Using some ultraviolet light and photography equipment, a scientist has uncovered a “hidden lost chapter” of the Christian Bible written some 1,500 years ago....CONTINUE READING THE FULL ARTICLE>>>

The discovery was detailed at length in the journal New Testament Studies, in which Grigory Kessel from the Austrian Academy of Sciences (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften/OeAW) revealed the discovery of the hidden scriptures below three layers of text.

Thanks to its rarity back in the day, it was quite common to reuse parchment paper by erasing the original text and writing over it, resulting in a document called a palimpsest.

And as it turns out, this newly-found bit of scripture — an interpretation of the 12th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew — was discovered hidden underneath two layers of rewritten parchment, a double palimpsest, if you will.

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According to the published study, this lost chapter was originally part of the Old Syriac translations of the scriptures translated 1,500 years ago.

Kessel also explained that until recently, only two manuscripts were known to contain the Old Syriac translation of the Gospels — one being in the British Library in London, and the other being a palimpsest discovered at the St. Catherine’s Monastery in Mount Sinai, Egypt.

Following the discovery of a third manuscript which happened as part of the “Sinai Palimpsest Project”, this latest find by Kessel is officially the fourth.

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Now placed securely in the Vatican Library, the new manuscript is a translation from third-century text copied during the sixth century, and other researchers have deemed it a “unique gateway” to the earlier phase of the history of text-based spread of the Gospels.

The text in the manuscript has so far offered subtle yet fresh scriptural insights and revelations that differ from other translations.

One example quote shows the Greek translation of Matthew 12 reading, “At that time, Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath; and his disciples became hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat”, whereas the Syriac translation instead phrases it as, “…began to pick the heads of grain, rub them in their hands, and eat them”.

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While this discovery probably won’t change current-day translations or interpretations of the Gospel in any significant way, this new discovery has nevertheless still been quite exciting for medieval researchers in the field.

“Grigory Kessel has made a great discovery thanks to his profound knowledge of Old Syriac texts and script characters,” said Claudia Rapp, the director of the Institute for Medieval Research at OeAW.

“This discovery proves how productive and important the interplay between modern and digital technologies and basic research can be when dealing with medieval manuscripts..CONTINUE READING>>

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