Sacra Pagina: Chaos Biblical manuscript exhibit at ORU

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UPDATE: Don't bother with the Sacra Pagina exhibit at ORU, especially if you have young children. The line to see the first exhibit case stretched halfway around the room. After waiting for over 30 minutes with two kids bored and tired of standing in line, we were finally up to the front of the line for he first case, when a group of people old enough to know better cut in front of us. When I politely pointed out where the line began, one of the group said, "Sir, there is no line." While it was true that no official was enforcing a line, and you could opt to elbow your way in or peer over someone's shoulders to see any of the exhibit cases arranged in a circle around the room, nearly everyone was proceeding counterclockwise around the room starting at that first exhibit case; and there was a long line waiting to see it. With two kids under five feet tall, peering over shoulders or squeezing our way in was not going to be an option. We gave up and went home.

oru_sacra_pagina_codexclimaci_w.jpgFor the next few days, through Saturday, February 2, 2013, Oral Roberts University (ORU) is hosting an exhibit of 50 rare items from The Green Collection, the world's largest private collection of Biblical manuscripts and artifacts.

The exhibit is called Sacra Pagina, Latin for "the sacred page." Admission is free. The exhibit is in the Mabee Center, 8023 S. Lewis Ave. in Tulsa, in the Conference Banquet Center at the South Lobby. Exhibit hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., through Saturday, February 2, 2013.

Some of the items on display:

  • A leaf from the Codex Climaci Rescriptus, which contains some of the earliest and most extensive copies of the New Testament in the dialect closest to Jesus' household language of Palestinian Aramaic. (Shown in the photo to the right. Photo courtesy of The Green Collection.)
  • A leaf from the Aitken Bible, the first-known English Bible to be printed in America and the only Bible ever to receive official Congressional approval.
  • A leaf from the first printing of the Gutenberg Bible.
  • Manuscripts from the 13th through the 15th centuries.

As you might have guessed, the Green in The Green Collection is the family that owns Hobby Lobby and which has led the revitalization of ORU. The Green Scholars Initiative is giving researchers at over 30 universities in the US and Europe (including ORU, Oklahoma City University, and the University of Oklahoma) access to ancient manuscripts for study. That research is to be conducted by teams led by a senior scholar working with and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students.

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2 Comments

Graychin said:

The meek shall inherit the earth, but the meek haven't got a chance in a crowd of would-be viewers of ancient Biblical manuscripts at ORU.

The irony is remarkable, but I won't be the one to make the remarks.

Elliot said:

I do want to thank you for posting about this. I took my five-year-old son on Saturday morning, and we got there just before the mob did. The line was very slow--I agree this could have been managed better--but it was a valuable experience for both of us and hopefully something he'll remember.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on January 30, 2013 7:25 PM.

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