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World's oldest Hebrew Bible sold for $38 million at auction in New York


Lyudmila Balabay

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The 1100-year-old Hebrew Bible sold at Sotheby's in New York for $38 million. It is one of the oldest surviving biblical manuscripts in the world. Fox News.

It is about Codex Sassoon (Codex Sassoon). This handwritten, leather-bound parchment volume contains the nearly complete text of the Hebrew Bible. It was purchased by former U.S. Ambassador to Romania Alfred H. Moses and donated to the ANU Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv.

$38 million is one of the highest final auction prices for a historical manuscript. Only two more expensive books are known. In 2021, a rare copy of the US constitution was sold for $43 million. Leonardo da Vinci's Leicester Code was sold for $31 million in 1994 (that's about $60 million in today's dollars).

The Codex Sassoon is believed to have been created sometime between 880 and 960. The book is named after the businessman, philanthropist and collector David Solomon Sassoon who once owned it.

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Sotheby's senior consultant Sharon Lieberman Mintz called the state of the code "astounding." The book has been preserved almost completely - only a few pages are missing from it. This is rare luck in the case of such ancient textual works.

The tome brings together 24 books of the Hebrew Bible, taken from the famous Dead Sea Scrolls, which were created in the XNUMXrd century BC.

“Before this codex, portions of the Bible appeared only in the Dead Sea Scrolls. And after that, until 900, there were no book forms of the Bible. This edition dates back to the end of the XNUMXth – beginning of the XNUMXth centuries,” Lieberman Mintz explained.

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