Thursday, January 8, 2009

Newly-discovered Psalm Fragment

This is not really the kind of thing that I'd normally intend to post on Raised in the 80s, but it caught my attention as something truly fascinating.

Scholars have found amongst the fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls, one of their most controversial texts. Most Bibles follow the Hebrew text of the Old Testament, which contains 150 psalms, but some have more. The Greek Old Testament has 151 Psalms, but some Syrian Bibles have up to 155!

Raised in the 80s might be one of the first non-scholarly sources to be able to cite the most recently discovered, 156th Psalm. It has been painstakingly reconstructed from microscopic fragments using state-of-the-art computer technology. I'll have to let the experts do more in-depth work to determine age, but every indication is that this portion is from just after the Genesis era. The text is as follows:
I can feel it / coming in the air tonight, O Lord;
I've been waiting for this moment / for all my life, O Lord.
Can you feel it / coming in the air tonight, O Lord;
O Lord . . . [the rest is lost]


  1. frances and stewartJanuary 8, 2009 at 7:52 PM

    Hi Father Jonathan, i just read your comment on Psalm Fragment, the fact that it can still be read is something else, so nice to know you, Emily, and Frances, are not so far away after all, Our Best To All, Frances and Stewart

  2. That ending made me laugh. I thought you were serious at first. Was a new pslam fragment recently found though?

  3. Like I said, it's controversial. Scholars are still debating the historical context in which it was written. It may take some time, but is it too much to expect this text to find its way into the official book of Sussalms? :)

  4. Sadly, independent research is now pointing toward the possibility that this fragment is from a collection informally known as Jesus He Knows Me. That would indicate that the fragment originates from a much later date.