The oldest and most-complete Hebrew Bible known to exist soon will go on the market. Experts believe it could be sold for as much as $50 million.
The Codex Sassoon, named after owner David Solomon Sassoon, will hit Sotheby’s Auction House in New York on May 16. According to Sotheby’s, “Codex Sassoon could become the most valuable historical document ever sold at auction.” It was created in the ninth century.
This is a massive purchase by any standard but even more so significant when put in the context that it is the living God’s word that is being estimated as the most valuable document in the world. This is far from a coincidence when considered in perspective of how treasured a relationship with Christ actually is, the magazine said. “Arguably, the Hebrew Bible constitutes the most influential book in human history and the bedrock of Western civilization,” Sotheby’s website says.
Sotheby’s global head of books and manuscripts, Richard Austin, noted that the Sassoon Bible is “undeniably one of the most important and singular texts in human history.” One special feature of Codex Sassoon is that it holds all books of the Hebrew Bible while still predating the second-oldest Hebrew Bible by almost 100 years.
“The biblical text in book format marks a critical turning point in how we perceive the history of the divine word across thousands of years and is a transformative witness to how the Hebrew Bible has influenced the pillars of civilization — art, culture, law, politics — for centuries,” senior Judaica specialist Sharon Mintz said.
Dozens of pieces of Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 2021. Earlier this year, the Pool of Siloam was also reported to be in the excavation process so that the public could visit it. Bible stories are coming to life as these documents and artifacts are being uncovered and brought to light for all to see
Jesus promised in the New Testament that “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matt. 24:35). God’s word is living, sharper than any double-edged sword, just as Hebrews says. The fact that a biblical document such as Codex Sassoon still exists in a nearly complete state is just one small piece of physical evidence of this in the world today.
The Codex Sassoon will began a world tour in London, followed by stops in Tel Aviv (where it will be shown at ANU Museum of the Jewish People), before heading to Dallas the week of April 17, Los Angeles the week of April 30 and New York City in early May.
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice