Sotheby’s expects 1,500-year-old biblical document to fetch $1 million
At the upcoming London manuscripts sale on July 7, auction house Sotheby’s will be offering an ancient biblical manuscript that is expected to fetch $1 million. The 1,500-year-old biblical document features layers of text and meaning in three different languages. This hidden record of Christ’s words is called the Codex Climaci Rescriptus, and was written over the span of three centuries. The ancient manuscript was kept in a sacred monastery before it got into the hands of British twins through local Egyptian dealers. The codex dates back to the 6th century, the time when Christian Palestinian scribes wrote down the words of Christ in Aramaic. Aramic is the language that’s said to resemble the dialect spoken by Jesus Christ. The manuscript has the words that were sopekn by the messiah himself when he was on the cross – Eli Eli, lema sabachthani (My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?). The biblical document includes pieces of the Old and New Testaments in both Aramaic and Greek.
The 137 leaves on auction is vellum made of sheepskin. Sotheby’s medieval manuscript specialist Timothy Bolton says that these leaves feel like stiff leather. He further said that nothing like the Codex Climaci has ever come on the market and it’s an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.