Verbum Domini is a new, interfaith exhibit of rare biblical texts and artifacts celebrating history’s most indestructible book—the Bible. Verbum Domini was inspired by Pope Benedict XVI’s vision of renewed religious passion for the “Word of the Lord.”
Visitors to Verbum Domini will experience a one-of-a-kind assemblage of rare Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant and Jewish treasures arranged in a series of rooms that visually weave together the story of God’s Word throughout the ages.
The exhibit brings together, for the first time under one roof, more than 150 items of great historical significance from The Green Collection—the world’s largest private collection of rare biblical texts and artifacts—and other private collections worldwide.
The Green Collection:
Verbum Domini marks the debut of The Green Collection, one of the world’s largest private collections of rare biblical texts and artifacts. Named for the family who founded U.S. arts and crafts retailer Hobby Lobby, the collection “has created a buzz” (FoxNews.com, 2011) and is “a sampler of Jewish, Roman Catholic and Protestant treasures” (USA Today, 2011). Hobby Lobby President Steve Green oversees the expansion and outreach of the collection and will serve as chairman of the board for an eventual international museum that will take a non-sectarian, scholarly approach to the Bible.
Green Scholars Initiative:
Combining scholarship and mentorship, the Green Scholars Initiative brings young and established scholars together to pioneer groundbreaking research and discoveries on items in The Green Collection. Under the leadership of executive director Dr. Jerry Pattengale, more than 60 colleges and universities across the globe are conducting research projects on unpublished and rare artifacts in the collection, including some 20 items seen at Verbum Domini. The Green Scholars Initiative is revolutionizing the university research experience for generations of students, making advanced biblical research accessible to undergraduate students under the mentorship of experienced professors. The initiative’s companion lecture series is also educating audiences around the world in conjunction with exhibits from The Green Collection, including the Passages traveling exhibition (now in Colorado Springs, CO.) and Verbum Domini.
Verbum Domini Highlights
- 152 rare biblical texts and artifacts showcase the common biblical history of the Roman Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox and Jewish faiths and the tens of thousands of believers who have died to access, preserve, translate and read them throughout the centuries, including:
- Codex Climaci Rescriptus—one of the earliest-surviving, near-complete Bibles containing the most extensive early biblical texts in Jesus’ household language of Palestinian Aramaic
- The Jeselsohn Stone or Gabriel’s revelation, a three foot tall, 150 pound sandstone tablet discovered near the Dead Sea in Jordan containing 87 lines of first century BCE Hebrew text
- The Blood and Body of Christ Being Real and Present in the Sacrament, a manuscript ascribed to Thomas More from 1534—written in Latin and containing numerous references to Scripture and the Roman Catholic teaching of transubstantiation
- Richard Rolle’s Psalms, Canticles and Commentary—the earliest, most extensive surviving manuscript of the translation and commentary of Psalms and the Canticles in Middle English, composed 40 years before Wycliffe’s vernacular translation of Scripture
- Hagia Sophia Lectionary, a mid-11th century manuscript that contains Scripture readings alongside a list of ceremonies from the great Church of Hagia Sophia, the seat of the Eastern Orthodox Church and the place where the emperor worshiped
- Contextually-designed rooms transport visitors to historical settings of biblical and archaeological fame:
- A recreation of one of the caves at Qumran, Israel, which yielded the single-largest cache of Dead Sea Scrolls in 1954
- An inner room at Wartburg Castle where Martin Luther worked in exile on his translation of the Bible into German
- An excavation scene of an ancient Roman garbage city, Oxyrhynchus, in Egypt
- A scaled replication of Westminster Abbey’s Jerusalem Chamber, where the King James translation committee worked on the New Testament of the King James Bible
- A reproduction of Gutenberg’s print shop complete with a working replica of the Gutenberg press
- A scene from St. Catherine’s Monastery on Mt. Sinai, where the earliest, near-complete Bible, Codex Sinaiticus, was found
- A Monastic Scriptorium, where manuscripts of the medieval period would have been copied, including one of the most influential translations of the Bible of all times—the Latin Vulgate
- A scaled replica of a mid-third century synagogue discovered in Syria
- A Middle Ages village highlighting the early translation of the Bible into common languages