The Bizarre Story of the Tarragona Palimpsest
- Andrew Criddle,
Thanks. That's a bizarre story alright. If Buchanan's transcriptions of Luke, John, and Acts, saturated with random variations, all came purely from his imagination, that would be psychologically fascinating.
I'm not quite as quick as Metzger, though, to dismiss Buchanan's claims altogether. Looking through the materials about it that I've managed to access so far, it looks like Lake, Lowe (= Loew), and Sanders affirmed that they didn't see any underwriting, but Buchanan similarly affirms that he himself didn't see any underwriting at first, until he saw the pages in special lighting -- from the attic of the Hispanic Society Building in NYC (which must be the skyscraper to which Metzger referred). In one of the articles in "The Oldest Text of the Gospels," there's a claim that J. Rendel Harris confirmed that the codex is a palimpsest.
I've heard of lettering so faint that it could only be seen at a certain time of day. It doesn't seem entirely inconceivable that the Huntington Codex might have underwriting that is easier to see at higher altitudes than at low altitudes (although I don't know why such a thing would ever be the case). Even if there is just a 1 in 1,000 chance that the elaborate text presented by Buchanan was not the product of his imagination, it might be a good idea to take a look at the Huntington Codex under ultraviolet light or x-rays, or at the location where Buchanan claimed to see letters.
Yours in Christ,
James Snapp, Jr.