The world's oldest book in private hands, and among the earliest books known, was auctioned in London on Tuesday, fetching over £3 million. The Crosby-Schoyen Codex, formerly owned by Norwegian entrepreneur and rare book aficionado Martin Schoyen, includes the earliest complete versions of two biblical texts — the book of Jonah and the first epistle of Peter. Bidding at Christie's commenced at £1.7 million, attracting both online and in-person bidders. The final price, including taxes, was £3,065,000 ($3,898,000), secured by an anonymous bidder via phone. Discovered by Egyptian farmers in the 1950s, the codex was penned by a monk in present-day Egypt around the 4th century AD, making it over 1,600 years old, significantly older than famous ancient texts like the Gutenberg Bible from the 1450s. Composed in Coptic script on double-sided papyrus leaves, now safeguarded between plexiglass plates, this ancient biblical text reflects advancements in written technology when single-sided scrolls were prevalent. Alongside this literary gem, twelve other select items from the Schoyen Collection were also auctioned. The collection, as per its website, encompasses over 20,000 items, tracing 5,000 years of history from 3,500 BC to the present. Despite its impressive sale, this is not the highest price for a rare text. Last year, the Codex Sassoon, a Hebrew Bible over 1,000 years old, sold for $38.1 million at Sotheby's in New York, setting a new record. This outdid the $30.8 million paid by Microsoft founder Bill Gates in 1994 for Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Leicester manuscript. The most expensive historical document remains one of the first prints of the US Constitution, which Sotheby's sold for $43 million in November 2021.