ISBN Number From Original Bible Discovered

Special to The Guardian

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Rarest of finds

In a find that stunned the world of religion, archaeologists digging in a remote region of the Sinai desert discovered what is believed to be the original Holy Bible from more than 2,000 years ago with its International Standard Book Publishing (ISBN) code still intact.

“This is an almost unbelievable discovery,” says Alfred Pottersmith, lead curator of Middle East artifacts at the British Museum in London. “To think we could be holding in our hands the original bible from God’s disciples is humbling beyond words.”

What gives archaeologists confidence the bible is the original Word of God, first edition, is the presence of the internationally recognized 9-digit numeric commercial book identifier code known as the ISBN code.

Discovery site

Discovery site

By tracing the numeric code, researchers can identify with precision when, where, and by whom the book was published. In technical terms, the ISBM number identifies the “prefix element, registration group, registrant, publication and check digit,” says Nigel Cox, professor emeritus of ancient book publishing studies at Oxford University.

isbn1The code on the newly discovered bible clearly identifies “Holy Land” as the location of the publisher, the year of release as “0,” and the publisher as “Galilee Press,” which is believed to have been one of the few publishers in the area at the time.

The code also identifies “John the Baptist” as lead author.

“The Bible is a compilation, and so it’s traditional for publishers to select one of the contributors as the lead author, and in this case it’s John the Baptist, and that makes sense,” says Pottersmith. “That’s not to say he received all the royalties. I’m sure Matthew, Mark, and the others also received a share in the royalties, but all that would be worked out in a separate contractual arrangement; the ISBN number wouldn’t have anything to do with that.”

Pottersmith noted that the royalties on the originial Holy Bible would be “astronomical,” because the book is the all-time world bestseller. “In copies, how many hundreds of millions–billions, actually—of this book have been sold?” says Pottersmith. “If John were around today, he would be incredibly wealthy just from his quarterly royalty payments, even with the split of royalties with the others. Not that he would care about that. I’m sure he would donate all or most of his royalties to charity—a church maybe.”

Researchers continue to analyze the book under the supervision of a special commission established by the International Governing Council of Hebraic and Christian Historical Research Studies. It will be housed in a separate research wing at Oxford University.

Amazon is seeking rights to publish replicas of the book, which will be available as an e-book.

This is a work of satire. It is fictional news article not meant to be taken seriously. Photos (some modified): bb and gc (Creative Commons). Not necessarily an endorsed use of images.

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