Religious Books

Humanity’s search for the divine is as old as man. Early hunter-gatherer tribes sought meaningful ways to interact with the environment, thereby ensuring their survival by appeasing whatever spirits bestowed favorable fortunes upon them. The written record of humankind’s preoccupation with these controlling forces is found in religious texts, which are valuable both for their contents and their worth on the market.

Throughout time, sacred texts have been hidden, stolen, smuggled, and destroyed. These are factors which add to their rarity and value. The earliest-known religious texts are the inscriptions written on the walls of the Egyptian pyramids known as the Pyramid Texts, which date to around 3,000 B.C. Fragments of the Babylonian "Epic of Gilgamesh" and the Sumerian tablets discovered at the archaeological site of Ugarit are important cultural discoveries revealing the religious beliefs of ancient societies. The Dead Sea scrolls, a collection of documents written on papyrus and animal skins containing ancient biblical texts, were discovered in caves in the ‘40s and ‘50s.

Religious books bring lots of excitement at auction based upon their rarity, age, and scholarly or historical applications. The price of rare religious books is steadily climbing, often bringing millions at auction houses.


Quick Facts

  • A rare copy of Rhode Island settlement founder Roger William’s "The Bloody Tenet of Persecution" sold for $175,000 at a 2015 Sotheby's auction. The book was so offensive to Christian views upon publication in 1644 that British Parliament ordered all copies burned
  • The "Gospels of Queen Theutberga of Lorraine," a 9th-century gospel believed to be missing for 20 years, was sold by Christie’s to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for $2,850,844 in 2014
  • "Hebrew Bible: Pentateuch with Haftarot and the Five Scrolls, England: 15 Tammuz 4949=2 July 1189" sold for $3,610,000 at a 2015 Sotheby’s auction. This rare Hebrew book dates to before the expulsion of the Jewish people from the British Isles

Recommended Items at Auction

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WOOD BIBLE / BOOK STAND
Oct 17, 12:00 PM EDT
WOOD BIBLE / BOOK STAND
by Aether Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$218 Bids
Das Mainzer Evangeliar, Ms. 13, Hofbibliothek Aschaffenburg, Faksimile Luzern 2007
Oct 23, 10:00 AM CEST
Das Mainzer Evangeliar, Ms. 13, Hofbibliothek Aschaffenburg, Faksimile Luzern 2007
by K&K – Auktionen in Heidelberg
Est: €2,000- €2,200
€5507 Bids
ATLAS RUSSICUS AND PLAN DE LA VILLE DE ST. PETERSBURG
Oct 30, 1:00 PM CEST
ATLAS RUSSICUS AND PLAN DE LA VILLE DE ST. PETERSBURG
by Galerie Moenius
Est: CHF3,000- CHF6,000
CHF3,2002 Bids
SALVADOR DALI ILLUSTRATED BIBLE LITHOGRAPH FROM GOUACHE ORIGINAL ON LAID PAPER
Oct 22, 6:00 PM EDT
SALVADOR DALI ILLUSTRATED BIBLE LITHOGRAPH FROM GOUACHE ORIGINAL ON LAID PAPER
by Auctions by Daum
Est: $460- $550
$6002 Bids
12 PC STERLING BIBLE - BONBON -KNIVES
Oct 24, 1:00 PM EDT
12 PC STERLING BIBLE - BONBON -KNIVES
by Charleston Estate Auctions
Est: $150- $200
$62 Bids
RIVA UGO (n. 1951) Le Religioni nel Mondo.
Oct 26, 11:00 AM CEST
RIVA UGO (n. 1951) Le Religioni nel Mondo.
by Capitolium Art
Est: €200- €400
€1002 Bids
SANTOS. O CASO DOS TÁVORAS, 1 vol. br.
Oct 18, 7:00 PM WEST
SANTOS. O CASO DOS TÁVORAS, 1 vol. br.
by Palácio do Correio Velho
Est: €15- €30
€202 Bids
Bible - Tes Kaines Diathekes Apanta....[The New Testament in Greek],
Oct 19, 12:00 PM BST
Bible - Tes Kaines Diathekes Apanta....[The New Testament in Greek],
by Gorringes
Est: £120- £160
£601 Bid
Oversized Leatherbound Holy Bible Parallel-Column Edition
Oct 20, 11:00 AM EDT
Oversized Leatherbound Holy Bible Parallel-Column Edition
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $100- $200
$101 Bid
Salvador Dalí , "Die Bibel", limitierte, nummerierte Ausgabe im Bestzustand, mit Zertifikat
Oct 22, 10:00 AM CEST
Salvador Dalí , "Die Bibel", limitierte, nummerierte Ausgabe im Bestzustand, mit Zertifikat
by K&K – Auktionen in Heidelberg
Est: €140- €160
€201 Bid
Bosio , Giacomo. Li Privileggi della Sacra Religione di S. Gio Giersolimitano ...
Oct 19, 12:00 PM BST
Bosio , Giacomo. Li Privileggi della Sacra Religione di S. Gio Giersolimitano ...
by Gorringes
Est: £200- £300
£1001 Bid
[Holy Bible]. Biblia. Insignium Historiarum Simulachris ...
Oct 19, 12:00 PM BST
[Holy Bible]. Biblia. Insignium Historiarum Simulachris ...
by Gorringes
Est: £200- £300
£1001 Bid
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Sefer Yetsira and the Thirty-two paths of wisdom. Paris: Ariane Lancell, Yves Gauguet, s.d. (i.e. 1978 ca.).
Oct 28, 10:00 AM CEST
Sefer Yetsira and the Thirty-two paths of wisdom. Paris: Ariane Lancell, Yves Gauguet, s.d. (i.e. 1978 ca.).
by Gonnelli Casa d'Aste
Est: €1,000- €2,000
€1,0001 Bid
Ɵ BIBLES AND PRAYER BOOKS: 13 VOLUMES
Nov 16, 10:30 AM GMT
Ɵ BIBLES AND PRAYER BOOKS: 13 VOLUMES
by Dreweatts 1759 Fine Sales
Est: £200- £300
£1201 Bid
CHAGALL, MARC. Drawings for the Bible. Verve 37/38.
Oct 28, 12:00 PM EDT
CHAGALL, MARC. Drawings for the Bible. Verve 37/38.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $1,500- $2,500
$1,1001 Bid
SCENA BIBLICA E SCENA GALANTE - BIBLE SCENE AND GALANT SCENE
Oct 21, 6:30 PM CEST
SCENA BIBLICA E SCENA GALANTE - BIBLE SCENE AND GALANT SCENE
by Galleria Sarno
Est: €400- €500
€2400 Bids
Group of 11 Leatherbound Books, Religion and Philosophy
Oct 23, 9:00 AM EDT
Group of 11 Leatherbound Books, Religion and Philosophy
by Brunk Auctions
Est: $500- $700
$2500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Religious Books


Gorringes

Gorringes

Hindman

Hindman

Forum Auctions - UK

Forum Auctions - UK

Plakas Auctions

Plakas Auctions