AUSTIN, Texas • Evangelical businessman Steve Green has unveiled what he called "the oldest Jewish prayer book ever found" and will add it to the collection of religious artifacts that will form the core of the Bible museum he is building in Washington, D.C.
The artifact, dating from 840 A.D., is written in Hebrew on parchment and shows Babylonian vowel marks. Green said it was purchased less than a year ago from a private collection and is of Middle Eastern origin. But he declined to name the seller or how much he paid for it.
About the size of a large smartphone, and 50 pages long, the seller likely knew the book was special but did not realize its significance, said Jerry Pattengale, executive director of the Green Scholars Initiative, the research arm of The Green Collection.