Watch LIVE

Historic Bible's Mysterious Disappearance Is Creating Some Major Questions

Faith

"Either he has it or it was stolen from his mailbox."

Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America

A rare 16th century Hebrew Bible disappeared earlier this month, with the man who purchased it on eBay reportedly claiming that the eight-volume holy book never arrived at his home.

Gene Albert, a Virginia-based dealer who sells religious artifacts, sold the Bible, which dates back to the 1540s, to Jacob Gestetner of Monsey, New York, for $7,000, but the recipient purportedly told him that the package never reached him, according to USA Today.

Postal records show, though, that it arrived at Gestetner's home on October 10, leaving two potential options, according to Albert: "Either he has it or it was stolen from his mailbox."

Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America

The collector told TheBlaze Friday that he's been frustrated by the loss and that he has been unable to make much progress in locating the Bible.

"It's a double hit, because the Bible itself is probably worth more than [$7,000] — it was worth $10,000 or $12 000," Albert said. "And I agreed to sell it, because, quite frankly, the economic times in which we're in — I was selling what I have to get by right now."

While the post office claims that the package was scanned and later delivered, Gestetner reportedly sent an eBay note to Albert on October 11 indicating that he had not yet received it, with the collector telling him to check with the local post office.

Then, a week later, Albert said that Gestetner followed up to say that he still did not have the package in hand, according to USA Today.

Albert, who had to return the $7,000 he received for the Bible based on eBay's policies, said that he has reached out to synagogues in the New York area to ask them to be on the lookout for the books and that he has contacted the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America to ask its members to do the same.

Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America

A recent entry on the association's official blog reports the eight-volume Bible as stolen and asks anyone with information to call Albert directly. The following description of the text is given:

(Bible in Hebrew) Vocalized text. Integral blanks present. This is 17 parts in 8 volumes. Samll format; 113 x 68mm. 16th century calf with gilt arabesque centerpiece on covers, vellum pastedowns from medieval Latin manuscript (of an abridgment?) of the Sentences of Peter Lombard. From the collection of the Scottish politician bibliophile Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun (1653-1716) with his signature on the title pages.

Albert, who lives in Virginia, told TheBlaze that the police in Monsey would not help him unless he came in person. And while he filed a report with the post office, he's not sure what else he can do.

"I filed a good week ago with the United States Postal Service theft reporting agency … and I haven't heard anything at all from them," he told TheBlaze. "Nothing."

Albert said that this is the first time he has experienced an issue like this, though he admittedly forgot to check of the signature required box — something he said he routinely requires for the deliver of his packages.

(H/T: USA Today)

Most recent
All Articles