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The Oldest Nearly Complete Hebrew Bible Is Being Sold For $50 Million

The Oldest Nearly Complete Hebrew Bible Is Being Sold For $50 Million

The Word of God is arguably priceless, but if you are going to put a price on it, $50 million seems like a good place to start.

At least that’s how much auctioneers are looking to sell the Codex Sassoon, the oldest, nearly complete Hebrew Bible in existence.

The Codex Sassoon, is believed to be the oldest nearly complete manuscript of the Hebrew Bible. CREDIT: The New York Times

The Codex is believed to be around 1,100 years old and its’ 400 pages contain all 24 books of the Hebrew Bible — although it’s missing some parts here and there, including the first 10 chapters of Genesis. The book is estimated to sell somewhere between $30 million to $50 million, making it the most expensive book or historical document ever sold.

The book has been sitting at Sotheby’s auction house in New York for nearly a century. Prior to that, it’s last known sighting was in Syria in the 15th Century, before it went missing for 600 years.

The Codex Sassoon is 400 pages of the complete 24 books of the Hebrew Bible. CREDIT: The New York Times

Sharon Liberman Mintz, the auction house’s senior Judaica consultant, said the book “radiates both history and holiness.” 

“We should all look this good after a thousand years,” she said.

The Codex Sassoon tells multiple stories in addition to the Biblical sagas we all know. It also tells the story of the Hebrew Bible itself, how its text was fixed and how its information was handed down.

Pages showing the Song of Deborah in the Codex Sassoon. CREDIT: The New York Times

It’s important to note that the Codex Sassoon is the earliest nearly complete edition of the Hebrew Bible. The earliest known Hebrew biblical manuscripts are still the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were written sometime between the third century B.C. and the first century A.D.

Before the Sotheby’s auction sells the book to the highest bidder, the Codex Sassoon will be on public view in London, Tel Aviv, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York.

The Codex Sassoon could become the most expensive historical document ever sold. CREDIT: The New York Times

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