Tuesday, Jul. 14, 2009

Von Tischendorf Connived to Get His Hands On It

Eager to abscond with the document he had discovered, German scholar Constantin von Tischendorf spread a story that St. Catherine's monks were tossing Sinaiticus' pages in a basket for fire fuel and said he needed to take leaves from the monastery in order to save them. Biblical scholar David Parker says the idea is bunk. "A basket is a basket is a basket. Monks used baskets to store library manuscripts. And parchment doesn't give off any heat," he told TIME. In fact, monks at St. Catherine's preserved the manuscripts so well that additional Sinaiticus leaves from the Old Testament were found in 1975.