A hidden chapter has been discovered in the Bible that may provide insight into how the texts in the book have changed over time. The writings were produced more than 1,500 years ago, and experts in theology have commented on the subject.
The text in the Vatican Library was removed from the parchment, a common practice so that new text could be written on top of it. However, the ancient script left traces that were detected using ultraviolet light.
These are portions of Matthew 11-12 of the New Testament written in Old Syriac that may provide further insight into early translations of the Bible. d said. Garrick Allen, Senior Lecturer in New Testament Studies at the University of Glasgow, told MailOnline.
However, he stresses the importance of the discovery because it is one of the first translations to be made from the Greek. “It gives us an insight into the early stages of the Bible text and the societies that produced these translations,” said Allen, adding, “It’s also fascinating to note the difference in some of the words in Matthew’s gospel compared to the version we get of the text.”
Christian author, broadcaster, and radio host Justin Brierley found the discovery fascinating. He considered that “the discovery of this new piece of the Syriac version of the Gospels is another example of how rich the manuscript tradition of the New Testament over many centuries was.”
Brierley still sees how important the discovery is to the accuracy of the texts. He said, “I often encounter critics who question whether the Bible has changed over time, but the science of textual criticism, with the help of discoveries like this one, helps historians piece together a very accurate picture of what the original Gospels said.”
The new text was discovered by Gregory Kessel of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, who has not yet revealed a complete translation written in Old Syriac, but he did share some details.
In the Greek version of Matthew 12, the first verse says: “At that time, Jesus passed through the fields of wheat on the Sabbath day and his disciples were hungry and began to pluck heads of grain and eat.
A more detailed Syriac translation reads:[…] He started picking the ears, rubbing them in his hands and eating them.” (Reported by Daily Mail)
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