The ink used for the second retracing of the main text, for
example, appears to be more friable than the one used to write the
original text, suffering from major ink loss.
... There have been two, possibly three, re-tracings of the brown
It would be very helpful if we know how much is purported to be retraced,
the centuries conjectured, and any scribal information. Is 5% of
the text involved, or 95%? Information on these types of
questions (including others like the rebinding) is not always consistent
from the different sources. And as to specifics of the degree of
retracing, and how it is identified (heavy ink?) there simply seems to be
a dearth of information. e.g. The Mark cancel sheet has a number of
dark lines around Mark 15:46 to 16:1, is that a retracing?
If there were large-scale retracing, as in Vaticanus, that could also
influence scribal habits. And you would want verification, e.g. by
ultra-violet, that there is retracing rather than correction. How
do you know an overwrite does not make changes?
In general with the Codex, we have limited information.
Note that we don't have any ink analysis, because we are told, even
though the bulk of the manuscript has been in London, where testing
facilities are sophisticated and available:
"The Codex Sinaiticus inks have never been chemically characterized,
and the type and proportions of ingredients mixed together have never
The CSP site actually references two or
three distinct retracings of the manuscript, or parts of the manuscript,
including the "main text".
QUESTIONS (a few of many)
Do many other manuscripts, other than Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, have this
element of retracing?
Has there been any ultra-violet testing for undertext, other than John
By who and when are the two, three or more retracings conjectured to have
How much is retraced? How do they tell?
Is all visible dark ink considered to be part of a retracing?
And retracing should influence any analysis of "scribal habits"
at the points of retracing. And should be combined with discussions of
the identity of correctors. Retracing of more than a few letters would
likely not be by any of the original scribes.
ENDING OF JOHN
An interesting discussion point would be the ending of John, which has a
very clear and strong ink, and it also has the Tischendorf and
ultraviolet analysis claim that there was a different original text that
excluded John 21:25.
John 21:25 (AV)
And there are also many other things which Jesus did,
the which, if they should be written every one,
I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that
should be written. Amen.
Are any of those retracings involved in this
section of John?
This was the section where Tischendorf had a
curiously exceptional x-ray type of vision. Neither Tregelles or
Burgon thought that there was a different undertext. And Tischendorf was
abusive to the max on this point contra Tregelles.
Any insights you can share on these matters will be greatly appreciated.