✝️ 📖 1,000 year-old Hebrew Bible up for auction
But where does the Bible really belong?
Hi ReligionUnplugged readers,
The upcoming auction of a 1,000 year old Bible raises familiar questions about colonialism, imperialism and repatriation in museums.
The Bible itself, called the Codex Sassoon, is an impressive artifact:
It was written around 900 A.D. in traditional Hebrew.
It’s considered a codex rather than a book, as it was written before the invention of paper.
The only other Bible of this kind is the Codex Aleppo, which is missing nearly all of the Torah.
This makes the Codex Sassoon the oldest and most complete Masoretic Hebrew Bible currently held in private hands.
Manhattan art auction house Sotheby’s expects the Bible to bring in $30-$50 million alone during its May 16 auction.
The Codex Aleppo has a home at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem alongside the Dead Sea Scrolls. But the museum won’t be bidding on the Codex Sassoon, the curator of the Dead Sea Scrolls told ReligionUnplugged.
Why not — given that the museum would seem a natural home for such an artifact?
Curators believe national funds should not be used to purchase the book because the institution is not a national museum.
So where does the Codex Sassoon belong?
This question has been asked about many relics over the past few years, particularly when it comes to large institutions. Egyptians have asked for the return of the Rosetta Stone, Easter Islanders have asked for the return of moai statues and Greeks have asked for the return of Parthenon marbles — and those are just artifacts held by the British Museum.
Where the Bible will end up is yet to be seen. In the meantime, check out today’s top story, in which Jerusalem correspondent Gil Zohar goes in-depth on the Bible, its history and its significance.
Sotheby’s To Auction Off 1,000-Year-Old Hebrew Bible For Up To $50 Million
The Codex Sassoon has 24 books divided into the Pentateuch, the Prophets, and the Writings, abbreviated as TaNaKH in Hebrew. About 15 chapters are missing, including 10 from Genesis, but it is far more complete than the Aleppo Codex. Another medieval Bible text, the Leningrad Codex, is “entirely complete,” but is more than a century younger than Sassoon 1053, Sotheby’s said. by Gil Zohar
Why Canadian Businessman Peter Chung Is A Key Player In The Future Of The King’s College In NYC
(ANALYSIS) It would be smart for religion reporters, business reporters and education reporters to dig more into Canadian businessman Peter Chung and his involvement with King’s in the past two years as well as his other business ventures through Primacorp Ventures Inc. and the Emanata Group. by Paul Glader
Sassoon Codex Part 2: The Narco Business And International Intrigue Of Sassoon And Sons
For a fraction of the cost of a comparable hotel in relatively expensive Bollywood, all Jews are welcome in the air-conditioned kosher guesthouse that operates thanks to the perpetual generosity of the Sir Jacob Sassoon Trusts. And the impact of the Sassoon family traces forward to 2023, when a valuable Hebrew Bible from 1,000 years ago, the Sassoon Codex, goes to auction at Sotheby’s this spring as previously reported by ReligionUnplugged.com. by Gil Zohar
Contrasting Visions Of Painter James Tissot, The Secular And Sometime Mystical Realist
James Tissot (1836–1902) was a French artist whose work enjoyed enormous popularity and brought him great wealth. His works lost status soon after his death. In the following decades, when the art world turned against figurative art and the culture scorned religious faith, Tissot’s reputation faded because his art was both figurative and predominantly religious. by Roseanne T. Sullivan
The World’s Largest Mud-Brick Building Is A Mosque Rebuilt Every Year
The world's largest mud-brick structure is one of the most iconic structures in both Islamic and African architectural history. The community of Djenne, home to approximately 40,000 residents, sits near the Ban River. That river allowed the grand mosque to be built from a resource that is both local and sustainable: calcite-rich mud. by Joseph Hammond
‘Jesus Revolution’: A Well-Intentioned Revival Movie That Struggles To Be Both Inspiring And Truthful
(REVIEW) “Jesus Revolution” is well intentioned, but its storytelling is too weak and its message too dishonest to inspire a true vision on how to start or maintain a Christian revival in the modern world. by Joseph Holmes
Two Asbury Students Reflect On What The Revival Means For Gen Z’s Faith
Over the span of two weeks, Asbury University, a small evangelical college in Wilmore, Kentucky, has been the center of a revival attracting thousands of believers from across the country for 24-hour prayer and worship. by Deborah Laker
LDS Church And Investment Fund To Pay $5 Million To SEC For Failing To Disclose Equity Investments
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Ensign Peak Advisers Inc. and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints agreed to pay $5 million in penalties to settle charges against the investment fund operating inside the nonprofit entity of the church. by Paul Glader
📰 Surprise! Spiritual Revival Is Big News, From New York Times To Christianity Today 🔌
In this week’s Weekend Plug-in, Bobby Ross Jr. highlights the spiritual revival that drew thousands to Asbury University, a small Christian college in Kentucky. Plus, as always, catch up on all the best reads and top headlines in the world of faith.
Don’t forget! You can subscribe to receive Bobby’s column directly in your inbox on Friday mornings!
From Catholicism To ‘Jew-Ish’: How George Santos Pulled Off His Religiously Intersectional Fraud
(OPINION) Santos’ intersectionality worked perfectly in a congressional district that is itself exceedingly diverse and arguably somewhat tribal. I write from experience as I lived in that district for several years and understand the dynamics firsthand. by Paul Glader
Thanks again for reading!
At ReligionUnplugged, we cover the role of religion in public life and in peoples' lives. If you appreciate our journalism, become a sustaining monthly donor by clicking the button below.