Sadly, what was significant about this discovery got lost in reporting. Whatever you might have heard, Landau and Smith did not discover (or claim to discover) a previously unknown text. Instead, they discovered the first Greek manuscript of a text previously known only from copies in Coptic that are presumed to have been translated from the Greek original. Having a copy of the text in the original language makes it easier for scholars to piece together the text’s history. Landau told The Daily Beast that the “probable” date of the fragments is the fifth or sixth century, which makes them “roughly contemporaneous” with the Coptic texts we already have.Background here. None of the above is news to regular readers of PaleoJudaica. But, with her usual perceptiveness, Professsor Moss succinctly summarizes the main points about this discovery and then explores its implications. Read it all.
Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.