The world has turned to us for over a quarter-century for rare and antique Bibles and ancient Biblical materials. Since 1996, we have been the world’s largest dealer of rare and antique Bibles … selling more rare Bibles in fact, than the combined total of all other rare book dealers in the world!
And since 1996, we have maintained our online showroom at GREATSITE.COM, a website so popular that more than 375,000 other websites of churches, ministries, and individuals link to it, and we receive several thousand website visitors every day.
Our customer service office is in Orlando, Florida (though no books are housed there).
Formerly associated with “The Bible Museum” from 1996 to 2022, we are now as of 2023 an independent organization offering a variety of ancient Biblical materials on consignment sale, and soon to be introducing even more options… sign up for our Email Newsletter (below) to stay informed.
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Greatsite Marketing / GREATSITE.COM is a Dun & Bradstreet Rated Company (#01-400-1866) owned by John Lawton Jeffcoat III. Our company is Christian-owned and a portion of our profits are donated to missionary ministries.
If you want to know more about us, and why you should feel perfectly safe and confident doing business with us, feel free to CONTACT US with any questions or concerns, but take a moment first to click below and read about our company history, and see our many reviews & endorsements
Our Company History
In 1987, the International Director of the World Bible Society, Dr. Craig Lampe, decided to create a very special company. He approached his long-time friend, Dr. Jonathan Byrd, and presented him the idea: to corner-the-market on rare and antique Bibles, and set up an organization that would restore and preserve the ancient printings of God’s Word for future generations, and make these wonderful treasures available for sale. This new company would be the world’s primary source for antiquarian Bibles.
Dr. Byrd had just sold off all seven of his Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises, and was preparing the build the largest cafeteria in the United States. You can read more about the intriguing story behind that cafeteria in this article from Guideposts Magazine. Jonathan Byrd Racing is also one of the biggest names in Indy Car Racing, and Dr. Byrd was the 2002 pick for the Indianapolis Speedrome Hall of Fame, which you can read about here.
Dr. Byrd decided to fund Dr. Lampe’s idea, and “Jonathan Byrd’s Rare Books & Bibles” was born. Originally, the company had no public showroom or store-front. It was housed in a small windowless storage room in the offices above Jonathan Byrd’s Cafeteria in Greenwood, Indiana. The only way people found out about the company at all was essentially through word-of-mouth referral… yet by 1989, they were already the world’s largest dealer of rare and antique Bibles!
Five years later, in 1994, John Jeffcoat took up the hobby of collecting old Bibles. After visiting more than twenty “rare book dealers” he was very discouraged to find that Bibles printed prior to the 1800’s seemed to be completely unavailable. In voicing this concern to one rare book dealer, he was told, “Of course you can’t find any ancient Bibles… one man has them all… but he will sell you whatever you want if you call him. His name is Dr. Craig Lampe… here’s his phone number.” Two brief phone calls later, John was in his car, driving over 1,200 miles round-trip, to see this little shop above a cafeteria that had managed to become a world-wide-near-monopoly in the niche market of rare and antique Bibles. Two days later, he returned home, having made the first of what would be tens of thousands of dollars in purchases from this wonderful little shop over the next few years.
In 1996, John Jeffcoat approached Dr. Lampe with an idea: to build a website that would showcase a sampling of the company’s inventory of ancient Bibles and Bible leaves, and through search engine listings and printed advertisements for the website, make this awesome material known and available to the public… world-wide. Through nothing less than divine providence, John was able to secure possession of the highly desirable URL address “GREATSITE.COM”, and a few weeks later, the virtual store was open for business. The response was so great, that within a few weeks, John quit his full-time job so he could handle the calls and emails that were coming in every day from around the world.
Much like John’s own personal experience two years earlier in suddenly discovering the availability of these awesome rare Bibles… once the availability of this material was made known to the world… many people instantly became collectors. After all, what more rewarding hobby could there be than collecting the earliest printings of God’s Word? What more valuable and precious commodity is there? What better investment or family heirloom?
With millions of dollars in annual sales, and a website at GREATSITE.COM linked-to by over 375,000 other websites, and drawing thousands of visitors per day, the world’s largest for-sale collection of rare and antique Bibles now needed a store front showroom more elegant than an unmarked storage room above a cafeteria. Fortunately, Dr. Byrd had continued to expand his entrepreneurial ventures, and was now building three new luxury Hotels in suburban Phoenix, Arizona.
In 1999, the company moved its headquarters from Greenwood, Indiana, to Goodyear, Arizona. They built a Rare Bible Showroom is housed in the Grand Lobby of one of Arizona’s most beautiful new hotels. You may want to read the article written about us in the Arizona Republic which details how more than 50% of Jonathan Byrd’s profit was given to missionary ministries each year, and the company profits have enabled funding the printing and distribution of several million Bibles for missionaries through groups like “The Bible League”, and to help found the largest Christian Church in the predominantly Hindu nation of India. You may also want to read the Wall Street Journal article written about GREATSITE.COM and its founder, John L. Jeffcoat.
In 2004, due to ongoing health concerns, Dr. Jonathan Byrd retired, leaving his business empire to his sons, and selling his interest in the Rare Bible business to his business partner of many years, Dr. Craig Lampe. “Jonathan Byrd’s Rare Books & Bibles” was re-named “The Bible Museum, Inc.”, and was fully-owned by Dr. Craig Lampe from 2004 until 2021.
On August 5, 2021, Dr. Craig Lampe passed away at the age of 77. This was devastating to everyone who knew him. After a difficult 18 month period of transition following this tragic loss, everything had changed greatly. By early 2023, it became apparent that, in the absence of their beloved original founder, The Bible Museum’s new management was initiating a massive shift of focus, intent, attitude, and action. These unfortunate sweeping changes made it impossible for GREATSITE.COM and John L. Jeffcoat to continue the quarter century of partnership previously enjoyed, as the action of the new management forced a termination of that long-standing relationship. GREATSITE.COM would need to proceed independently, offering a selection of privately consigned ancient Bibles and theological books.
Today, world-wide sales, marketing, and customer service, continues to be handled by John L. Jeffcoat, who since 1996 has been the owner of GREATSITE.COM
References & Endorsements
As GREATSITE.COM has grown since 1996, we have acquired an amazing customer base which now includes:
- Pastors of many of the largest churches in America
- Presidents & Directors of the largest ministries and seminaries in the world
- CEO’s of several “Fortune 500” companies and members of the “Forbes 400”
- Museum Directors, publishers, investment bankers, commodity brokers
- Many of the most famous stars of film, television, and professional sports
- Many Senators, Congressmen, Governors, and Judges
- Even one former President of the United States
“We started by ordering a framed Bible Leaf for John MacArthur as a gift. Since then, I and many others on church staff have made purchases from GREATSITE.COM, and our purchases have made great additions to our homes and offices.”
Dr. Tom Pennington | Executive Pastor: Grace Community Church | Los Angeles, CA | The Ministry of Dr. John MacArthur
“My experience with GREATSITE.COM has been nothing but pleasant. The quality of materials I have purchased from them has been excellent, and the well-informed advice on Biblical antiquities they have shared with me on numerous occasions has been extremely helpful.”
Rev. Harold Rawlings: Senior Pastor | Landmark Baptist Temple| Cincinnati, OH
“We’ve offered a number of GREATSITE.COM’s facsimiles and Bible leaves in our Ligonier Ministries Resource catalog over the years. The Bible Museum has also exhibited their rare and antique Bibles and leaves at our National Conferences (for five years now)”
Alan Yardis | Former Sr. Vice President of Marketing | Ligonier Ministries / “Renewing Your Mind” | The Teaching Ministry of Dr. R.C. Sproul
“Ligonier Ministries”, “Renewing Your Mind”, and “R.C. Sproul” are registered trademarks.
“GREATSITE.COM has been running full page advertisements in WORLD (the fourth-largest news magazine in America) for years. We’ve enjoyed a great relationship with them, and have even given their beautiful framed Bible leaves as gifts to special clients and friends of WORLD Magazine.”
Jennifer Graham: Advertising Director | WORLD Magazine
“As a personal friend of the men who run both Sotheby’s and Christie’s auction houses, there is one thing that speaks volumes of your reputation: both of these institutions, when asked to refer me to a dealer of antique and rare biblical material mentioned only one dealer: GREATSITE.COM . That tells me all I need to know! I am very comfortable doing business with you, and your collection is amazing.”
Alex Peabody | Investment Banker and Collector | Formerly with Morgan Stanley & Solomon Smith Barney
“The Bible League has purchased many Bible leaves from GREATSITE.COM to present to our Bible League Partners. These leaves are unique gifts and always very much appreciated.”
The Bible League | Chicago, IL
“We have worked with GREATSITE.COM for rare Bible leaves, which we frame as special awards for pro-family legislators and supporters. We have always been pleased with the quality… and the recipients have always been pleased.”
Carolyn E. Kunkle: Development Director | Christian Coalition of Florida
“GREATSITE.COM is a wealth of Biblical heritage made available to those who normally would not have access to such fascinating resources. The website is informative, the prices reasonable, and the service reliable, trustworthy, and speedy. I enjoy the pieces I have from this… well… ‘great site’!”
Dr. Michael S. Beates | Dean of Students | Reformed Theological Seminary | Pastor: Covenant Presbyterian Church
“We have several items purchased from GREATSITE.COM on display at our museum in Houston, Texas. They share our desire to make ancient printed Biblical material more readily available to the public, and we are proud to work with them to accomplish that goal.”
Don Piercy: Director | The Museum of Printing History
Master and Commander
Shown here is a scene from the 2003 movie “Master and Commander”, in which Academy Award winning actor Russell Crowe holds an ancient Bible he purchased from us, for use in this movie.
Yes, but BEFORE you call or E-Mail us, about your Bible or book, you MUST FIRST go to our Appraisals Page, and follow the required steps there. It will only take a moment. Please do not call us or email us with questions about a Bible or book that you own, until AFTER you visit the Appraisals Page, and see if your question is answered there, as it is 90% of the time.
NO. With the exception of our facsimile reproductions, we only sell items that were printed MORE THAN 200 YEARS AGO. We only buy and sell Bibles from the 1700’s, 1600’s, 1500’s, 1400’s and 1300’s. Also, we do not sell antique Bibles or books that cost less than $1,000. In fact, nearly all the Bibles we sell are over $3,500.
Again, please carefully read the answer to the question above. We ONLY deal in ANCIENT Bibles that were printed MORE THAN 200 YEARS AGO, which tend to be fairly expensive. Also, we cannot “refer you to another dealer” who might have that type of material, because NOBODY in the world specializes in Bibles that are “old and out-of-print, but not ancient and really expensive.” There is virtually no market for that, (thus, no profit), so nobody specializes in that. Try contacting the publisher for advice on out-of-print Bibles. That’s just NOT what we do.
You can search online for ‘BOOKBINDERS’, there are many across the country that can do this service for you.
Because you can easily find them at any of the many Christian Bookstores across America. We are NOT a bookstore; we are the world’s largest Biblical Antiquities Dealer. Lamborghini Dealers don’t usually sell Fords and Chevy’s, either 🙂
All the ancient Bibles we offer are “consigned items” stored at the owners’ respective locations, but available for immediate shipping to any buyer. Our Director of Marketing handles all questions, marketing, website maintenance, and phone & email communications from our Orlando, Florida marketing office but NO BOOKS are kept at that address.
Yes, of course. Your satisfaction is unconditionally guaranteed with ANY Bible or book purchased. Simply call us or email us within not more than ONE WEEK of receiving your order and ask for our return shipping address and return authorization. You will receive a 100% refund as soon as we get the returned package. Please note that after one week from the date you receive your order, all sales become FINAL and are not returnable for any reason. This is because the materials we sell are consignment items, and we must pay the respective owners after their material is sold.
We accept all major credit cards on orders up to ten thousand dollars. For more expensive items; we accept Bank Wire Funds Transfers, with no upper limit. We do not currently accept crypto-currency, though that may change in the future.
Actually that sort of thing simply does not happen. In the 27 years we have been in this business, we have never once heard of any dealer, anywhere, trying to pass off a “fake” as an antiquarian Bible. They simply cannot be counterfeited in such a way that would fool even the most naïve of people. One cannot manufacture “aged” rag cotton linen sheets, nor convincingly duplicate the irregular and uneven appearance of print from an ancient moveable-type press. To even attempt to do so, and do it well, would cost more money than all but the most expensive of the genuine originals would be worth… so there is no incentive. Much like ancient gold coins or classic automobiles, this is an arena in which “fakes” have simply never been convincingly attempted by anyone.
“Facsimile Reproductions” are merely a photographic imaging that is 100% identical to the textual appearance of the originals for study purposes. They do not have the physical structure, “feel”, patina, or aged qualities of the real thing. Even most children would know instantly that they are not real. Of course, the brand-new paper, flawless appearance, and the ISBN number and copyright date in the front might give it away too!
Think about it: if I show you a high-quality $50 poster of a Rembrandt or Monet painting… it looks photographically 100% identical to the original for study purposes, but it does not have the brush strokes, or cracking paint on canvas, or “feel” of an ancient original. Anyone would know instantly is was not real.
As soon as you hold one of our genuine original ancient Bibles in your hands, you will see why this is simply not an issue. Nevertheless, upon request, we are happy to provide you with a Certificate of Authenticity for any Bible purchased, (though most of our customers do not request this). If you still have questions or concerns about this, just contact us any time, and be sure to review our References section above.
Ancient Bibles are shipped by the next business day, via FED EX Overnight at no charge to you for shipping.
The ancient Bibles we offer are consignment items. They are owned by various private collectors who wish to sell their materials. Each Bible has been carefully examined by us prior to listing it for sale on GREATSITE.COM
We are not a non-profit organization, however a very significant portion of our profits, do go to fund the distribution of Bibles around the world to missionaries and those who need a Bible.
It is truly sad that anyone would actually hold such a delusional view, or ask such an offensive question… yet people continue to ask it. Think about it: Don’t you pay your Pastor a salary? Don’t Bible publishers make a profit? Doesn’t your local Christian Bookstore make a profit?
Oh my… we sure do! If you are in the mood for a good laugh, be sure to visit our official GREATSITE.COM “Phone Call Hall of Shame” to read the transcripts of some of our most frustrating calls.
Well, that depends on how you define “competitor”. If you mean “Is there anyone else who moves even 30 % of the quantity of antiquarian Bibles that you do?”…the answer is NO. We sell more rare and antique Bibles than all the other rare book dealers in the world COMBINED. Our position in this small market has been one of “nearly a monopoly” for a quarter century.
You are going to be shocked by my answer. The “money” is the issue only about 20% of the time, because most of the people collecting Bibles over $10,000 each are fairly well-off and they consider it an investment. What stops them the other 80% of the time? Believe it or not, it is nearly always the same thing: their wife!
The majority of our customers who purchase our most expensive items are men who are successful business owners and have become Christians later in life. Most of the time, these men are married to women who are either not Christians, or if they are Christians… they simply don’t share their husband’s deep passion for the Word of God. They do, however, hold great influence over their husband. I have to smile when I hear men speak with such false bravado about how they “make all the decisions” and how they are the “head of the family”. Someone once said, “the man may be the head of the family, but the woman is the neck… and the neck turns the head!” It is so very true.
You would not believe how frequently we have long-standing customers call us and say that not only do they have to stop collecting the ancient Bibles that they love so dearly… (that were to be a great part of their children’s inheritance), but they are also being forced to sell every Bible they have immediately! What would cause this, you ask? Are they being sued or has there been a family tragedy? No. Each time, they sheepishly tell me the same thing… “Well, my wife says I can’t spend any more money on Bibles, and she is angry every time she looks at my collection, and she says I have to sell them all right now.”
This is not an isolated incident… we see it happen all the time. It is the single biggest obstacle in our business. What is the moral to this story? It is two-fold: First; if you are not married, obey the teachings of the Lord and only marry a believer who shares your passion for the Word of God. Second; if it is too late for you to take that advice, at least discuss your desire to collect ancient Bibles with your wife before you begin, so she does not feel resentful of your collection.
That being said, we do occasionally encounter some wonderful Christian women who break this stereotype, and express a personal desire to acquire an ancient printing of God’s Word.
Our most satisfied customers are often couples who share a passion for collecting God’s Word… and it draws them closer to each other as they pursue it together. A house divided against itself cannot stand (Mark 3:25).
They refer to the size of a book or Bible in terms of how many times the original sheets were folded and cut to fit into the binding. If folded once, the result is the largest of books, a “folio”. A large pulpit Bible for example, is always a folio. If folded again (and cut, of course, to allow all pages to open), the result is a “quarto”. Over 90% of all books on the shelves at your local bookstore today are “quartos” measuring approximately 9 by 6 inches… give or take an inch. Did you ever notice that the vast majority of books are about the same height? If folded and cut again, you have an “octavo” book, like a small purse-bible. Even smaller books are called “12mo” and “16mo”, etc.
You can start by reviewing our English Bible History Page. This should give you a detailed foundational knowledge of the subject, and help you to decide what items you would like to have in your personal collection.