Sotheby’s to Auction a 1,000-Year-Old Hebrew Bible

The world’s oldest known Hebrew Bible will be auctioned off and is likely to earn millions of dollars.

The Codex Sassoon, which dates back more than a millennium to the late 9th or early 10th century, will be on display at Sotheby’s London from February 22 to February 28, after which it will be transferred to New York for auction. The ancient manuscript is also slated to make a stop in Jerusalem before being sold.

Sotheby’s describes the treasure as the earliest example of a nearly complete Hebrew Bible, with only 12 pages lacking from the ancient codex.

Photo by ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images

Sharon Liberman Mintz, a senior Judaica specialist at Sotheby’s, told the New York Times, “This is the first time the text has appeared in a manner that is truly readable and understandable.”

400 sheets of parchment paper were used by a single scribe in what is now Israel or Syria to write the text. It finally made its way to a synagogue in northeastern Syria that was demolished in the 13th or 14th century and remained undiscovered for nearly 600 years until David Solomon Sassoon bought it in 1929.

Mint stated, “You have seven centuries of nothing.” The complete official, standardized, and accurate Hebrew Bible text is then available.

Note: Patrick Drahi, the owner of Sotheby’s, is the Chairman of Altice USA, the parent company of Cheddar News.