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Woman Discovers Mysterious, 318-Year-Old Bible in Most Unlikely of Places

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A bookstore owner is speaking out after making an incredible discovery at an Iowa nursing home: a mysterious, 318-year-old Bible.

Listen to them on the latest episode of “Quick Start”

Kathy Magruder told KCCI-TV she discovered the centuries-old book in the library of the Calvin Community home.

It was a fascinating find for Magruder, who runs Pageturners Bookstore, where she sells new and old books. She had gone to the home to look for unique texts and the Bible eventually stood out.

“There were a lot of older books, which were fun, and I chose those, but I saw this on a shelf,” Magruder told the Independent Advocate. “It doesn’t look like anything special. I said, ‘You know, I think that one is kind of old. … I’m going to have to research that one because I can’t even make an offer until I have some idea what it is.'”

So, she started investigating and found some stunning facts about the book.

First and foremost, it was printed in 1705 in Selkirkshire, Scotland, and was potentially done so illegally without the monarchy’s permission; such an infraction could lead to a death sentence at the time, KCCI-TV reported.

Magruder was also able to track down who initially owned the Bible, as there was reportedly a family history scribbled in the middle of the book.

“I knew exactly where this book was at a particular time and a particular place, and I knew who owned it, which was pretty exciting,” she said. “You don’t find that very often.”

One of the entries read, “Janet Scott my Spouse Died on Wednesday third Day of Novm 1773 Aged 33 years of the Smallpox.” It was a reference to a couple written in the family history named James Burnet and Janet Scott, who had married in 1761 and had three daughters, according to the written history.

Magruder also tracked the publisher to learn more about his family and how the book came to be printed.

Nursing home officials don’t know how the Bible arrived at the location, and Magruder hasn’t yet been able to locate relatives of the original owners.

The big question, of course, is how it made its way over the pond and into the U.S.

Magruder’s quest to dig up additional information continues. She eventually plans to sell the Bible, which you can read more about here.

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About The Author

Billy Hallowell writes for CBN's He has been working in journalism and media for more than a decade. His writings have appeared in CBN News, Faithwire, Deseret News, TheBlaze, Human Events, Mediaite, PureFlix, and Fox News, among other outlets. He is the author of several books, including Playing with Fire: A Modern Investigation Into Demons, Exorcism, and Ghosts Hallowell has a B.A. in journalism and broadcasting from the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, New York and an M.S. in social research from Hunter College in Manhattan, New York.