A Palmerston North vicar is mystified how a rare 400-year-old King James Bible ended up in a box at the bottom of a cupboard at St Peter's Anglican Church.
The bible is believed to be the only 1616 King James Bible in the southern hemisphere and one of only a few left in the world.
Now fully restored, it will be dedicated at a special service on Sunday before going on permanent display, the Manawatu Guardian reported.
The bible was found by the late Keith Hopper who was preparing an exhibition to mark the 400th anniversary of the first edition of the King James Bible in 2011.
He found the bible when searching in church cupboards and got in touch with Anthony Tedeschi, Dunedin Library's curator of rare books, who quickly determined it was authentic.St Peter's vicar Anne Chrisp says she has no clue how the bible ended up in the church and the original owners in England haven't been traced.
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