Sign of the times? The Christian Scripture, which contains 27 different books, is now available on a tiny chip that’s inserted into jewelry, thanks to Israeli nanotechnology. A company called Jerusalem Nano Bible (JNB) recently applied for a Guinness World Record in an attempt to be recognized as the manufacturer of the world’s smallest New Testament.
It all started when Ami Bentov, founder of JNB, saw Israeli President Shimon Peres presenting Pope Benedict XVI with a nano bible five years ago. In 2009, researchers at the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology) developed a nano Old Testament the size of a grain of sand.
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Bentov believes the same technology can serve all religions, but decided to pursue the development of a nano New Testament first, an endeavor that took him several years to complete. According to the company, Bentov’s next step will be embedding The Quran in a nanochip.
Sharing a ‘bit’ of peace with the world
A veteran photojournalist, who covered wars and conflicts in the Middle East – many of them revolving around faith – Bentov decided to connect all people to their faiths, right from his office in Israel. “We want to spread good energies of peace from Jerusalem,” Lee Meyuchas, Deputy Director at JNB, told NoCamels.com. “The unique combination of new Israeli technology and the Holy Scriptures that stem from our region is cherished by believers around the world.”
JNB embeds thousands of written words in tiny silicon wafers. The 450-nanometer letters are engraved in aluminum and the text is covered by a protective silicon layer. JNB’s 3 mm nanochips are manufactured by TowerJazz Semiconductor, another Israeli company, and sold through its offices in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. But not only does JNB create manufacturing jobs, it also employs Israeli jewelers, who embed the minute JNB chip in jewelry pieces such as rings and necklaces, which cost $99. And the company obviously hopes believers will be rushing to buy bible-related presents in the run-up to Christmas.
“Carrying the word of God close to your heart is what believers look for,” Meyuchas explains. “It gives you a sense that there is someone up there, and it better connects you to your faith.”
Faith is in the small things
According to JNB, the chip is a bible book for all practical purposes and can be examined through a special microscope in any nanotechnology lab. What’s inside the chip? While the New Testament is disseminated in multiple languages and versions, JNB chose the original Greek version, the Textus Receptus (Latin: “received text”). This Greek version constituted the translation base for later translations and versions, and is considered the original, most ancient New Testament.
How can customers be sure the New Testament is actually inside the necklace they’ve purchased? The product was certified by an expert with what seems to be the most appropriate name – Dr. Jack Pastor. Pastor is the dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Humanities at University of Haifa’s Oranim Academic College.
Pastor says that as part of JNB’s effort to be included in the Guinness Book of Records, he was asked “to be an expert witness to the claim that the nanochip produced by TowerJazz contains a complete and accurate text of the Greek New Testament.”
There are roughly 2.4 billion Christians in the world, obviously an enormous potential market for JNB. The question is whether devout believers, who typically wear cross necklaces, will adopt the Bible necklace. Meyuchas believes the necklace could become as sacred as the Jewish mezuzah, which contains verses from the Torah and is affixed to the doorframe in Jewish homes. Says Meyuchas: “We plan to cooperate with churches worldwide.”
Photos courtesy of Jerusalem Nano Bible