Hidden 1,750-Year-Old New Testament text discovered under three layers of writing

Your word is a lamp to my feet, a light for my path.




(the israel bible)

April 16, 2023

2 min read

A chapter of the New Testament written around 1,750 years ago was recently discovered under three layers of writing by an Austrian scientist by using ultraviolet photography.

The text is the Old Syriac translation of the Greek version of the Book of Matthew 11.30–12.26.  The fragment is so far the only known vestige of the fourth manuscript example of the Old Syriac version.

Grigory Kessel, a medievalist from the Austrian Academy of Sciences, explained the discovery’s significance.

“The tradition of Syriac Christianity knows several translations of the Old and New Testaments,” Kessel said in a statement.“Until recently, only two manuscripts were known to contain the Old Syriac translation of the Gospels.

Discovered in the Vatican Library, the writing is referred to as a palimpsest, a page from a scroll or a book from which the text has been scraped or washed off so that the page can be reused for another document. The Syriac text is suspected to originate in the 3rd century before being copied by a scribe in Israel in the 6th century. This makes the original inscription at least a century older than the oldest Greek manuscripts known to exist.

While the original Greek text of the Book of Matthew chapter 12, verse 1 says, “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 says, “[…] began to pick the heads of grain, rub them in their hands, and eat them.”

Claudia Rapp, the director of the Institute for Medieval Research at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, praised Kessel’s findings in a statement.

“Grigory Kessel has made a great discovery thanks to his profound knowledge of old Syriac texts and script characteristics,” said Rapp.

She continued, “This discovery proves how productive and important the interplay between modern digital technologies and basic research can be when dealing with medieval manuscripts.”

Share this article

Donate today to support Israel’s needy








Prophecy from the Bible is revealing itself as we speak. Israel365 News is the only media outlet reporting on it.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter today to get all the most important stories directly to your inbox. See how the latest updates in Jerusalem and the world are connected to the prophecies we read in the Bible. .