Credibility of Paleography

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by ConsequentAtheist, Aug 20, 2002.

  1. ConsequentAtheist Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,579
    Virtually all early manuscripts are dated paleogrphically. What is the evidence that such dates are credible - for example, to what extent have the resulting estimates be verified via other dating techniques?
     
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. Pine_net Chaos Product Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    483
    Welcome to Sciforums ReasonableDoubt!

    I'm not sure exactly what you mean. Can you give us some more details about what manuscripts you are talking about. Also tell us what you think about dating techniques, credible evidence and whatever else might be on your mind.

    Peace
     
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. ConsequentAtheist Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,579
    Thanks for the welcome.

    My main interest is NT and NT-related manuscripts such as P52 or Papyrus Egerton 2. I'm interested in better understanding what we know to be true about paleographic dating.

    There are more than a few websites such as Dating the Oldest New Testament Manuscripts by Peter van Minnen which provide estimated dates while noting, for example: "Even within the period that runs from c. A.D. 100-300 it is possible for paleographers to be more specific on the relative date of the papyrus manuscripts of the New Testament." I have absolutely no reason to doubt this. At the same time, I have found nothing on the web that addresses the credibility and accuracy of such estimates.

    I was hoping to discover cases where these estimates where confirmed by other means. For example, in dating 7Q5, it appears that the teminus ad quem is likely provided by the Roman conquest. I guess I'm looking for something like a portion of Matthew, paleographically dated to 150 CE, and found along with a scrap of parchment containg the date 163 and the words: "Stop by and pick up some eggs on your way home from the Senate."

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2002
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. Firefly Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,330
    While we're vaguely on the topic ... what's carbon dating?

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  8. TheDon Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    46
    The thing they use to see how old something is.
     
  9. Adam §Þ@ç€ MØnk€¥ Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,415
  10. Firefly Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,330
    Thanks for the link, but it's too much science for my lil brain.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    I thought carbon dating could only be used for... biological substances, or non-bio or something?

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  11. wet1 Wanderer Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,616
    And what would scrolls and books be made of but biological substances?


    As far as I know the most common ways of dating an object are as Adam mentioned, the Carbon 14 method or the other is comparsion. Of the two comparsion is problably the least accurate as it depends upon the experience and knowledge of the one doing the comparsion as to how accurate the determined dating is.

    While undoubtably someone, somewhen, did indeed scribble down a shopping list to remind him/herself to pickup desired items two things come to mind.

    One.
    Most of the populace did not read. They depended on word of mouth more than reading written words. It was only after the invention of the printing press that reading spread to the populace at large. Before that it was for the nobleman, scribe, monk, tax collector, ect.

    Two.
    Because of the rarity of reading/writting of the time very few would have written such. I would imagine that papyrus and inks had to be made for one's use. Weither by slave or by one's own efforts these materials were not readily available just down the street at the store. (unless you were weathly) How many shopping lists you have written in the last 4 years can you produce? The sequence of events that would lead to preservation of such material would seem a lot for something of so little value, whose chance of being saved was slim to begin with.

    Welcome to sciforums, ReasonableDoubt.
     
  12. Firefly Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,330
    I was off-topic, and just wondered if carbon dating was applicable to [i/]everything[/i], or just biological materials. But thanks for clearing it up for me.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  13. ConsequentAtheist Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,579
    Thanks for the welcome.

    With all due respect, much of this sounds like special pleading. After all, I'm not the one making a claim of accuracy. Note the following from Adam's referenced URL:
    I'm simply looking for paleography's "Curve of Knowns". I fully expect that the discipline has been repeatedly validated. I simply don't know where to look to get the information.
     

Share This Page