A new “hidden chapter” of the text that was written for the Bible more than fifteen hundred years ago – that is more than five hundred years before the birth of Jesus Christ – has been discovered, and religious experts – both those who are Christian and other religions believe that it could change everything scholars know about the world. Experts are crying from the rooftops that this new chapter of the biblical text could shed new insights into how the religious text followed by so many people of the world could have been written when it was and by whom and if it is true that the new text comprises parts of Matthew 11-12 in the New Testament, which was written in the ancient Syriac language, giving it a more ancient history than the standard Gospel text written in the language that today’s scholars know.
The ancient text was discovered after scientists applied modern-day technology – a new UV light device – to an ancient manuscript about Christian stories and hymns that had been stored in the confines of the Vatican Library for centuries upon centuries of history and time.
As had been common practice for a long time, the text had been scraped from the parchment, so a new text could be written over and upon it. However, the original text left traces behind, which were detectable by the device that emitted the scientific UV light.
Dr. Garrick Allen of the University of Glasgow is among the scientists leading the charge in discovering this long-lost biblical text. Dr. Allen is a senior lecturer in New Testament studies at the University of Glasgow and believes that his team’s discovery will completely change the way the world looks at the early translations of the Bible.
“This discovery is highly interesting, but it isn’t ground-breaking in isolation, mostly because the newly identified text is only fragmentary parts of Matthew 11-12,” Dr. Allen told MailOnline. “The Syriac translation of the Bible is important on its own as one of the earliest translations from Greek. It gives us insight into the earliest stages of the text of the Bible and the communities that produced these translations.”
Meanwhile, Christians are reeling with fascination that new Biblical text has been waiting for them all this time. One author, Justin Brierley, has come forward to share in the limelight at this time of discovery.
Justin Brierley said, “The discovery of this new fragment of a Syriac copy of the Gospels is yet another example of how rich the manuscript tradition of the New Testament has been over many centuries. It’s also fascinating to note the variation in some of the wording of Matthew’s gospel compared to our received version of the text. I often encounter critics who question whether the Bible has been changed over time, but the science of textual criticism, aided by discoveries like these, help historians to put together an extremely accurate picture of what the original gospels said.”