Pinto’s Dated and Selective “Research”

Recently, I commented on Chris Pinto’s documentary Tares Among the Wheat where he argues that Codex Sinaiticus is a 19th century forgery. It was an egregiously biased documentary interviewing King James Only individuals and using dated and selective material aimed at a predetermined conclusion.

There is one aspect of his documentary that is the most devastating to his conclusion and his credibility in doing fair research: he depends on 150 year-old research! He claims in the documentary that the leading scholars in the 19th century did not have the paleographical expertise and other similar areas of background to make claims about the authenticity of Codex Sinaiticus. This is not true. But for the sake of the argument let us say it is true. The obvious question in any thinking person’s mind should be: what do scholars today say about the authenticity and nature of Sinaiticus? We have obviously made technological leaps in the past 150 years in dating manuscripts, analyzing handwriting, and other means of dating a document to determine its spurious or authentic nature.

Pinto conveniently and selectively ignores what contemporary scholarship says. Or, if he is ignorant of contemporary research in this question, then why is he producing a documentary in the first place! Investigative documentaries—as Pinto is claiming he is doing—is about using the most update research and science.

So either Pinto is intentionally ignoring the facts that he is aware of—which would make him deceptive; or he is incompetent as an investigative researcher—looking for selective evidence that will determine his intended conclusion.

If it is the former, I’d like to draw Pinto’s attention to the important recent research on Sinaiticus that will inform him on the authenticity of Sinaiticus, not depending on 150 year-old claims.

Elliott, J.K. Codex Sinaiticus and the Simonides Affair: An Examination of the Nineteenth Century Claim that Codex Sinaiticus was not an Ancient Manuscript, Analekta Vlatadon 33. Thessaloniki: Patriarchal Institute for Patristic Studies, 1982.

Parker, D.C, Codex Sinaiticus: The Story of the Word’s Oldest Bible (Hendrickson Publishers, 2010).

Jongkind, Dirk. “One Codex, Three Scribes, and Many Books: Struggles with Space in Codex Sinaiticus,” New Testament Manuscripts: Their Texts and Their World (ed. Thomas J. Kraus and Tobias Nichlas; TENTS 2; Leiden:Brill, 2006) 121–35.

Jongkind, Dirk. Scribal Habits of Codex Sinaiticus, Texts and Studies: Contributions to Biblical and Patristic L (Gorgias Press LLC 2007)

Milne, H. J. M. and Skeat, T.C. Scribes and Correctors of Codex Sinaiticus. London: 1938.


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