Ancient Book of Psalms Discovered in a Bog

According to a news report, a construction worker in Ireland found a 1,200-year-old Book of Psalms in a bog. The news report says:

“In this undated photo provided by the National Museum of Ireland an ancient book of psalms is seen at an undisclosed location. Ireland’s archeologists heralded as a miracle Tuesday, July 25, 2006 the accidental discovery of an ancient book of psalms _ discovered last week when an exceptionally alert construction worker spotted something as he drove the shovel of his backhoe into a bog. The approximately 20-page book has been dated to 800 A.D. to 1000 A.D. and, according to Trinity College manuscripts expert Bernard Meehan, is the first discovery of an Irish early medieval document in two centuries. Never before has such a fragile, old document been discovered buried in the soggy earth of Ireland.”

This is an important discovery. From a textual perspective, I just wonder how this edition of the Book of Psalms dated 800 A.D. will compare with modern translations of Psalms.

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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3 Responses to Ancient Book of Psalms Discovered in a Bog

  1. >From the story:”The book was found open to a page describing, in Latin script, Psalm 83, in which God hears complaints of other nations’ attempts to wipe out the name of Israel.”In a word, spooky.

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  2. >Dear Friend,It is spooky. To people who are sensitive to these kinds of things, this could almost be related to today’s war between Israel and Hezbollah.But, one the other hand … (you know what I mean).Claude Mariottini

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  3. >A Correction: Tyler Williams, at Codex: Biblical Studies Blogspot has written a correction on his blog about the discovery of Book of Psalms. He correctly says that since the Book of Psalms discovered in the Irish bog was written in Latin, Psalm 83 in the Latin Vulgate is actually Psalm 84 in our English translations. Tyler wrote:“There has been a clarification in connection to the Psalm book discovered in the Irish bog. Initial news reports said that the book was open to Psalm 83, which in most modern English translations is a prayer to wipe out the enemies of Israel. What no one noted is that they meant Psalm 83 in the Latin Vulgate, and the Latin Vulgate (like the Greek Septuagint it follows) is usually one chapter off of the Hebrew MT tradition and our modern English translations. So as it turns out – much to the dismay of all of those who interpreted this as some sort of sign from God – the book from the bog is open to Psalm 84 according to our modern translations.”Claude Mariottini

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