An old believer who brought a unique book wrapped in a cloth to the Severodvinsk city museum of regional studies in Russia’s Arkhangelsk region wanted his name to be kept secret in the press. And PRAVDA.Ru complies with the request. The doing of the old believer is obvious civil heroism under the present-day miserable conditions in which many people have to live. The matter is that the man asked only three thousand rubles (about 100 dollars) for the Bible printed in the publishing house of Ivan Fyodorov, Russia’s printing pioneer in the 16th century (the book is dated with 1581). At the same time, dealers in antiquarian books say that the sample probably costs not less than 270 thousand dollars!
As of now, there are about 250 samples of first printed copies of the Bible. The rarity discovered in Severodvinsk belongs to unknown samples (the rest books are registered and protected as national patrimony).
It was a tradition in old times to insert information about the most important events on blank pages of books. But the only entry inserted in the Bible discovered in Severodvinsk concerned Yury Gagarin’s space flight. The date mentioned on pages of the book was April 12, 7469 from creation of the world (it is a tradition of the Russian Orthodox church keep chronology counting from creation of the world). The Bible was handed down through generations of old believers. As PRAVDA.Ru correspondent in Pomorye learnt, earlier the book of Bible was kept in Ambursky cell, the abode of old believers in Pomorye.
Vitaly Bratkov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://culture.pravda.ru/culture/2003/4/67/191/7791_Bibliya.html
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