Israeli Bible Museum Debuts 'Book of Books' Exhibit

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- A unique exhibition of Bible history opened this week at Jerusalem's Bible Lands Museum.

They call it the Book of Books. The museum's latest exhibition traces the history of the Bible and the Jewish roots of Christianity, tracking the story of God's written word from the Dead Sea Scrolls to the Gutenberg Bible and beyond.

Bible Lands Museum Director Amanda Weiss says there's no more important city than Jerusalem to host such an exhibit.

"It's the first presentation of this collection of rare and important Bibles and manuscripts and biblical texts looking at the Old Testament and the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, together in one exhibition here in Jerusalem," Weiss told CBN News.

"The significance is that we are trying to show the Jewish roots of Christianity," Cary Summers, chief executive of the Green Collection, said.

"We've put in added effort to make it an equally balanced and important exhibition for both a Jewish audience and the Christian world," Weiss said.

"The exhibition begins in the Judean Desert," exhibit curator Heather Reichstadt explained. "We have a representation here of facsimiles of those Dead Sea Scrolls that belong to Amman, Jordan."

Reichstadt says the dispersion of the Jewish people in 70 A.D. sets the stage for the exhibit.

"We move into North Africa where we then start to see introduction of Greek, where you have the Septuagint, it's the Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament to Christians in the Greek language," Reichstadt continued. "After that we have the introduction of earliest New Testament text."

The artwork on the walls related directly to the exhibits, and a floor map traces the spread of God's Word throughout the world.

Interactive iPads allow visitors to zoom in on texts like a genealogy from Adam to Christ.

There's even an exact working replica of the 15th century Gutenberg Press, which printed the famous Guttenberg Bible.

"And you have a printed page. You could make several thousand in a day," Reichstadt explained.

"We do end the exhibition with one of the oldest biblical texts known to date…which is a blessing from Numbers 6:24-26, 'May the Lord bless you and keep you….'"

Most of the exhibit comes from the Green family collection, which will one day have a permanent home in Washington, D.C.

Cary Summers, the Green collection's chief executive, says they want to change the notion many people have that the Bible is not readable.
"We take on that challenge to provide a means for people to get comfortable reading it," Summers said. "It's literally one of the great, great writes of the world. It's fantastic. It's entertaining. It's mystery. It's everything that good movies are made of -- are found in the Bible."

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CBN News
Julie Stahl and John Waage

Julie Stahl and John Waage

CBN News Middle East Bureau

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