Overview: Green Scholars Initiative

“While movies like National Treasure, The Da Vinci Code and Raiders of the Lost Ark tell of fictional quests for treasures, the real-life treasure hunters of the Green Scholars Initiative are uncovering new scientific mysteries in ancient biblical texts and manuscripts,” said Dr. Jerry Pattengale, executive director of the Green Scholars Initiative.


The Green Scholar's Initiative (GreenScholarsInitiative.org) is the research arm of the Museum of the Bible. A select group of senior research scholars from academic institutions around the world are conducting primary research on items from the Green Collection—one of the world’s largest private collections of rare biblical texts and artifacts—through the initiative. Leading experts in the fields of papyri and cuneiform; Aramaic, Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Egyptian and Ethiopic texts; Coptic, medieval, Middle Eastern, early Jewish and early American artifacts; illuminated manuscripts; and Christian tradition and spirituality are participating in the research. These senior scholars oversee teams of established and young scholars who are pioneering new biblical discoveries.


Executive Director Dr. Jerry Pattengale oversees the Green Scholars Initiative. Pattengale has distinguished appointments at Tyndale House, Cambridge; The Sagamore Institute; and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He also is University Professor at Indiana Wesleyan University, Associate Publisher for Christian Scholar’s Review and serves on the Religion News Service Board of Directors.


The Green Scholars Initiative is addressing a two-fold need in biblical studies, an aging professorate and researching a significant reservoir of primary sources.


Scholars from 60 participating colleges, universities and seminaries around the globe are involved with some 90 research projects on items in the Green Collection, many of which are unpublished.

The research initiative breaks the mold of traditional research paradigms by pairing students with established scholars for primary research on the collection’s biblical texts and artifacts. The initiative democratizes research as it redefines excellence in teaching and scholarship.

  • Senior Scholars oversee a research project area involving scholars from various institutions and their students
  • Distinguished Language Scholars provide their expertise in their main language or unique scholarly competency
  • Scholar-mentors work under the auspices of a senior scholar to conduct research and mentor undergraduate and graduate students (junior scholars), helping to enrich their education through direct access to primary sources in the Green Collection.

Hundreds of students have already participated in this initiative. During the past two summers, 73 of participating Green Scholars Initiative students and their mentors were selected for special intensive workshops at University of Oxford.

The Green Scholars Initiative is independent of any one academic institution of higher learning or religious tradition. Its growing international presence has administrative hubs at Tyndale House, Cambridge, Wycliffe Hall, Oxford and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and soon at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C.


Two forthcoming book series from Brill Publishers will cover both the early Jewish texts and an assortment of early papyri. Drs. Emanuel Tov and Jerry Pattengale, along with an international team of textual scholars, will unveil research on ancient Hebrew manuscripts—including fragments from the Dead Sea Scrolls and prominent early codices from the Green Collection.

The Green Scholars Initiative Series on Jewish Texts—the first book of which is set to be released in 2015—will feature in-depth examination of some of the world’s oldest and rarest biblical texts, including portions from the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Nehemiah, Jeremiah, Jonah, Ezekiel, Micah, Daniel and the Psalms.

The Green Scholars Initiative Papyri Series will reveal a mélange of early classical and biblical papyri, with Drs. Dirk Obbink and Jerry Pattengale as the General Editors. Dr. Jeffrey Fish is serving as editor of volume one, anticipated in 2015.