What would you do if you found yourself in the possession of a 1,000-year-old bible? Well, it seems that some smugglers actually stole one and decided that they would try and sell it for a nice profit. However, things didn’t go as planned when some undercover cops busted them! However, the agents had no idea just how valuable the ancient bible is…
20. Three Smugglers
Three smugglers were making their way through the Turkish city of Tokay where they had arranged for a meeting. The smugglers were in possession of an ancient item that was incredibly valuable and they thought that they were meeting up with a potential buyer. However, the situation soon flipped when it turned out to undercover agents.
Tokat is a Turkish city located in the northern-center of the country. The location is a perfect spot for any history buff to check out as there is a rich history all around the city. Much of the city gives you an incredible glimpse into the past of Anatolia.
There are dozens of landmarks to check out in the city of Tokat. One of these includes the 12th-century Grappler mosque as well as other landmarks from the Ilkhanate, Seljuq and Ottoman eras. Many of these landmarks date as back as the tenth century A.D.
17. Smuggler Hub
Although the city is a widely popular tourist area, it has also become infamous for something else. The area has recently become a home base for many smugglers. The city has been dealing with a serious infestation of smugglers and they have been attempting to combat it.
The smuggling had gotten so bad that the city appointed anti-smuggling officers to inspect the area. One day, in 2015, anti-smuggling officers discovered a stolen oil painting in the back of a vehicle during a city search. However, this wasn’t just any ordinary oil painting…
15. Famous Art Piece
The smugglers had somehow managed to get their hands on an art piece from the world-reknowed artist, Vincent van Gogh. The painting, “Orphan Man, Standing,” was being transported by the smugglers. It was quite a shocking discovery.
14. Real Painting
At first the officers assumed that it was a replica of the real piece, but they would soon be shocked to find out that that was not the case. There happened to be a stamp on the back of the painting with a stamp from the New York Metropolitan Museum and there was also a reference to the state art collection of Germany, located in Berlin. All of this meant that this was an original piece.
13. Undercover Sting
Soon, the anti-smuggling team went after another group of smugglers during an undercover sting. They were even more surprised by the number of stolen artifacts and art pieces that they found during the raid. However, the officers wanted to be able to catch the smugglers that were responsible for this…
12. A Helpful Tip
The authorities soon got an incredibly useful tip about a group of smugglers and where they were heading. The police were able to cut the men off before they could unload their goods. They ended up arresting 10 men and soon took a look to see what goods they were smuggling.
11. Historic Items
The police took a look at the loot and were shocked by what the men were transporting. There was a ton of jewelry as well as over 50 historic coins of varying shapes and sizes. However, there was one item in particular that really stood out to them.
10. Ancient Bible
The item that particularly stood out to them was an ancient Bible. It was obvious that it was old as many of the pages were tattered. It could have been easily over 1,000 years old. Still, there was many pages that were in quite good condition.
9. Beautiful Book
Although it was obvious that the outside of the bible was badly weathered, many of the pages on the insider were in great condition. The inside of the book were beautiful images, facts, and religious symbols. The delicate sheets were also designed from gold.
8. Video Footage
Video footage taken of the inside of the ancient tome depicts some absolutely stunning imagery. The footage is available thanks to the Turkish Anadolu Agency. Some of the imagery includes this stunning illustration of a cross.
7. Christian Figures
Throughout the ancient tome were stunning images of Christian figures. There were images of Jesus Christ as well as Mary cradling a baby in her arms. As you can see in the image, all of the texts are on one side of the page and the images are on the other.
6. Ancient Language
Another amazing fact surrounding this ancient tome is that it was written in the ancient language of Assyrian. Although the language was popular at the time the tome was written, these days the language is practically dead. The language hasn’t been use for over a millennia. While the exact origins of the book are still a mystery it does play a crucial role currently.
This wonderfully ancient book can help give us some insights into ancient Christianity. It can help historians understand how Christianity managed to spread as quickly as it did during its early years. After all, Christianity made a huge impact on both Greek and Roman societies.
4. First Christians
Indeed, along with the Romans and the Greeks, the Assyrians were also some of the first people to adopt the Christian religion. It is often estimated that the adoption of Christianity occurred somewhere around the first and third centuries A.D.
3. Interesting Insights
So, with this ancient book, historians might be able to better pinpoint how and when the Assyrians converted to Christianity. As for the trio that attempted to sell the book, not much is known about them. However, there have been speculations that they are connected to the Islamic State.
Back in 2015, Iraq’s deputy antiquities minister, Qais Hussein Rasheed, told The Washington Post that the militant group, “Steals everything they can sell, and what they can’t sell, they destroy. We have noticed that the smuggling of antiquities has greatly increased since [they arrived in Iraq in 2014].”
1. Transit Hub
It seems that for now, Tokat is still a major transit hub for many smugglers. Luckily, this ancient tome ended up in the right hands. Now historians can take advantage of all of the knowledge that it has to share!