The world's oldest Hebrew Bible could be sold for $50 million
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The world's oldest and most complete Hebrew Bible will be on display in London next week ahead of an auction in May where it could sell for up to $50 million, it said Wednesday Sotheby's.
If a 1,000-year-old sacred book is sold for close to its appraised value, the Codex Sassoon will become the most valuable printed text or historical document ever sold at auction, noted at Sotheby's.
The Codex Sassoon is named after the previous owner, David Solomon Sassoon, who acquired the Bible in 1929 and amassed one of the most significant private collections of Jewish and Hebrew manuscripts in the 20th century. This document represents the most important link between the Jewish oral tradition and the modern Hebrew Bible.
Only recently has the current owner, collector Jacqui Safra, carbon dated the Codex Sassoon, confirming it to be older than the Codex Aleppo and Codex Leningrad, two other important early Hebrew Bibles, according to Sotheby's.< br />
The codex, or manuscript in book form, will be available for public viewing for the first time in 40 years next week at Sotheby's in London, and then in May in Tel Aviv, Dallas, Los Angeles, and finally in New York.
The Hebrew Bible consists of 24 separate books divided into three parts: the Pentateuch, the Prophets and the Scriptures. From Genesis to Chronicles, the Hebrew Bible is the foundation of Judaism, as well as Christianity and Islam .
“This is amazing. This is the first time the text has appeared in a form that we can actually read and understand,” Sharon Lieberman Mintz, Sotheby's Senior Jewish Studies Consultant, told The New York Times.
Sotheby's stated that the Sassoon Code was dated to the end of the 9th or beginning of the 10th century on the basis of scientific and paleographic data and contains almost the entire Bible. The oldest copies of a biblical text ever found were the Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered in caves in 1947.
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