Ancient Hebrew Bible sells for over $38m

The Codex Sassoon.(Photo: Sotheby's)

An auction house has sold the earliest and most complete Hebrew Bible in the world for a staggering $38.1.

The copy is known as the Codex Sassoon and dates back to around 900.

It contains 24 books from the Torah, Nevi'im and Ketuvim and is named after its original owner, David Solomon Sassoon, a 20th century collector ancient Hebrew manuscripts. 

The Codex Sasson was auctioned last week by Sotheby's New York, which called it one of the most important texts in human history.

"The care and dedication with which Codex Sassoon was repeatedly repaired over the centuries, as well as its consecration to a synagogue, give eloquent testimony to the esteem in which it was held by its owners and users," said Sotheby's.

"It is only fitting that such a significant and valuable witness to the masoretic tradition should have entered the Sassoon collection, one of the largest and most important private Judaica libraries ever built."

The Codex Sassoon was bought by former US ambassador to Romania, Alfred H Moses, and is being gifted to Tel Aviv's ANU–Museum of the Jewish People. 

Richard Austin, Sotheby's Global Head of Books & Manuscripts, praised the book.

"Codex Sassoon has long held a revered and fabled place in the pantheon of surviving historic documents and is undeniably one of the most important and singular texts in human history," he said.

"With such eminence, the Codex has an incomparable presence and gravitas that can only be borne from more than one thousand years of history."