Bible and carbon dating

The earliest New Testament manuscripts were written on papyrus, made from a reed that grew abundantly in the Nile Delta.This tradition continued as late as the 8th century.Did you know that radiocarbon dating may offer supporting evidence for Noah's Flood?

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The study of biblical manuscripts is important because handwritten copies of books can contain errors. 1008 CE) were the oldest Hebrew language manuscripts of the Tanakh.

The science of textual criticism attempts to reconstruct the original text of books, especially those published prior to the invention of the printing press. In 1947 CE the finding of the Dead Sea scrolls at Qumran pushed the manuscript history of the Tanakh back a millennium from the two earliest complete codices.

Sometimes a group of scribes would make copies at the same time as one individual read from the text.

An important issue with manuscripts is preservation.

The third option was simply to leave them in what has become known as a manuscript gravesite.

When scholars come across manuscript caches, like at Saint Catherine's Monastery in the Sinai (the source of the Codex Sinaiticus), or Saint Sabbas Monastery outside Bethlehem, they are finding not libraries but storehouses of rejected texts possibly evidence that monastery scribes were comparing them to what must have been a master text.

That is part of the reason that scholars are more likely to find incomplete and sometimes-conflicting segments of manuscripts than complete and largely-consistent works.

The task of copying manuscripts was generally done by scribes who were trained professionals in the arts of writing and bookmaking.

That was very common in the ancient world and even up into the Middle Ages; such reused manuscripts were called palimpsests.

The most famous palimpsest is probably the Archimedes Palimpsest.

Some manuscripts were also proofread, and scholars closely examining a text can sometimes find the original and corrections found in certain manuscripts.

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