In news that seems straight out of Dan Brown’s overactive imagination, scientists have managed to reveal a hidden chapter from the Bible using ultraviolet photography.
Historian Grigory Kessel of the Austrian Academy of Sciences announced the discovery in an article published in the peer-reviewed New Testament Studies journal published by the Cambridge University Press.
According to Kessel, he managed to uncover the hidden chapter using ultraviolet light which allowed him to see the earlier text under three layers of words written on a palimpsest. A palimpsest is a type of ancient manuscript that was used to write over other words but often left traces of the original writing behind. They were used due to the scarcity of parchment at the time and words would be written on the material repeatedly until several layers covered the hidden words underneath.
In a statement released to the press, Kessel confirmed that he made the discovery in the manuscript held at the Vatican library.
The text described in the hidden manuscript is a long unseen version of Chapter 12 in the Book of Matthew that was originally a part of the Old Syriac translations of the Bible some 1,500 years ago.
Researchers are excited about the discovery as it could help them understand the earliest phases of the Bible’s textual evolution and show some differences from modern translations of the text.