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Posted by / 08-Aug-2020 09:10

Myths about carbon dating

In articles that I have authored I have stated that the NHC have been C14 dated to 348 CE plus or minus 60 years.

This may be an error on my part after a very hasty reading and notes on R Lane Fox’s “Pagans and Christians”.

All their supposed problems would be cast into a new light if they momentarily considered the texts of the NHC and the so-called “Christian Gnostics” as Post Nicene authors who are reacting to the political nature of the Constantine Bible. Brown on the subject, it remains part of the erroneous website presentation, as of March 2015. Most sources regarding the Nag Hammadi Library, especially those not directly involving P. It is not currently present in Wikipedia, for example. This includes searches of Jstor, Google Books, Google Scholar, and my own Biblical Criticism & History custom search engine, using a variety of terms along with “Nag Hammadi” such as “C-14,” “C14,” “carbon,” “radiocarbon,” “radiometric,” etc.

What started as a defensive counterpoint, to deflect a claim that some of the codices at Nag Hammadi may contain manuscripts dating before the Council of Nicaea, has finally evolved into a triumphant posture, seizing upon the objectivity of the dating attributed to the Nag Hammadi codices and using it to show the blinkered lack of vision of those who are not “asking the obvious questions.” While the C-14 aspect of it has been shed in most recent communications from P. It does seem to have affected the Religious page on Religious implications of data derived from C-14 testing, however, although in a muted way (November 21, 2011): Which is half-right, of course, and completely right if you lean on the meaning of the word “allows.” Codex Tchacos, with the Gospel of Judas, has been subjected to C-14 tests. The phrasing, however, suggests familiarity with Brown’s webpage. The result is that nothing shows up in these search engines.

Brown comes out swinging with a particular date of his own in reply to a particular claim by rlogan, who wrote (June 15, 2006): Since the Nag Hammadi finds are carbon dated c.360 CE, and this date is after Nicaea, while we may infer such texts are earlier according to the mainstream theory of history, we may also not make this inference.

The citation I had earlier sourced for the g Thomas was a carbon dating citation on the binding of the spine of the book, which returned 350 CE.

For Brown, this was a citation regarding the C-14 dating of the bindings of a codex of the Nag Hammadi Library.

Brown would go on believing this (and repeating this) for several years.

Adding any other factors into consideration in dating this codex (other than these dated papyri) would add yet more complexity.The Myth Becomes Mythical Data This myth would prove to be of great importance to Brown, and it became one of the cornerstones of his idiosyncratic project to re-date large swaths of early Christian literature, including the texts found at Nag Hammadi, after the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE. Brown, as their first result (the most relevant one, according to Google’s algorithms): (And now the page has gotten another link, boosting its place in the results. Possibly because it is talking about something nobody else is, so it gets a lot of links.Anyone searching “carbon dating Nag Hammadi” or anything similar into Google will hit this page, from P. Unfortunately, part of what it is saying is not true, which explains why it’s not being said more often.) There we find this very specific form of the myth, now replete with references to the “second codex (NHC 2.2)” and given the specific date with margin of error of “348 CE plus or minus 60 years.” Here we see further assimilation of the legend of Gospel of Thomas’ C-14 dating to the actual C-14 dating of the Gospel of Judas, which also was given a margin of error of /- 60 years in the widely-publicized reports.Roger Pearse replies (August 4, 2001): This early “fifth century” form of the legend does not recur much, if at all, but in 2006, we find another spotting of the claim of “carbon dating of the Nag Hammadi literature,” although without any specific date, and it is to be quite significant for the development of this urban legend. Brown (June 8, 2006): This is the oldest dated sighting of the “fourth century” form (AKA the “mountainman” form) of the legend. These appear to be the following: 1) Binding on the text – gospel of Thomas (to 350 CE) 2) Binding on the recent gospel Judas (to 280 CE /- 60 years) Notice the amount of uncertainty above (“there appears to be” and “these appear to be”).The Making of the Myth In reply to this quote from P. Notice that in the oldest sighting, there is no particular date given. The next day, this claim is repeated in the same thread with slightly more detail but still with some uncertainty.

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Regardless, this supposed fact is not only being used to argue that Browns’ project is possible but also, further, that it is somehow probable, starting with myths and proceeding through fallacies to arrive at a “hypothesis” that most would not even give the respect of such a neutrally-worded term. Yet he let the presentation with its misinformation remain on his website, unchanged, for another three years.