Ancient Bible Scripture Discovered: What it Means for Christians and Jews

Ancient Bible Scripture Discovered: What it Means for Christians and Jews May 4, 2023

Ancient Bible Scripture Discovered created with AI by Rebecca Keene
Ancient Bible Scripture Discovered

Popular Mechanics reported that an ancient Bible Scripture has been discovered. Grigory Kessel published a paper. The paper details his discovery of an ancient version of Matthew 12 which could have significant repercussions for Christian and Jewish communities.

Ancient Bible Scripture Discovered With New Technology

So, how was the text discovered after all these years? Kessel used Ultra Violet Photography to look beneath three layers of text on a document that had been erased and copied over multiple times.  This is not unusual in documents from this period. Parchment was a scarce and valued commodity, at that time in history.  So, Kessel used today’s technology to peel back the layers and look into the document’s history.

New Translation of Matthew 12 Scripture Discovered to be Ancient

He discovered a copy of Matthew 12  that was written approximately 1,500 years ago, That dating makes this manuscript one of the earliest translations of the gospels. The hidden text was an Old Syriac translation making it the fourth known copy of such a translation.


The Possibility of Finding Lost Texts

The discovery of this text brings multiple repercussions, for both Christians and Jews. The fact that Ultra Violet Photography has worked so well gives us hope that further ancient scriptures may be discovered. This could potentially lead to the discovery of lost books. Indeed, The Sinai Palimpsests Project is working on decoding other such manuscripts now.  How could that change and shape our faiths? We can only imagine.

More Authoritative Text

Additionally, the text was found to agree with the Curetonianus text. This could help prove that the Curetonianus text was more authoritative in the ancient world than the Sinaiticus version. How might this change our translations of the text? Will future generations be reading a different version of The Bible than we know now?

New Understanding

Finally, this chapter of Matthew directly affects Jewish/Christian relations. Matthew 12 explains why the Jewish priest wished to have Jesus murdered. This is used by some Christians to justify anti-Semitism. Also, verse 8 has Jesus proclaim to be Lord of the Sabbath. ” For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” This is deeply offensive to Jews. From a Jewish perspective, this verse can be seen as justification for crucifixion. Blasphemy is punishable by death under Jewish law. This statement can be read as Jesus claiming divinity which would be blasphemous to a Jew.

Might having an older previously unknown translation, give us deeper insight into these issues?  Might we find that some of these issues are due to mistranslations? I do not know the answers. However, having more knowledge can never be a bad thing. 

This ancient Bible Scripture, discovered beneath layers of other texts, offers hope. With better technology, we might regain some of our lost texts, find a new understanding of current texts, and better understand the views of other Abrahamic religions.   The world of Biblical Scholarship is expanding. Now is an exciting time to be a lover of Theology.

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About Rebecca Keene
The author, Rebecca Keene, has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Religion. She graduated from the University of Pikeville as Religion Honor Student in 2014.  Rebecca is the author of FAITH UNDER THE RAINBOW: RECLAIMING THE TRUTH ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY AND THE BIBLE. She also founded and independently runs the social media community, Reclaiming the Truth. You can visit Rebecca's author page and purchase her books at: Amazon Author Page or: Publication Page Rebecca is currently in her 3rd year of Kabbalah study. She is ordained to perform LGBT weddings and is certified in Hypnotherapy. Rebecca lives in Kentucky with her two adult children. She practices Non-Denominational Judaism. She is passionate about social justice and is a fierce advocate for the marginalized in society and religion.  When she is not with her children or writing, Rebecca enjoys spending time in nature, with G-d, or in a good book.  She also enjoys making and selling art which you can find at Art by Rebecca Author, Rebecca Keene,  is always happy to hear from readers. You may contact her through the Reclaiming the Truth page on Facebook or you can email Rebecca will try to answer all correspondence, but please be patient as life is busy for us all. You can read more about the author here.

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