Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sinaiticus & Mark's Ending (Pt 4): WIllker

Obviously in the previous post, Kirsopp Lake wasn't impressed with the identification of "Scribe D" of Sinaiticus as the scribe of Vaticanus.   But before accepting that judgment, based on the style of the main text of the two MSS, we should note one other piece of evidence, which if nothing else, seems to tie the two MSS together at the scriptorium again.

We mean the colophons of both MSS.  These are essentially a kind of 'decorative signature' placed at the end of books by the scribe, although it is not as identifiable or as unique as a modern signature or fingerprint.  The following few samples are borrowed from W. Willker's page on the colophons of Vaticanus, which we can contrast with a good photo of the ending of Mark (placed below):

colophon of 1st John

colophon of 1st Peter

colophon of 2nd Peter

Enhanced colophon of Deuteronomy (Willker)

Colophon of Colossans
All are apparently by the same scribe, the scribe of Vaticanus.  (Willker has colored in the colophon of Deuteronomy to make it easier to see.)

Note that the scribe doesn't stick to the exact same pattern, but varies his doodle artistically, sometimes with dots, other times with scrolls, longer/shorter etc.  However, all these examples have some unique features in common, such as the chosen swirl shapes and use of dots etc. which should be carefully compared with the colophon for Mark written by "scribe D" below:
Contrast Enhanced

Codex Sinaiticus: Mark Colophon

Most textual critics are convinced these may be by the same hand, or at least represent a practice by the same group of scribes in the same scriptorium.
This extra evidence indicates the question of the identification of the "scribe D" of Sinaiticus with that of the scribe of Vaticanus may not be entirely without foundation.


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