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Smithsonian Bible Exhibit

Discussion in 'Travel Forum' started by Deacon, Dec 16, 2006.

  1. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Aug 23, 2002
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    Smithsonian Exhibit at the Arthur Sackler Gallery
    (right next to the Freer Gallery on the National Mall)


    You've only got a few more weeks to see the greatest collection of historical Bibles every collected in one place.
    The exhibit will close on January 7th, 2007.

    The exhibit includes:

    >a leaf from Papyrus 45 (early 3rd century)

    >Portions of the Isaiah Scroll Qb from the Dead Sea Scrolls

    >Two leaves from P64 (one of the earliest papryus, from c. 200)

    >Codex W from Freer's Codex Washingtonensis (a 4-5th century manuscript) including the colorful 7th century cover.

    Theodore Beza's Codex Claromontanus (6th century)

    >A page from Tischendorf's most widely known Codex Sinaiticus, the only complete copy of the NT that predates the ninth century.

    I'll meet you there for lunch today!!!
    ....more later.


  2. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K) Well-Known Member

    Oct 21, 2003
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    Or we can meet at the Chester Beatty library in Dublin any day but Mondays. Admission is free and I'll even buy you fish and chips at the best chippy in Ireland just around the corner.

    Talk about manuscripts!!!
  3. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith New Member

    Jan 27, 2006
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    I went to the exhibit a few days ago, and found it a little disappointing, in that the lighting was so low it was difficult to see some of the documents and/or to read the explanatory signage. I know it was necessary because these are very fragile items, but nonetheless that made it hard to derive full benefit.

    As a quasi-retiree, I was able to go on a weekday morning, and had no trouble getting in. But I understand that on the weekends there can be up to 45 minutes waiting time just to enter.

    There is also a wonderful Bible-related exhibit at the Library of Congress -- leaves from the St. John's Abbey Bible being prepared as if it were a medieval Bible: calligraphy of the text and wonderful illuminations. And of course the Library building itself is always great to see.

    So shall I join the lunch bunch soon?
  4. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Aug 23, 2002
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    What a wonderful day.
    Temperature was around 60 degrees and sunny.
    ....and boy, my hips are sore! I'll be gimping into church tomorrow.

    Joseph, I must have read your mind; I followed your footsteps.

    After visiting the Manuscript exhibit, I walked down to the Library of Congress and saw the St. John's Abbey Bible... even bought the Pentateuch volume ($65 ugggh). I thought it was interesting that they used the NRSV text.

    Also on display was a Gutenberg Bible, a 1560 Geneva Bible, 1611 KJV, among many others (they say that their collection of Biblies alone numbers 1500).

    I spent about an hour just looking at the paintings and quotes on the walls.

    I wrote a few down:

    "Glory is acquired by virtue but preserved by letters"

    "Knowledge comes but wisdom lingers."

    "There is one only good namely knowledge and one evil namely ignorance."

    "Ignorance is the curse of God Knowledge the wing where with we fly to heaven."

    "Wisdom is the principle thing therefore get wisdom and with all thy getting get understanding."

    Regarding the Manuscript exhibit, I was awed!!!

    I have to agree that I was disapointed with the lighting, Try as I might, I couldn't read many of the manuscripts because of the dim lighting.

    Even so the condition of the papyrii amazed me (esp. P45, P46!)

    I was astonished that Codex W was in book form. Seemed to follow the same standards as books today, about 7 to 8 inches tall.

    I spent the most time oggling Codex Sinaiticus. The velium (prepared leather) was as thin as paper.
    You could see the correctors marks along-side the original print.
    I brought my Greek text with me but unfortunately should have realized that this text was from the Old Testament (LXX).

    I purchased a wooden postcard with a copy of the 7th century wax image cover of Codex W. [LINK]
    From the picture you could see how the people of the seventh century revered their biblical text; they covered their hands with cloth before touchng it.
    While Codex Washingonensis has many problems it was handled with extreme care and reverence by those who took care of it.
    It was the holy word of God to all who read and listened.

    I highly enjoyed my visit!
    I already have plans to go again with my family after Christmas during our bi-anual trip to Washington.