Status: Seems to be real
A guy was out digging in an irish bog recently when, purely by chance, he found a book buried in the mud. Turns out that it could be a book of psalms over 1000 years old
. Pat Wallace, director of the National Museum of Ireland, points out that this discovery was highly fortuitous:
"There's two sets of odds that make this discovery really way out. First of all, it's unlikely that something this fragile could survive buried in a bog at all, and then for it to be unearthed and spotted before it was destroyed is incalculably more amazing."
The book is probably real. It would be difficult to fake something that old. (There was recently a discussion about faking old manuscripts
in the forum.) But it did strike me as odd that "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."
This seems to tie-in neatly with recent political events. Though I'm going to chalk it up as a coincidence. After all, the odds of any random psalm mentioning Israel are pretty good.
Well, it looks like it was all a mistake. The National Museum of Ireland has issued a statement
saying that while Psalm 83 was the psalm they said was visible, this doesn't mean what people immediately thought it meant:
"The above mention of Psalm 83 has led to misconceptions about the revealed wording and may be a source of concern for people who believe Psalm 83 deals with 'the wiping out of Israel'," the museum said in its clarification. The confusion arose because the manuscript uses an old Latin translation of the Bible known at the Vulgate, which numbers the psalms differently from the later King James version, the 1611 English translation from which many modern texts derive.
"The Director of the National Museum of Ireland ... would like to highlight that the text visible on the manuscript does not refer to wiping out Israel but to the 'vale of tears'," the museum said. The vale of tears is in Psalm 84 in the King James version. "It is hoped that this clarification will serve comfort to anyone worried by earlier reports of the content of the text," the museum said.