Myths about carbon dating
But this is just the date for Codex VII specifically, not for all the Nag Hammadi codices, which must not be simply assumed to have been produced in the very same year or even the very same decade. The book itself provides a discussion of all four fragments found in the covers of Codex VII (pp. Nobody knows what the future might hold, of course.There is apparently some minor controversy regarding a fourth dated fragment, also from Codex VII. 4-5): There are at least some other discussions of the fragments found with the codices: Rethinking the Origins of the Nag Hammadi Library, Monasticism and Gnosis in Egypt, Gnostic Proclivities in the Greek Life of Pachomius and the Sitz im Leben of the Nag Hammadi Library, an article from Edwin M. 428), Essays on the Nag Hammadi Texts: In Honour of Pahor Labib, Les textes de Nag Hammadi, The Facsimile Edition of the Nag Hammadi Codices Volume 15, and some book reviews, including the one above from W. Tait, from Robert Haardt, again from Robert Haardt, and from Bentley Layton. While it is not directly relevant, there is a reference found in the very interesting essay from Nicola Denzey Lewis to something from the general vicinity of Nag Hammadi, at least, among the cemetaries at Gebel el-Tarif, that has been dated with a C-14 radiometric dating test (p. This footnote is to Robinson’s 1979 article “The Discovery of the Nag Hammadi Codices,” p.
This may be an error on my part after a very hasty reading and notes on R Lane Fox’s “Pagans and Christians”.Brown, with the help of a few friends, can even show us charts with the and therefore needed to be calibrated by him), complete with some very specific numbers.The Coptic manuscript of the Gospel of Thomas (and its codex in the Nag Hammadi Library), however, has not been carbon dated by any lab, anywhere, at this time. Brown had come to realize the likelihood that he had made an error (perhaps on his own, or perhaps with someone else pointing it out to him).For a moment, I almost believed it, in the conversations taking place on the Biblical Criticism & History forum.However, I did not take years to figure out that it was completely false.But perhaps the greatest is that these people are using an Ante Nicene chronology which has been defined by the heresiologists.
Nobody is thinking laterally and asking the obvious questions even when the Nag Hammadi Codices – the biggest single manuscript discovery in this area – are dated more than two decades after the establishment of the Christian State. Brown, appear to be, fortunately, free of the contamination of this myth. I have done some searching high and low through sources.
Notice that here, in this more formal presentation, just a hint of uncertainty (in the word “reportedly”) remains: A lot of what follows regards the Gospel of Judas find (but also the Nag Hammadi Library) and a particular thread in which Brown, as a layman, reached out for help with the science and the math (keeping that which was most useful to him), a discussion that ran from November 22, 2010 to March 3, 2011: There may indeed be some merit to the discussion of the Gospel of Judas manuscript and of Codex Tchacos, to which it belongs.
A lot of the issues raised hinge on the difference between uncalibrated C-14 results and calibrated C-14 results, which ones have actually been published regarding the Gospel of Judas, how they should be interpreted, and how one should go from the uncalibrated to the calibrated results in the case of the Gospel of Judas, all of which is best left for another time.
Without raising any very obvious red flags and without promoting a conclusion to which many would object (a fourth century date for the Nag Hammadi codices), the myth went largely undetected.
There was some pushback at first, but apparently the repetition of the legend, along with increasing amounts of detail and certainty expressed, helped the myth to survive so long.
No, I saw it when looking at the peculiarity of that very particular number: 348. It turns out that this particular date has some basis in fact, although it is not a radiometric dating, and it has nothing to do (directly) with the Coptic manuscript of the Gospel of Thomas or its codex, Codex II. Figuring out the median of the probability distribution of its dating is complex, given the presence of three (or four, as we will see) fragments, but simple arithmetic might show that it would lie between 366 CE and 373 CE (adding 25 years to 341 CE and 348 CE, respectively), if not slightly older (given that the 25 years figure above is an average and not a median).