Rare Biblical Artifacts from Private American Collection to Exhibit in Jerusalem

Several rare biblical texts and artifacts from the Green Collection will be on display at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem, October 23 to May 24. The Book of Books exhibit, which oversees traveling exhibitions of biblical artifacts in the Green Collection, academic research conducted through the Green Scholars Initiative and a yet-to-be-named museum on the history, story and impact of the Bible in Washington.

The Book of Books exhibit will serve to delineate the relationship between the Jewish and Christian faiths by tracing the transmission of the biblical text over the last two millennia, spanning from the Judean wilderness to the nations of the world,” said Heather Reichstadt, curator for the exhibition. ”Visitors will enjoy some 200 artifacts displayed in immersive contextual settings that bring history to life.”

Some of the more notable pieces to be exhibited are the Codex Climaci Rescriptus, a 13th- to 15th-century Karaite prayer book from the Cairo Genizah in Egypt and a rare 14th-century illuminated chronicle detailing Christ’s lineage from the prophets up to Adam. This particular piece has never been publically exhibited until now.

A 127-page, full-color catalog edited by Dr. Jerry Pattengale, Lawrence H. Schiffman and Filip Vukosavovic, artfully tells the story of the exhibit’s artifacts. Illustrated with striking photos, the book is available now at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem.

Recently, the Green Scholars Initiative announced the discovery of what is likely the world’s oldest-known Jewish prayer book. During research on the item, conducted by Green Scholar Dr. Stephan Pfann and his students at the University of the Holy Land in Jerusalem, it was discovered and later confirmed by independent Carbon-14 tests that the book dates to 840 A.D. The artifact may well be the earliest connection today’s practicing Jews have to the roots of modern-day rabbinic liturgy.

An upcoming Brill series called Early Jewish Texts and Manuscripts—co-edited by Jewish scholar Dr. Emanuel Tov of Hebrew University in Israel—will release further details on the sittur noted above and will feature in-depth examination of some of the world’s oldest and rarest biblical texts that are part of the Green Collection’s holdings. Included will be research on portions of the Old Testament books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Nehemiah, Jeremiah, Jonah, Ezekiel, Micah, Daniel and the Psalms.

In addition to funding the Book of Books exhibit, the 501(c)(3) known as The Museum of the Bible has contributed to Yad Vashem (Israel’s National Holocaust Memorial Museum and World Center for Holocaust Research), projects at the Albright Institute and the Ecole’ Biblique in Jerusalem. The nonprofit has also loaned portions of the collection to various synagogues.

Other Judaica in the Green Collection can be seen at the Passages exhibition on display in Colorado Springs, Colorado, through January 2014. Among the 417 items in the 40,000-square-foot living-history attraction are two entire rooms and more than 100 Jewish and Hebrew texts and artifacts, including two first-century B.C. Dead Sea Scroll fragments, cuneiform tablets dating to the time of Abraham and Torah scrolls that survived the Nazi Holocaust.

About the Green Collection
Named for the family who founded U.S. arts and crafts retailer Hobby Lobby, the Green Collection is one of the world’s largest private collections of rare biblical texts and artifacts. Scholars have scoured the world to assemble the more than 40,000 biblical antiquities that today comprise the collection. Since its debut in 2011, the Green Collection “has created a buzz” (Fox News) and is “a sampler of Jewish, Roman Catholic and Protestant treasures” that span from ancient times to the digital age (USA Today). Hobby Lobby President Steve Green oversees the expansion and outreach of the collection and serves as chairman of the board for a yet-to-be-named, D.C.-based international Bible museum that will be the collection’s permanent home.

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