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Hidden Bible chapter written 1,500 years ago by using UV light

Scientists Discover Hidden Bible Chapter Written 1,500 Years Ago by Using UV Light - Inside the Vatican Library

Scientists have found a ‘hidden chapter’ of Bible text written more than 1,500 years ago. The page features chapters 11 through 12 from Matthew, providing more details than today's standard Gospel text.

Scientists uncovered the scripture after applying ultraviolet light to a manuscript about ancient Christian stories and hymns housed at the Vatican Library. The researchers have not yet revealed a complete translation written in ancient Syriac, but shared some details.

In the Greek version of Matthew chapter 12, verse one 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 Syriac translation reads, '[...] began to pick the heads of grain, rub them in their hands, and eat them.'

The initial text was written around the third century but was erased by a scribe in Palestine - a common practice because the paper made from animal skin was scarce.

Palimpsest Grigory Kessel, who made the discovery, told British media: "The Gospel text found in this reused manuscript contains the so-called Old Syriac translations of the Gospels. This Old Syriac translation quite often attests the Gospel text that is different from the standard Gospel text as we know it today."

UV light has become popular among scientists who hope to uncover secret documents, as the hidden text absorbs the light and glows blue. It can capture hidden text because parchment soaks in ink. And no matter how often it is reused, the original writings are still imprinted on the paper.

"The Gospel text is hidden in the sense that the early 6th c. parchment copy of the Gospels Book was reused twice and today on the same page one can find three layers of writing (Syriac - Greek - Georgian)," Kessel said. (DM / VFI News)

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