Saturday, May 21, 2011

Roger Viklund Has An Interesting Article on the Handwriting Sample on page 11 of the Mar Saba Ignatius Book

Since I stole this image from Roger I think it only fair that I officially recommend everyone to check out Roger's excellent blog. Viklund's stuff is always interesting and well worth reading. In this post he examines whether we might solve the 'mystery of the Mar Saba document' by testing the ink from the handwriting on p. 11 of the book in which 'the Letter to Theodore' was discovered in 1958. In some ways it really doesn't matter because it sounds like my request to the Greek Patriarchate has already been rejected out of hand. They won't let the book leave the monastery (although I will only find out for certain if I am rejected next week). In any event check out Roger's article questioning Tselikas's assertion that the same hand who wrote these letters wrote Mar Saba 65.

Here's my question of the day. If the monastery officially claims that the Voss edition of Ignatius didn't belong in the monastery in the first place and was only brought from outside into the library, why are they so keen to prevent the book from leaving their possession. I have already offered them a new mint condition copy of the same book to compensate them for the loss of the book, which Tselikas claims, was never belonged in the library in the first place. So what's the big deal? I doubt very much anyone can even use this battered old book that's missing its cover and whose pages are already turning yellow (see images in Tselikas's article).

If someone left a beaten up old book in my car and then over fifty years later someone else came along and told me that they needed to conduct tests on the book and offered me a new copy to replace it, why wouldn't I take them up on their offer? There is something fishy about the claims of the monastery in toto. First, they take the manuscript out of the Ignatius book and claim it got lost. Now they won't release the book to be examined. It should be surprising that a strong xenophobic attitude would be present in a monastery (i.e. a place where people come to 'leave the outside world behind').

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