Archaeology & History
Long-lost 1,500-year-old Bible chapter discovered using UV light
By T.K. Randall
April 12, 2023 · 1 comment
The text was written around 1,500 years ago. Image Credit: jclk8888 / Pixabay
The ancient text constitutes a 'hidden chapter' of the Bible that had been concealed beneath other layers of text.
It's not every day that someone discovers a new biblical text, but this recent find, which was made thanks to a technique known as ultraviolet photography, is very much the real deal.
The text, which is one of the earliest Old Syriac translations of the Gospels, is now one of only three known manuscripts of this kind, with one of the other two being kept at the British Library in London and the other being found at St Catherine's Monastery at Mount Sinai.
The writing itself was hidden beneath several other layers of text and could only be revealed using ultraviolet light - a bit like something out of an Indiana Jones movie.
The reason it had been written over was because, at the time, parchment was in short supply and it was not unusual for the same pages to be reused multiple times.
"As far as the dating of the Gospel book is concerned, there can be no doubt that it was produced no later than the sixth century," the study author's wrote.
"Despite a limited number of dated manuscripts from this period, comparison with dated Syriac manuscripts allows us to narrow down a possible time frame to the first half of the sixth century."
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