World’s Tiniest Bible Is Now on View at the Israel Museum

Technion scientists' small contribution to the promulgation of the holy book would go unnoticed by most.

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
A screenshot from the Technion's video.
A screenshot from the Technion's video.

You’ve never seen the Bible like this before. That is, if you can actually see this version.

For the 50th anniversary of the Shrine of the Book wing of the Israel Museum, which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls, the museum has launched an exhibition on the “nano bible,” or the world’s smallest Bible, created by Israeli scientists at the Technion.

The Nano Bible, which is engraved onto a 0.5 mm2 chip and is barely visible – a Technion description compares it to the size of a grain of sugar – was first produced back in 2009, when one of the first copies was given to Pope Benedict XVI on his trip to Israel.

This Bible, conceived by Uri Sivan and Ohad Zohar of the Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute at the Technion, is technically an engraving. 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. Engraving the book’s 1,200,000 Hebrew letters would have been an, ahem, biblical undertaking, so naturally the scientists devised a computer program that allowed the ion beam to inscribe the letters in around an hour and a half. Compare that to the year and a half it can take for a scribe to complete a kosher, hand-lettered Torah scroll.

“More than any other book, the Bible symbolizes the transmission of human civilization from one generation to another,” Sivan said. “We tried to connect to the device. We wanted to get people curious about the revolution that is taking place before their eyes.”

The exhibition, which opened on April 20, runs through the end of next year.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Already signed up? LOG IN


הקלטות מעוז

Jewish Law Above All: Recordings Reveal Far-right MK's Plan to Turn Israel Into Theocracy

איתמר בן גביר

Why I’m Turning My Back on My Jewish Identity

Travelers looking at the Departures board at Ben Gurion Airport. The number of olim who later become yordim is unknown.

Down and Out: Why These New Immigrants Ended Up Leaving Israel

Beatrice Grannò and Simona Tabasco as Mia and Lucia in "The White Lotus."

The Reality Behind ‘The White Lotus’ Sex Work Fantasy

The Mossad hit team in Dubai. Exposed by dozens of security cameras

This ‘Dystopian’ Cyber Firm Could Have Saved Mossad Assassins From Exposure

מליאת הכנסת 28.12.22

Comeback Kid: How Netanyahu Took Back Power After 18 Months in Exile