Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sinaiticus corrections - request for help

I am getting out of shape, I assume, but I could use some opinions (we are getting into a TC version of crowd-sourcing here).

In the following image (more detail here) there are two things I am less certain of.
Issue 1
First is the correction of ην ενδωμησις to η ενδωμησις on the first line(Rev 21:18). I am not completely sure if this is a C-corrector or a first generation one. The cross through the letter is larger than the undisputed C-corrections elsewhere on the page, and there is a large blob at the top of this stroke, consistent with the rather blobby appearance of the main letters surrounding this correction.

Issue 2
The second thing may be a good case of imagining things, but I am willing to throw it in anyway. On line 6, has υαλω been corrected to υελω? Both are of course existing spellings of the word. I see a small epsilon on top of the α, but I seem to be the only one.

Votes in the following format invited:

Issue 1: Suggestion correct / incorrect / I have no clue
Issue 2: Suggestion correct / incorrect / what have you been eating?


  1. Regarding issue 2, it seems like the alpha is a bit shorter than the others in this text. I don't think it is a epsilon as much as the top part of the latter is fading.

  2. Issue 1: suggestion highly plausible. The straightness, length, symmetry, and style of the cross match the original hand more than any other obvious corrections on the page

    Issue 2: suggestion implausible. Compare the flourish (if that's what it is) at the top of the A with the similar flourish at the top of the A in PANTI 3 lines down.

  3. Issue 2: I agree with the others that this is just the edge of the letter A. It looks similar to that elsewhere, esp. see 21 lines above on ΑΥΤΗΣ.

  4. By now convinced that everyone is right about issue 2. Thanks all.

  5. I am not so sure about issue 2, Dirk. There is a horizontal stroke protruding beneath the "blob" of ink. That is clearly a separate stroke that runs all the way through the top of the letter. If you zoom all the way in on the VMR image, you will see a small trace of ink on the right side of the letter, which is the continuation of that stroke. This may well be a canceling stroke. What else could it be? If it is a canceling stroke, then you may be right about the epsilon, which clearly does look like an epsilon.

  6. Issue 1: My impression is that cancellation dots tend to be a bit farther above the line. This looks more like a blot made at the inception of C's cancellation stroke.

    Issue 2: I agree with Brice that there does indeed seem to be a stroke protruding the blobby apex of the alpha. I don't see an epsilon there, though. This may be a mit imaginative, but what if this stroke, which, as it extends, betrays a slightly oblique stroke, is the remaining bottom part of an epsilon that was cancelled by yet another late corrector? Obviouvsly, this suggestion ought to be counted amongst the "whacky" ones.

  7. On #2--It really does look like a small epsilon to me.

  8. From looking at, as well as my NA 28, here are my answers to your two questions:

    1. It appears that the mark located at ἡ ἐνδώμησις was made by a second corrector, not a third. NA 28 and the website seem to confirm as much.

    2. The little blob you suggested appears to me to be a mark like what is seen in other places I checked out on the page of sinaiticus on the website. I'm not going to say you've been eating the wrong food, since you know more about textual critical issues than I do:) I've provided the link to Revelation 21:18 of Sinaiticus for anyone who wants to check. I like the website because you can look at the manuscripts under "standard" or "raking" lighting. Blessings to you!

  9. Issue 2

    Regarding the horizontal line of the "alleged epsilon," notice a similar horizontal line at the tip of the next alpha. Perhaps an effect of fading ink? The other horizontal line extending out from the alpha looks like the end of a flourish from the cross stroke of the alpha.

  10. Hi Dirk,

    Does Tischendorf have anything to say on these two places?

    On 1, I dunno.

    On 2, it sure looks like an epsilon. Is there a corrector who usually uses such small letters?


    Tim Finney