February 3, 2024 at 3:51 am

A Super-Old, Lost Fragment Of The Bible Was Found In The Vatican Archives

by Trisha Leigh

I remember the first time I read about the Vatican Archives. My mind was blown, and I – along with everyone else, I guess – felt sure there was a lot of information in there that the Church just felt like keeping to itself.

Our suspicions have been confirmed, as this 1700+ years old piece of the Bible was recently “found” and shared.

The missing chapter of the Gospel of Matthew was found using ultraviolet photography in the Vatican Library. Researchers like Grigory Kessel, who found the fragment, are aiming to recover texts that were erased and recorded over between the 4th and 12th centuries C.E.

Kessel is part of the Sinai Palimpsests Project, and they have found that it was fairly common to reuse writing materials during the period, as they were scarce and precious.

Kessel says they knew they had something special when they discovered a translation a hundred years older than the current oldest Greek translations.

“The tradition of Syriac Christianity knows several translations of the Old and New Testaments. Until recently, only two manuscripts were known to contain the Old Syriac translation of the gospels.”

Source: OAW

They’ve yet to release the translation in full, but are saying it’s a more detailed version of Matthew, Chapter 12.

Claudia Rapp, director of the Institute for Medieval Research at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, is as amazed as everyone else.

“Grigory Kessel has made a great discovery thanks to his profound knowledge of old Syriac texts and script characteristics. This discovery proves how productive and important the interplay between modern digital technologies and basic research can be when dealing with medieval manuscripts.”

Source: OAW

You can check out the fragment for yourself here.

If you’re like the rest of us, though, you’ll have to wait for them to release the translation.

I’m very curious to know what details were excluded down the road!

If you think that’s impressive, check out this story about a “goldmine” of lithium that was found in the U.S. that could completely change the EV battery game.