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Fragment of a 1,750-year-old New Testament translation discovered

Still Waters

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About 1,300 years ago a scribe in Palestine took a book of the Gospels inscribed with a Syriac text and erased it. Parchment was scarce in the desert in the Middle Ages, so manuscripts were often erased and reused.

A medievalist from the Austrian Academy of Sciences (OeAW) has now been able to make legible the lost words on this layered manuscript, a so-called palimpsest: Grigory Kessel discovered one of the earliest translations of the Gospels, made in the 3rd century and copied in the 6th century, on individual surviving pages of this manuscript. 


The findings are published in the journal New Testament Studies.


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A 'hidden chapter' of Bible text written more than 1,500 years ago could provide key insights into how the religious text has changed over time, experts say. 

The new text comprises parts of Matthew 11-12 in the New Testament written in the ancient Syriac language, giving more details than today's standard Gospel text. 

Scientists uncovered the scripture after applying UV light to a manuscript about ancient Christian stories and hymns housed at the Vatican Library. 

Discovery of a hidden Bible chapter written 1,500 years ago is 'fascinating' | Daily Mail Online

Edited by pellinore
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