The science of palimpsests is a newly emerging science that uses modern technology to reveal hidden texts in age old writings especially those that were written on parchment. A lot of Christian texts were written over texts some of which were older versions of the religion or even century’s old manuscripts. To me it shows that a lot of things in the bible evolved from the original and are not true to the original texts. We had a discussion on the errancy of the bible due to translations or revisions and this is another example of biblical propaganda.
In his poem “Endymion,” based on a Greek myth about a shepherd beloved by the moon goddess Selene, John Keats paid tribute to the enduring power of superior works of art. “A thing of beauty is a joy for ever,” he wrote. “Its loveliness increases; it will never / Pass into nothingness.” Surely to uncover lost poetry from an ancient civilization from which we draw so many of our literary traditions is as exciting as unearthing any material treasure.
And this promise reaches beyond aesthetics. When classical Greek literature was rediscovered during the European Renaissance, it remade Western civilization, and planted seeds that still shape our lives today: Thomas Jefferson’s ideas about the pursuit of happiness were sparked by the Greek philosophers; suffragists were inspired by Euripides’ heroine Medea. Like finding an old photograph of a long-dead relative, discovering a lost piece of text can help us glimpse ourselves in the people who came before us.
With a degree in history and graduate work in Records Management which includes archives I find this sort of story amazing.