ask Harry when can you and Tselikas go talk to Dourvas? Harry says Tselikas can't be involved in any of this because it would upset the Church. Same thing when I asked about being interviewed for a documentary. Church wouldn't like that.

The point is that I don't have Tselikas telling me any of this. But they are like brothers. It's the next best thing. Tselikas has to be mindful of the Church in order to continue to enjoy the unfettered access to documents and access to monasteries. Bottom line.
stephan huller is offline  
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:24 PM.

Top

This custom BB emulates vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.