Scientists discover a new Bible chapter that ‘contains hidden verses’ after it was erased by a scribe 1,500 years ago

A NEW Bible chapter containing hidden verses has come to light after being erased by a scribe 1,500 years ago.

The incredible third-century discovery contains chapters 11-12 of Matthew and is one of the earliest translations of the gospels.

The page contains chapters 11 through 12 of Matthew


The page contains chapters 11 through 12 of MatthewSource: Vatican Library

The page came to light thanks to the use of UV photography on a manuscript in the Vatican Library.

The hidden text was first erased by a scribe in Palestine—a common practice at the time, since parchment was scarce, so manuscripts were often erased and reused.

The original Greek version of Matthew chapter 12 verse 1 reads, “At that time Jesus was walking through the grain fields on the Sabbath day, and his disciples became hungry and began to pluck the grains and eat them.”

While the Syriac translation reads: “[…] began to pluck the ears of corn, rub them in their hands and eat them.

A medievalist from the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW), Grigory Kessel, was able to unveil the lost words and his findings are published in the journal New Testament Studies.

He said in a statement: “The tradition of Syriac Christianity has several translations of the Old and New Testaments.

“Until recently only two manuscripts were known to contain the Old Syriac translation of the Gospels.”

Claudia Rapp, Director of the Institute for Medieval Research at the OeAW, said: “Grigory Kessel has made a great discovery thanks to his profound knowledge of ancient Syrian texts and writing characteristics.

“This discovery proves how fruitful and important the interaction of modern digital technologies and basic research can be when dealing with medieval manuscripts.”


PaulLeBlanc is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. PaulLeBlanc joined Dailynationtoday in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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