The cover of a fragmentary
copy of Selenographia (1647)
Although manuscripts of the New Testament continue to be discovered in remote monasteries, the axiom,“The best place to discover a New Testament manuscript is a European library” has been proven to be correct once again: an early fragment containing the pericope adulterae has been found in Denmark, after being recycled centuries ago to be used as material in the binding of a printed book.
About a year ago, at the Forsknings Bibliotek Christiania in
At the same time Walkeek was undertaking the library’s inventory-check, professor Dr. Kris Jodi was at the library, and had just completed multi-spectral imaging of dozens of old book-bindings, searching for signs of recycled manuscripts. Multi-spectral imaging technology, similar to x-rays, has already yielded the discovery of numerous manuscripts (see, for example, here and here and here). Dr. Jodi’s experimental work is taking the technology a step further: using Photomagnetic Hyperspectral Ultraviolet Light Scans, several images of a binding are made; each one is “tuned” to detect specific ingredients in ancient ink. From these images, an aggregate image is formed, thus allowing the ink on hidden pages to be revealed without the pages themselves being visible.
A mutilated Latin fragment embedded in the binding:
John 7:50-8:5a on recto; John 8:5b-12 on verso.
(Superimposed over the book-cover.)
Paleographical analysis of the script indicates that the codex from which the fragment was taken was produced in the 700’s, possibly in
resembles the Vulgate but has some affinities with a form of the earlier Old Latin text, which is notable for its inclusion
of the pericope adulterae. A full
analysis is scheduled for publication later this year in a special Danish edition of the German journal Zeitschrift des Lachens.