Home World News The world’s oldest Hebrew Bible goes up for auction and its price skyrockets into the millions of dollars

The world’s oldest Hebrew Bible goes up for auction and its price skyrockets into the millions of dollars

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The world’s oldest Hebrew Bible goes up for auction and its price skyrockets into the millions of dollars

The oldest and most complete Hebrew Bible to be auctioned for an astronomical amount, the auction house announced hours ago Sotheby’s.

He Sassoon Manuscript, or Codex Sassoonfrom the surname of its best-known owner, David Solomon Sassoon (died 1942), dates to the year AD 900 and represents “the most complete Hebrew Bible (…) valued at $30 million to $50 million, one of the most expensive manuscripts ever sold,” he told AFP Richard Austinhead of ancient books and manuscripts at Sotheby’s.

The sale will take place in May.during the classic spring season of auctions of contemporary, modern and impressionist art paintings organized by the giants of the sector in New York.

The Codex Sassoon auction will take place in May and before it the specimen will be exhibited in various cities in the United States and Israel.  Photo: AP

The Codex Sassoon auction will take place in May and before it the specimen will be exhibited in various cities in the United States and Israel. Photo: AP

As for possible buyers, Austin thinks the list is “a bottomless pit.” It is a text “founder of civilizations. It is difficult to find a text that has had more influence than the Bible in the history of humanity”.

The Codex Sassoon was carbon 14 tested to find out its age: it is from the year 900. Photo: EFE

The Codex Sassoon was carbon 14 tested to find out its age: it is from the year 900. Photo: EFE

The code – authenticated by carbon test 14 and which is in an exceptional state of preservation – only a few pages missing and includes 24 books of the famous Hebrew Bible Dead Sea Scrolls dating back to the third century before our era.

In 2021, Sotheby’s held an auction which, to this day, is considered the most expensive in history. It was the billionaire investor Kenneth Griffin who broke the record by paying $43.2 million to buy the first edition of the United States Constitution. Before that, in 1994, Bill Gates had acquired the Codice Martello – a collection of scientific writings and drawings by the painter Leonardo da Vinci – for $30.8 million.

Toni Yori of Sotheby's with the Codex Sassoon in her hands.  Photo: EFE

Toni Yori of Sotheby’s with the Codex Sassoon in her hands. Photo: EFE

The Sassoon Manuscript contains numerous inscriptions in its margins, notes and other notes made by the previous owners or even by communities that used it to pray.

Sotheby’s has declared this document to be a “key link in Jewish history” and a “reference of the history of mankind”.

For historians, the Codex Sassoon is the key link in the history of Judaism.  Photo: AP

For historians, the Codex Sassoon is the key link in the history of Judaism. Photo: AP

While waiting to be auctioned, the codex or manuscript will be exhibited to the public at Sotheby’s in London and, subsequently, will travel Tel Aviv, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York. It will be the first time in 40 years that people will be able to access it.

The Hebrew Bible consists of 24 different books organized into three parts:the Pentateuch, the Prophets and the Writings– and begins with Genesis to conclude with the chronicles. It is considered the basis of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Source: Clarin

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