The Skeireins (Gothic: 𐍃𐌺𐌴𐌹𐍂𐌴𐌹𐌽𐍃; pronounced [ˈskiːriːns]) is the longest and most important monument of 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) observes striking similarities between the Gothic of the Skeireins and the Greek of Theodore of Heraclea's commentary on the Gospel of John.
- Schäferdiek, Knut (1981). ‘Die Fragmente der “Skeireins” und der Johanneskommentar des Theodor von Herakleia’, Zeitschrift für deutsches Altertum und deutsche Literatur 110: 175–93.