Published: 13 Apr 2023, 02:46 pm
Scientists have discovered a lost section of the written Bible after 1,500 years. To uncover this manuscript, the researcher employed ultraviolet photography to see through multiple layers of text.
The buried chapter was discovered by medievalist Grigory Kessel of the Austrian Academy of Sciences beneath three layers of text known as a "double palimpsest," reports NDTV.
The newly discovered piece is one of the earliest translations of the Gospels, according to a study that was published in the journal New Testament Studies.
"The tradition of Syriac Christianity knows several translations of the Old and New Testaments," says medievalist Grigory Kessel.
"Until recently, only two manuscripts were known to contain the Old Syriac translation of the gospels."
"The tradition of Syriac Christianity knows several translations of the Old and New Testaments," says medievalist Grigory Kessel. "Until recently, only two manuscripts were known to contain the Old Syriac translation of the gospels."
As per a news release, while one of these is now kept in the British Library in London, another was discovered as a palimpsest in St. Catherine's Monastery at Mount Sinai. The fragments from the third manuscript were recently identified in the course of the "Sinai Palimpsests Project."
Claudia Rapp, director of the Institute for Mediaeval Research at the OeAW, says, "Grigory Kessel has made a great discovery thanks to his profound knowledge of old Syriac texts and script characteristics."
The Syriac translation was written at least a century before the oldest Greek manuscripts that have survived, including the Codex Sinaiticus.
The earliest surviving manuscripts with this Syriac translation date from the 6th century and are preserved in the erased layers, so-called palimpsests, of newly written parchment leaves.
"This discovery proves how productive and important the interplay between modern digital technologies and basic research can be when dealing with mediaeval manuscripts," Claudia Rapp says.