On such undated papyri, the range can be as short as fifty years.
But Coptic manuscripts are notoriously difficult to date because the handwriting was more stable than Greek manuscripts.
Handwriting changes over time, and ancient Greek papyri, of which there are hundreds of thousands still in existence, give us plenty of illustrations of these changes.
Actual dated papyri give us concrete evidence for when a particular style of writing was used.
Second, when we hear the word ‘authentic’ regarding an early sub-Christian writing it is natural to conclude that authentic = true as regards the historicity of the Christian faith. All that is being claimed is that the manuscript really was produced in the late third century.1) What are your thoughts on the authenticity of the Gospel of Judas?Is ink testing and comparison, in your opinion, an adequate method of determining the validity of an ancient text?—Charles Ginenthal, 1997 Many of the most obvious conflicts between science and religion involve timing issues—the dating of events in Earth’s history. Scott wrote: “It has long been acknowledged, though not always fully acted upon, that radiocarbon dating measurements are not definitive, i.e. “If a C14 date supports our theories, we put it in the main text.Bible chronologies typically list Adam and Eve at about 4,000 BC. they do not produce precise age estimates.” Failing to acknowledge this lack of precision, a Nova program that aired in 2009 showed a paleontologist who had found a skeleton of an extinct animal deep in a cave. If it does not entirely contradict them, we put it in a foot-note.