OLDEST BOOK IN CHRISTIANITY SOLD FOR $3.9 MILLION: CHRISTIE’S

(NewsNation) — The oldest book in the Christian religion has reportedly been sold for more than £3 million.

British auction house Christie’s told the BBC that the Crosby-Schoyen Codex was auctioned off for £3,065,000 on Tuesday, which is the equivalent of $3.9 million in American currency.

Written in Coptic on papyrus around 250-350 AD, the Crosby-Schoyen Codex was produced in one of the first Christian monasteries. With over 104 pages written by one scribe over a period of 40 years at a monastery in upper Egypt, the codex contains the first epistle of Peter and the Book of Jonah.

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After being discovered in Egypt in the 1950s, it was acquired by the University of Mississippi. Then, in 1988 it was bought by a Norwegian manuscript collector, Dr. Martin Schoyen, who auctioned it off in June along with other parts of his Shoyen Collection. The Shoyen Collection, according to Reuters, is one of the largest private manuscript collections in the world.

Initially, the Crosby-Schoyen Codex had an estimated sale value of $2.6 million to $3.8 million, according to Christie’s, which put it on display from April 2 through April 9.

Eugenio Donadoni, senior specialist for books and manuscripts at Christie’s, said in an April interview with the BBC that the text is of “monumental importance as a witness to the earliest spread of Christianity around the Mediterranean”.

“The earliest monks in Upper Egypt in the earliest Christian monastery were using this very book to celebrate the earliest Easter celebrations, only a few hundred years after Christ and only a hundred or so years after the last Gospel was written,” Donadoni told the BBC.

Reuters contributed to this story.

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