Bible believed to be 1,200 years old discovered in Turkey

The Bible was discovered during an anti-smuggling operation(Photo: Dyarbakir governorship)

An extremely rare Bible has been discovered in Turkey by police as part of an anti-smuggling operation. 

The Bible is only 34 pages long and is believed to be 1,200 years old, reports Hurriyet Daily News.  Although it is in frail condition, gold lettering and a cross decoration can still be made out on its pages. 

It was seized by an anti-smuggling team in the city of Kayapinar, the southeastern Diyarbakir governorship said in a statement. 

Six people have been detained by police in connection with the Bible, with three accused of trying to sell it. 

No additional information was given about the Bible.

Last year, the discovery of a 2,000-year-old stamping ring caused much excitement among biblical archaeologists after it was found to bear the inscription of 'Pilatus' in Greek letters. 

It was just one of many artefacts discovered during excavations at Herod's burial tomb half a century ago but the inscription was only recently deciphered thanks to the use of new advanced photography technology. 

The inscription led to speculation that it might have belonged to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea who went down in history as the man who tried Jesus.

Professor Danny Schwartz told Haaretz that the name 'Pilatus' was not common at the time.

'I don't know of any other Pilatus from the period and the ring shows he was a person of stature and wealth,' he said.

Roi Porat, co-author of a report into the object published in the Israel Exploration Journal, told The Times of Israel, 'But in practice, we have a ring inscribed with the name Pilate and the personal connection just cries out.'