Dating gospel judas
Paleography—the discipline of analyzing, deciphering, and dating ancient manuscripts—is little known outside of specialized circles.Traditionally, scholars especially use handwriting analysis to date manuscripts.
Actual dated papyri give us concrete evidence for when a particular style of writing was used.asked me some questions this week about the recent revelation that the Gospel of Judas had been authenticated by a number of means.See for the news report, and for Katherine’s article (published 11 April 2013). This will also be published in the later this week.1) What are your thoughts on the authenticity of the Gospel of Judas?Is ink testing and comparison, in your opinion, an adequate method of determining the validity of an ancient text?Of course, the manuscripts do not use our modern dating system.
Instead, they are indexed to the reigns of the Caesars, mention a known person in an official capacity whose dates are known, or speak of astronomical events.
For example, a petition to a government official written in “the 25th year of Marcus Aurelius Severus Antoninus Caesar” was penned in AD 216.
By such fixed dates on some of the papyri, scholars can fix the patterns of handwriting of other papyri to a range of dates.
On such undated papyri, the range can be as short as fifty years.
But Coptic manuscripts are notoriously difficult to date because the handwriting was more stable than Greek manuscripts.
Pinpointing the date to within one hundred years is difficult, if not impossible, in most cases.