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BreakPoint: The Book of Acts Gets a CT Scan


How much difficulty would you take to know the Bible just a little bit better?

Pierpont Morgan was maybe the many successful banker in American history. During the latter partial of the 19th century, Morgan began using some of his unusual resources to spin a collector—of singular books, manuscripts, drawings, prints, and ancient artifacts—for his personal library.

In 1924, his son, J.P. Morgan, donated his late father’s library and all its treasures to the public. It became famous as the Morgan Library and Museum, or “the Morgan,” for short. And it’s right here in New York where we live.

Back in 1962, the Morgan combined to its collection of singular manuscripts by purchasing a clump of charred vellum leaves. The artifact is a codex, or ancient book, created in the Coptic language, that dates between A.D. 400 and 600 from Egypt, before the Muslim invaders arrived. The codex contains a duplicate of the New Testament’s Book of Acts, as good as another work nonetheless to be determined.

But the condition of this codex, famous as M.910, is so fragile—a publisher pronounced it “looks as ethereal as a prolonged passed flower”—that no one has dared to open it, for fear of causing serve damage. Until now.


In December, W. Brent Seales, a mechanism scholarship highbrow at the University of Kentucky, began using a CT scanner and his own program to, according to The New York Times, “model the surface of a warped piece of papyrus or vellum from X-ray information and then get a clear content by assigning letters to their correct surface.”

In other words, Seales has the record to review a exploding book that has been sealed for a millennium and a half—even while it stays closed—Amazing! The technique, Seales says, “can spin things suspicion to be of no value into changed objects.”

We should start to accept the results for M.910 very soon. The commentary are approaching to strew light on the arrangement of the New Testament canon, as good as the strange Greek content of the book of Acts—no tiny matters to Christians! And who knows what we competence learn from the other work that may be secluded along with Acts in this ancient codex?

Uncovering the secrets of ancient artifacts such as M.910 is fabulous. As the Proverbs 25:2 tells us, “It is the excellence of God to disguise things, but the excellence of kings is to hunt things out.” And the fact that a physical organization, the Morgan Library and Museum, would persevere so many of its resources to this charge demonstrates just how profitable to human civilization biblical texts really are. As Samuel Chadwick stated, “No man is untaught who knows the Bible, and no one is correct who is ignorant of its teachings.”

This brings up a very healthy follow-up question: How profitable is God’s Word to you? And a second is like unto it: What heedfulness are you peaceful to take to know that Word?

If a museum will buy a crumbling, fundamentally mysterious biblical content and hold it for over 5 decades in the wish that somehow, some day a record will be invented so that its pages can be non-stop and its story understood, what are we doing with our ideally good Bibles?

It’s almost funny—we intermittently provide the Bibles as if they are museum pieces, and only intermittently do we dirt them off and demeanour for the changed treasures dark inside their pages. A real museum, however, spares no responsibility and works diligently, meaningful that what it finds could change how we know the world.

And by the way, what we find in the Bible currently could change the world. Of course, you have to review it.


The Book of Acts Gets a CT Scan: Taking the Trouble to Understand the Bible

Eric has supposing a good sign that we have a value in the created Word of God. And as the difference that Augustine listened speedy him, let them inspire us to “Take up and read.”



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