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Codex Vaticanus latinus, 5750, part of "Skeireins", a commentary to the Gospel of John in Gothic.

The Skeireins (Gothic: 𐍃𐌺𐌴𐌹𐍂𐌴𐌹𐌽𐍃; pronounced [ˈskiːriːns]) is the second-longest known surviving text in the Gothic language, after Ulfilas' version of the Bible. It consists of eight fragments of a commentary on the Gospel of John which is commonly held to have originally extended over seventy-eight parchment leaves. It owes its title to the 19th-century German scholar Hans Ferdinand Massmann, who was the first to issue a comprehensive and correct edition of it: "Skeireins" means "explanation" in Gothic. The manuscript containing the Skeireins text is a palimpsest.

Currently it is housed at the Vatican Library (Vat. lat. 5750) in Rome.

There are conflicting views on whether the Skeireins was written directly in Gothic by a native speaker or whether it was a translation from a Greek original. Schäferdiek (1981)[1] observes striking similarities between the Gothic of the Skeireins and the Greek of Theodore of Heraclea's commentary on the Gospel of John.

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  1. ^ Schäferdiek, Knut (1981). ‘Die Fragmente der “Skeireins” und der Johanneskommentar des Theodor von Herakleia’, Zeitschrift für deutsches Altertum und deutsche Literatur 110: 175–93.[1]

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