|PRINCIPLES USED TO DETECT FORGED DOCUMENTS.|
• Did they 'suddenly appear' or is there previous reference to them elsewhere in other literature -memoirs - commentaries - letters - documents, etc.?
• What was the source of the document?
• Who discovered them - how were they discovered - in what place were they found - in whose possession - from whom were they initially received - at what time - what is their verifiable history?
• Have the manuscripts been authenticated by a reasonable number and cross section of authorities and experts -past and present?
• Have the documents been compared and evaluated alongside other related authenticated material?
• Have these other related documents been authenticated - or are we comparing forgeries with forgeries?
• How do they check with a list of known historical reference points - major and minor?
• Do they contain any material of a later period that would disqualify them fully or partially?
• Is there evidence of interpolation - where some forged material supplements authentic material?
• Does it contain Information that a forger could, or would, not know about?
• Are there inaccuracies or apparent inconsistencies that cannot be explained?
• Is there a false motive for fabricating the documents; fame: money; personal gain; reputation; deception; rehabilitation of character; or social acceptance?
• Do the documents keep silent where one would expect them to be silent?
• Are its contents consistent with the actions and activities of related persons, and society, of that time and place? Does It copy mistakes and technical errors present In other forged material?
• Do the documents accurately reflect the events, political structure, religious systems, laws, economics, cultures, traditions, personalities, social structure, daily routines, habits, life style, occupations, or education of that time and place?
• Do the documents accurately describe the geography; weather patterns; fauna; flora; architecture; natural disturbances; distants; agriculture etc.?
• Do the documents accurately represent the language; style; diction; terminology; Idioms; expressions; slang; phrases; letters; words of that epoch and social classification?
• Do the documents adopt, in part or in full, a style which is an exception, or variation, to the known style of the author?
• Do the documents possess any telltale elements or agents from another era; marginal comments; letters and style etc; marks; impressions; dates; wax type; paper; glue; binders; strings or markers; parchment; numbers; inscriptions; cutting format; sheet sizes; leather type; covers; containers; wrappers; agents; titles; seals; inks; impediments; foreign material; blotches?
• Does associated or peripheral material associated with documents reveal anything?
• Do documents reveal a continuity of writing pattern and style; flow; motion of lines; spelling; grammar Ink type; pen wear; hand pressure? If not Is there any adequate explanation for the above?
• Is the quality and nature of the documents consistent with the means; character and nature of the community or person?
• What was the previous acceptability and impact of the documents?
• Are there any relevant technical discrepancies; errors; signs of tracing variations in capitals; works; letters and other criteria (i.e. variations in angle and slope of letters, etc.)?
• Do the documents reflect authenticity; personality; reality; living qualities; life?
• Do any, or all, of the central elements appear to be written at the same time by the same hand or is there evidence of discontinuity? If so, why?
• Does it read in the way you would expect people to write?
As has already been
shown in the Manuscripts and Legal-Historical Method sections, the Biblical
records meet this high criteria. This is affirmed by a broad range of
scholars who are specialists and leading authorities in this field, including
F. F. Bruce, John Warwick Montgomery, A.N. Sherwin-White and others, as
quoted in other sections dealing with the Biblical manuscripts.