Check out this fascinating post by my BLT co-blogger Suzanne McCarthy about the book The Sisters of Sinai, the story of two nineteenth-century women scholars (Agnes Smith Lewis and her twin, Margaret Smith Gibson) who pioneered modern methods of biblical manuscript research and discovered “one of the most significant [manuscripts] in the history of text criticism, [which] brought to light a very early translation of the gospels that was previously unavailable in its entirety” — in the face of, shall we say, rather dismissive attitudes:
For example, one expert wrote that Agnes took “a few” photographs – what a way to describe 400 self-developed photos! Another wrote that the sisters “stumbled on” the manuscript when it was used for a butter dish. In fact, Agnes could speak to the head of the monastery in his own language – Greek, asked specifically to see the manuscripts in a certain cupboard, had studied Syriac and could identify that she was looking at an early translation of the “separated” gospels, that is the four gospels, as opposed to the Diatessaron, a single gospel narrative.
What inspiring women! This book has gone on my to-read list, for sure.