Book of Books

Bible Lands Museum, Jerusalem
October 23, 2013 – October 25, 2014

Several rare biblical texts and artifacts from The Green Collection will be on display at The Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem Oct. 23, 2013 to Oct. 25, 2014 in an exhibit titled the Book of Books. The Book of Books exhibit is part of a series of international exhibits entitled Verbum Domini and funded by the 501(c)(3) known as the Museum of the Bible.

“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 150 artifacts displayed in immersive contextual settings that bring history to life.”

“We hope that this exhibit will bring us together under a book that we all love, the book of Scriptures,” Steve Green, president of Hobby Lobby, said. Green purchased his first biblical artifact three years ago, and now The Green Collection is one of the world’s largest private collections of rare biblical texts and artifacts.

“We started with a Bible collection to tell the story of the Bible, which obviously brought us to Israel, and working with the Bible Lands Museum was an exciting opportunity for us to have the exhibit here, sharing the story of the Bible,” said Green.

Some of the more notable pieces to be exhibited are the Codex Climaci Rescriptus, a 13-15th 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. The exhibit combines exquisite biblical history with state-of-the-art technology by allowing guests to interact with ancient artifacts through various iPads in the exhibit.

 “We’ve never had an exhibition that shows the powerful link between Judaism and Christianity on this level,” said director of the Bible Lands Museum Amanda Weiss. “This is an exhibit for everyone. Everybody should come and see it. All walks of life. Now matter what their religious perspective or belief may be.”

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 Scholar’s 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 Phan and his students at the University of the Holyland in Jerusalem, it was discovered and later confirmed by independent Carbon 14 tests that the book is dated to 840 C.E. 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 was co-edited by Jewish scholar Dr. Emanuel Tov of Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The publication will release further details on the sittur noted above and will feature in-depth examination of some of the world’s oldest and most rare biblical texts that are part of The Green Collection’s holdings. Included will be portions of the Old Testament books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Nehemiah, Jeremiah, Jonah, Ezekiel, Micah, Daniel and the Psalms.

Other Judaica in the collection can be seen at the Passages exhibition on display in Springfield, Mo. through January 2015.