Top 5 Most Expensive Religious Books in the World
Don’t be surprised to know the most expensive religious books. Before the development of the printing press and movable type, all books had to be translated or copied by hand and were immensely expensive and unavailable to most people. Only the most precious ideas made the transfer from verbal story to a physical medium of stone, leaf, reed or paper. Spirituality is just as important today as it has been at any point in history, there are an estimated 2.1 billion Christians, 1.4 billion Muslims, and 1 billion Hindus practicing in the world. Here are the top 5 most expensive religious books in the world.
5. 1611 Geneva Bible – Sold for $3,000.00
This is one of the most popular printings of the Geneva Bible among collectors being printed the same year as the First Edition of the King James Bible (1611) . This most expensive religious books is the well known “Breeches” Bible for the rendering in Genesis 3: 7 “and they sewed fig tree leaves together, and made themselves breeches”. It is also known as the “Pilgrims” Bible.
4. Drawings for the Bible by Marc Chagall – Sold for $3,500.00
First Edition of the most expensive religious books 4to – over 9¾” – 12″ tall. A scarce 1960 book that compromises 96 reproductions in black and white, and 24 lithographs by this celebrated 20th century painter, in color as well as a cover specially designed for this volume. Jacket is torn and falling apart, otherwise a rare item.
3. The Bible – Translated according to Hebrew – Sold for $5,000.00
The New Testament & Concordance have separate title-pages, with the 1586 date on the New Testament, but the Concordance title-page is undated. The edges have been very closely cropped (trimmed down) when the book was rebound in the 1650-1750 period, with loss to some of the page numbers, and some of the text of the headings, and the printed, side margin annotations.
2. Baskerville Bible, Containing the Old Testament – Sold for $8,350.00
This most expensive religious books printed in 1763 by John Baskerville, the finest type designer of 18th century in England. He began to design his own type in 1750, and then set out to print books which were consciously fine pieces of printing and eventually went to great lengths to achieve his ‘highest ambition’ of printing a folio Bible, an irony in itself since he was a confirmed atheist.
1. Coverdale Cranmer Bible – Sold for $19,893.34
The Fourth Great Bible (Nov 1540) and the third with Cranmer’s preface. Large folio, old reversed calf, with blind tooling on covers, re-backed in a slightly darker reverse calf probably late 18c or early 19c with deep wine morocco label ‘Holy Bible 1541’. It is a large pulpit folio measuring over 14 inches tall. This was a volt farce because the Bible in English had been prohibited since 1408. Hence it has often been referred to as Cromwell’s Bible. This was the first and only truly “Authorised Version” and was commonly chained to the pulpit in the churches. This is the most expensive religious books.