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‘Hidden’ Bible chapter offers fresh perspective on the Gospels

According to an article published in New Testament Studies, a hidden section of the Gospel of Matthew has been revealed through the use of UV light. The concealed portion was found under other layers of text in an ancient manuscript kept at the Vatican. The text was revealed by Grigory Kessel, of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, by employing UV light to look beyond the layers. The discovery revealed that the ancient Syriac language was used to write the text and it comprises portions of Matthew 11-12. It was later scraped from the manuscript by a scribe and the next text was added over it. It provides details that are not included in the Greek version.

Christian Today reports:

A concealed portion of the Gospel of Matthew has been discovered with the help of UV light.

According to a study published in the journal New Testament Studies, the Scripture portion was found beneath other layers of text in an ancient manuscript housed by the Vatican.

Grigory Kessel, from the Austrian Academy of Sciences, used UV light to penetrate the layers.

The newly uncovered text contains parts of Matthew 11-12 and is written in the ancient Syriac language. This text was later scraped from the parchment by a scribe and written over.

It reveals some details not included in the later Greek version.

Matthew 12:1 in the Greek reads: “At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath and his disciples became hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat.”

The newly discovered Syriac text says that the disciples “began to pick the heads of grain, rub them in their hands, and eat them.”

Professor Hugh Houghton, at the University of Birmingham’s Department of Theology and Religion, told MailOnline that it was a “genuine and important discovery”.

“Until a few years ago we only knew of two manuscript witnesses to the Old Syriac translation of the gospels and now we have four,” he said.

“The value of the early translations is that they were made from Greek manuscripts which no longer survive, and may provide some of the first evidence for particular readings.”

Read the full article here.

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