BANGOR (AP) – A Bangor Theological Seminary professor says he has discovered a copy of eight Psalms most likely transcribed in the 14th century.

David Trobisch made the discovery at a library in Dresden, Germany, where he was visiting on sabbatical leave and working to document the changes made over the centuries to the letters of St. Paul.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime find,” he said.

Trobisch and Matthias Klinghardt, professor of New Testament at the University of Dresden, went to a Dresden library to examine the famed Codex Boernerianus. Written during the ninth century, it is one of four existing copies of that particular edition of the Christian New Testament.

He says he found the first eight Psalms, with a few words missing because of small holes in the paper or other slight damage, in a folder of discarded sheets. The manuscript ends abruptly at the end of the eighth Psalm.

Trobisch said he immediately recognized the papers as pages from a Christian Bible because of the lines drawn over words used to designate holy names in Greek texts.

By carefully examining the letters and artwork, Trobisch, with the help of other scholars, was able to determine that it was copied in the 14th century, almost certainly in Greece and perhaps on the island of Crete.

Trobisch also found correspondence between the monks who copied the manuscripts in European monasteries during the Middle Ages in the folder.

This is not his first discovery. As a graduate student, Trobisch found small pieces of paper identified as sections from a Septuagint, a translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek.

Two years ago in New York, he found two pages from an ancient lectionary, a compilation of Scripture readings for each day of the year.

A detailed study of the Psalms is expected by German scholars working on a new translation of the Book of Psalms.

AP-ES-08-13-03 1057EDT

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