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1,000-Year-Old Bible Found in Turkey Has Images of Jesus and Other Biblical Figures

A 1,000-year-old Bible has been uncovered by police in Turkey after smugglers tried to sell the priceless book to undercover officers.

Police in the central Turkish city of Tokat confiscated the ancient Bible together with other priceless artefacts after catching the smugglers red-handed.

Researcher lists through 1,000-year-old Bible, written in the old Assyriac language and illustrated with religious motifs made of gold leafs, in a video posted on October 28, 2015.

A collection of jewelery and coins were also sized by police.

Anadolu Agency posted video of a researcher listing through the Bible, with the Assyriac text displayed on the right of the pages, and the illustrations on the left.

The origin of the ancient Bible is not yet known, but police in the central city of Tokat said it only has 51 pages, is written in the old Assyriac language, and contains pictures of Jesus Christ made of gold leafs, along with other biblical figures.

Theologians are hoping that the 1,000-year-old document will shed clues about how Christianity developed in past centuries.

Discoveries of biblical artifacts have made news a number of times this past year, with a team of scholars claiming to have discovered the world’s earliest-known version of the Gospel back in January.


Holy book: The Bible, written in the old Assyriac language, is estimated be around 1,000 years old and is illustrated with religious motifs made of gold leafs.

The researchers, headed by Craig Evans, a professor of New Testament studies at Acadia Divinity College in Nova Scotia, said that they found a sheet of papyrus used to make an ancient mummy’s mask in Egypt which contains a written portion of the Gospel of Mark, and dates back to as early as 80 A.D.

“Where did we find it? We dug underneath somebody’s face and there it was,” Evans said. ” It was from one of these masks that we recovered a fragment of the Gospel of Mark that is dated to the 80s. We could have a first century fragment of Mark for the first time ever.”

The oldest surviving copies of the Scripture had been dated to the second century, between the years 101 to 200 A.D.

Back in July, archaeologists in Israel announced that they had discovered a rare inscription of the name of an apparently influential person from the time of King David, which is also mentioned in the Bible.

The researchers found a 3,000-year-old large ceramic jar with the inscription of the name “Eshbaal Ben Beda,” which is mentioned in the Old Testament book of 1 Chronicles in 8:33 and 9:39.

Archaeologists Yosef Garfinkel and Saar Ganor expressed doubts, however, that the jar belonged to the same Eshbaal that is mentioned in the Bible.


Nice catch: Police in Tokat, central Turkey, said they had detained three suspects who were attempting to sell the Bible, as well as other artefacts (pictured), to undercover police officers.

The news of the exciting discovery comes as the world’s oldest bible goes on display at London’s British Museum.

One of the highlights is part of the 4th century Codex Sinaiticus, a book written in Greek on animal skin by monks on Mount Sinai, and which contains the oldest complete copy of the New Testament.

The world’s oldest bible is among 200 objects tracing Egypt’s religious evolution in an exhibition at London’s British Museum, which opens Friday and spans the 1,200 years after Cleopatra’s death.

Titled “Egypt: faith after the pharaohs”, the exhibition covers 12 centuries, from the country’s integration into the Roman Empire in 30 BC to the fall of the Islamic Fatimid dynasty in 1171.

One of the highlights is part of the 4th century Codex Sinaiticus, a book written in Greek on animal skin by monks on Mount Sinai, and which contains the oldest complete copy of the New Testament.

“It is without question the most important book in Britain. It is a remarkable chance to see it in the context of the world in which it was made,” said British Museum director Neil MacGregor.

worlds oldest bible

The world’s oldest bible, the 4th century Codex Sinaiticus, opened to display the book of John in a photo made available by the British Museum in London on October 27, 2015

The exhibition shows how Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities reinterpreted Egypt’s pharaonic past and shows that they were far from segregated, with one document outlining a lease agreement between two Christian nuns and a Jew.

The curators also highlight how monotheistic faiths developed — sometimes practices related to pagan worship and polytheistic beliefs, such as the casting of spells, were incorporated into the new faith.

“The idea that religion is something with clear boundaries distinguishing people from their neighbours is simply not what was happening there. It was a world where many people believed in many things,” MacGregor said.

Door curtains from the 6th to 7th century featuring winged Victories holding a jewelled cross illustrate the fusion of classical and Christian motifs.

Other exhibits, trawled from the rubbish heaps of ancient and medieval towns, are less dramatic but also shed light on Egypt’s religious past.

Letters from the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Cairo dating from between the 11th and 13th centuries, written in Hebrew, Judeo-Arabic, Aramaic and Arabic, are part of the exhibition, having originally been earmarked for disposal hundreds of years ago.

The texts suggest a thriving Jewish community with international links from Spain to India and give an insight into wider mediaeval Mediterranean society.

Source: Christian Post and Daily Mail


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