Reading the Bible is an important part of many people’s faiths, but I think most would have a problem trying to read this particular Bible. The world’s smallest Bible has been put on display in Jerusalem, but you’d be hard pressed to find anyone able to read it.
— Israel ישראל (@Israel) April 28, 2015
This version of the Bible is tinier than a pinhead and was created by Israeli scientists at the Institute of the Technion. The Nano Bible was created as part of the 50th anniversary of the Shrine of the Book wing at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. The Shrine of the Book wing also contains the famous Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest Biblical texts ever found.
Although the Nano Bible is going to have its own exhibition, it was first created back in 2009 with one of the first copies going to Pope Benedict XVI when he visited Israel. The idea of the Nano Bible was first conceived by Technion scientists Uri Sivan and Ohad Zohar
The Nano Bible, according to Times of Israel, “is engraved onto a 0.5 mm2 chip and is barely visible,” with scientists comparing it to “the size of a grain of sugar.”
So, how exactly did scientists engrave the 1,200,000 Hebrew letters?
When scientists spoke with the BBC, it was explained that the Nano Bible was engraved “on a gold-plated silicon chip by engineers using an ion beam.”
To explain further, “To produce it, engineers took a wafer of silicon, coated it with a layer of gold less than 100 atoms thick and engraved the text with a focused ion laser beam.”
The scientists created a computer program to engrave the Nano Bible in just an hour and a half.
As the Times of Israel points out, “Compare that to the year and a half it can take for a scribe to complete a kosher, hand-lettered Torah scroll.”
So why do it? Why would Sivan and Zohar thinking of creating a version of the Bible that no one could read without some serious scientific help?
Sivan stated, “More than any other book, the Bible symbolizes the transmission of human civilization from one generation to another.”
“We tried to connect to the device. We wanted to get people curious about the revolution that is taking place before their eyes,” Sivan added.
The exhibition on the tiniest version of the Bible began on April 20 and will continue through the end of next year.
[Photo Courtesy of Times of Israel]