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Crowder asks what unique circumstances may have led to just a few fragments
being oxidized. How do we know only a few have been oxidized over the
centuries? How many fragments are now available in color plates? How many
have been examined? What circumstances have attended their storage? How
have they been handled? These are questions Tom Simms asked but which have
not been answered.
In short, these fragments MAY NOT be the only ones that have suffered
oxidization. Further, such arguments as posed by Crowder and Goranson may
turn to bite them- for if they maintain that scribes did indeed use colored
inks, why are there no other examples? (every question is a two edged sword
which may return to cut the questioner).
I will state it simply. The fragments we have been discussing have suffered
oxidization or some other natural process. Other fragments may have
undergone the same process- we simply do not know. They may have been
destroyed. They may have only been photographed in black and white. They
may now be lost (as many fragments are!). Those who argue for scribes using
colored inks must, by virtue of the fact that it is their thesis, give a
reason why. We wait....
Jim West, ThD
Quartz Hill School of Theology