Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Charles W. Hedrick ponders the new information from Agamemnon Tselikas in BAR

In the recent posting of a group of files on the BAR website, Agamemnon Tselikas has given us a great deal of new information to ponder about Clement’s Letter to Theodore. I must say, however, that I looked in vain among the mass of raw data and his personal opinions for the string of a critical argument leading logically to a particular conclusion where all points have supporting documentation that can be verified. Here is one example. Professor Tselikas is clearly an experienced scholar in his field and I thank him for what he has given us. Nevertheless, he tells us in his “C. Palaeographic Observations” that “one observes some completely foreign or strange and irregular forms that do not belong to the generally traditional way and rule of Greek writing” (#4). For readers properly to evaluate his judgment his statement should be supported by a demonstration of exactly what the “traditional way and rule of Greek writing” are. That is to say: he should lay out for his reader the comparative data by which he arrives at such a conclusion. Without such evidence he is simply asking the reader to trust that he is correct. In any case, even if the scribe of the letter does deviate from customary practice here and there, it only demonstrates that this particular copyist was not as accomplished as what Tselikas is suggesting is the practice of most professional scribes; it does not demonstrate that the letter is a forgery.

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