The oldest copy of the Bible at General Synod Archives, Toronto: published 1679 in London and bound with the Church of England’s Book of Common Prayer.
The world’s smallest complete Bible ever printed was discovered in 2007 inside a child’s boot, which was stuffed into the chimney cavity of a cottage in Ewerby, England. Apparently used as an amulet to ward off evil, the “mini mite” measures about 2.5 cm wide and 1.25 cm thick, was published in 1901.
Last December, Israeli scientists succeeded in putting a full version of the Hebrew Bible on a chip smaller than the size of a pinhead. The “Nano-Bible” was written using a device called Focused Ion Beam.
The Saint John’s Bible, a complete, handwritten, illuminated Bible created by calligraphic artist Donald Jackson and commissioned by Saint John’s Abbey and University in Minnesota, was produced at a cost of $3.8 million Cdn. Limited copies of museum quality reproductions are being sold for $115,000.
The Bible has been translated – in whole or in part – into more than 2,400 languages. There are 4,000 other languages that have been identified as having no translation of any book of the Bible.
Off the shelf
Available Bible translations for sale at the Anglican Book Centre (ABC): 50; Most expensive of current stock: $94.95, King James Version; least expensive: $11.25, Good News.
The Bible was the first book to be printed using the technique of movable type printing, which Johann Gutenberg invented in the 1450s. No one knows how many copies were printed exactly or how much these were sold for. Sources: The British Library, BBC, Canadian Bible Society, CBC, Discovery Channel, Anglican Book Centre, General Synod Archives www.heritageedition.com and most-expensive.net