Wednesday, June 16, 2010
The Beauty of the Book: The Dead Sea Scrolls and Beyond
By Brian Nixon
Special to ASSIST News Service
AZUSA, CA (ANS) -- I have a confession: I love the Bible. Now you might be saying to yourself, Shouldn’t all Christians love the Bible? I think so. But when I say I love the Bible, I mean it in two very specific ways.
“The word Bible simply means “book”. This is a fitting title considering that the Bible is made up of 66 different books, divided into two sections, the Old (containing 39 books) and New Testaments (containing 27 books). The Old Testament is the historical and moral record of salvation prior to Jesus Christ. The New Testament is about Jesus Christ and His followers. The total history covered in the Bible is from creation to consummation, the beginning to the end.
“The Bible was God-inspired, but man-authored. Meaning God guided men to write the words in the Bible. Or put another way, God illuminated and revealed His will in the mind and souls of the human authors to record His will and truth in the pages of the Bible” (Thomas Nelson Publishers, page 52-54).
But there is even more I love about the Bible.
For those who may not have the time to study bibliology (the study and history of the Bible), I recommend the recent exhibition at Azusa University entitled “Treasures of the Bible: The Dead Sea Scrolls and Beyond”.
In this wonderful exhibit, running from May 21st through July 18th at the Hugh and Hazel Darling Library at Azusa University, one will get a birds-eye view of the history and transmission of Scripture in the Western world.
According to one of the hosts of the exhibit, Brian Gleason, “Treasures of the Bible” is one of the “largest collections of Scripture ever assembled in North America.”
Gleason continued by explaining that he has seen people in tears after viewing the exhibit.
“A Cherokee woman visited the exhibit and left in tears,” he said. “She said, ‘The Bible has a place and history with my people as with most cultures around the world. It is our common language. We are so grateful.’”
Summarizing the exhibit, Gleason stated, “The form of the Bible may change, but the message remains the same.”
The exhibit follows a five-fold pattern: the written Word, the inspired Word, the translated Word, the printed Word, and the Word in the New World.
For each of the five sections there are historic examples of Scripture showing how the Bible was copied and transmitted: from the five fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls (first century AD), to the micro-chip of the Bible sent into space, to the Bible applications used on phones and e-readers.
Some highlights of the exhibit include:
* A folio from the Lindisfarne Gospel: an early medieval Irish illuminated manuscript dated from the 8th century.
The above selections are just that—a selection. There are a host of other unique Bibles, including Greek texts, the Geneva Bible (the Bible used by the Puritans), Bibles translated into various Native American languages, and early Spanish Bibles.
One of the letters written by Lewis was quite entertaining. Writing in response to a visit from some friend who had children, Lewis comments on how his cat might react: “I think two of these strange monsters in the house might give him a nervous breakdown.”
In all, the exhibit is a wonderful look at the beauty of the Book that has, for over 2,000 years, influenced our culture and our world and has proclaimed the salvation we have only in Jesus Christ.
Quoting again from the Explorer’s Study Bible: “As old as the Bible is, the message of salvation is forever new and true: God loves me and God loves you.”
So if you’re in Southern California over the next few weeks, do yourself a favor and stop by “Treasures of the Bible: The Dead Sea Scrolls and Beyond”. I think you will be thoroughly blessed.
** You may republish this story with proper attribution.
Send this story to a friend. Share