In London on Tuesday, the Crosby-Schoyen Codex, the world’s oldest book in a private collection and one of the earliest surviving books, sold at auction for more than £3 million.

Previously owned by the Norwegian businessman and rare book collector Martin Schoyen, the codex contains the earliest complete copies of two texts from the Bible — the book of Jonah and Peter’s first epistle. Bidding for the text at Christie’s auction house started at £1.7 million, attracting a mix of enthusiastic online and in-person bidders.

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The Crosby-Schoyen Codex fetched £3,065,000 ($3,898,000) at auction, including taxes, when it was sold to an anonymous phone bidder.

It was said to be discovered by Egyptian farmers in the 1950s, this ancient manuscript was originally copied by a monk in what is now Egypt around the fourth century AD.

Its age surpasses that of more renowned ancient texts like the Gutenberg Bible, which dates from the 1450s, making it at least 1,600 years old.

The ancient biblical text, written in Coptic script on double-sided papyrus leaves now preserved between plexiglass plates, showcases advancements in written technology during a time when single-sided scrolls were predominant.

Alongside this literary treasure, twelve other select pieces from the Schoyen Collection were also put up for auction. The collection as a whole consists of over 20,000 pieces, covering 5,000 years of history from 3,500 BC to the present day, as stated on its website.