Mystery Wood Block

UPDATED: Thanks to Prof. Robert Felsing at the University of Oregon, we now know the text is a passage from the New Testament. (Thanks to Prof. Felsing as well for pointing out that the images were originally posted upside-down.)

Wanted: Asian language expert.

Posted below are images of a wooden block used for printing. It’s an interesting object, but unfortunately I don’t know what the text is or when it was produced. So if anyone reading might be able to offer a clue as what this is, I’d appreciate it. In addition to the unmodified images, the higher-contrast and flipped images below might be legible to anyone who can read the language.

The first person to provide information about the block’s identity wins a year’s subscription to our periodical, Occasional Nuggets. Post suggestions in the comments or by email to

Images of the front and back:


Higher-contrast versions that have been flipped on the vertical axis: