A startlingly well-preserved psalter dating from C.E. 800-1000 has turned up in an Irish bog. Man of the hour: the keen-eyed backhoe operator who spotted the psalter and stopped digging in time to preserve it.
It’s a hell of a find. Here’s another version of the story.There was a brief silly kerfluffle over the psalter being found open to Psalm 83, which supposedly refers to Israel getting wiped off the map. Fortunately, Dr. Patrick F. Wallace, Director of the National Museum of Ireland, popped up to say it’s no such thing:
The National Geographic online has pitched in to say the discovery isn’t a portent of the imminent arrival of Armageddon, either. It’s nice to get that cleared up. Of course, the fact that it’s necessary to get that cleared up is enough to make you beat your head against a wall.
The Director of the National Museum of Ireland, Dr. Patrick F. Wallace, would like to highlight that the text visible on the manuscript does NOT refer to wiping out Israel but to the ‘vale of tears’.
This is part of verse 7 of Psalm 83 in the old latin translation of the Bible (the Vulgate) which, in turn, was translated from an original Greek text would have been the version used in the medieval period. In the much later King James version the number of the Psalms is different, based on the Hebrew text and the ‘vale of tears’ occurs in Psalm 84. The text about wiping out Israel occurs in the Vulgate as Psalm 82 = Psalm 83 (King James version).
It is hoped that this clarification will serve comfort to anyone worried by earlier reports of the content of the text.