UV light reveals hidden, never-before-seen version of the Gospel of Matthew on ancient parchment

Apr 14, 2023
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"It's not clear if rubbing the grain had any religious significance."

Please. It's not religious, it's practical. They were separating the edible part of the grain from the husk/straw (threshing). The author has obviously never tried to eat grain straight off the stalk before.
 
Apr 15, 2023
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I agree that it's a interesting discovery, but I don't there's anything religiously significant or otherwise (outside of a textual level) about the alternate reading of Matthew 12:1 having "the disciples rubbed grain in their hands". It only just shows the textual fluidity of the canonical gospels and other texts that now make up the Christian New Testament in the first centuries that they were circulating.
 

FPH

Apr 18, 2023
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The significance may be that these are acts that are forbidden on the Sabbath according to Jewish law. As one might imagine in a code of law intended for an agrarian society, harvesting and separating wheat are two of the 39 acts of labour prohibited on the Sabbath. If folks were just hungry and thoughtlessly picked something and popped it in their mouths, that could be construed as unintentional, but to harvest AND separate the wheat before eating seems to be a much more deliberate flaunting of Sabbath law.
 

MDW

Apr 26, 2023
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The novelty is actually the location in Matthew, as the rubbing of the grain in the hands is found in Luke 6:1. My understanding is that Tatian's harmony of the Gospels known as the Diatessaron may have been the first translation into Syriac. This was thought to have used Matthew as the base of the harmony, and might account for the passage being here. If this could be a fragment of the Diatessaron, that might be highly significant. Hopefully this possibility will be explored in further papers.