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The Green Collection: Rare Biblical Artifacts

Steve Green's collection includes more than 44,000 pieces, including cuneiform tablet, pieces of the Dead Sea Scrolls and rare illuminated manuscripts. "Scroll" through for more images.

John of Crete Gospels

This manuscript contains the Gospels, Eusebian Canon Tables and portraits of the Evangelists. Each Gospel begins with a folio written with gold-over-magenta. Similar to other eastern Mediterranean and Palestinian Gospel manuscripts, it  was copied  in 1156 for the  John of Crete, Archbishop of Cyprus. 

Courtesy of The Green Collection

Spanish Inquisition Torah Scroll

This Sephardic Scroll is written on gvil, a specially processed skin. It was produced in Northern Spain during the thirteenth century Spanish Inquisition, a period of  persecution Jews that resulted in their expulsion from the region. Few scrolls survived this period.

Courtesy of The Green Collection

Karaite Former and Later Prophets

This is a rare Byzantine Hebrew biblical manuscript containing Joshua through Malachi. Dating to the 11th century, it  was likely composed by Karaites, members of a Jewish sect with a strong interest in the Scripture.  

Courtesy of The Green Collection

Federigo de Venezia, Commentary on the Apocalypse

This is one of the earliest-known works that has a vernacular translation of Scripture in Italian. Dating back to 1420, this commentary on the Apocalypse or Revelation by a Dominican named Federigo de Venezia. It examines the text and grammar of the Apocalypse and was translated into Greek likely in Candia, the main town of the Venetian colony on Crete..

Courtesy of The Green Collection

Ethiopic Gospels

This 13th century Ancient Ethiopian Gospel book contains a colophon indicating it was commissioned by a woman and dedicated to her daughter.  The Gospel book illustrates female literacy and readership of Scripture as well as a mother's  desire that her daughter have the privilege to own, cherish and read the Gospels.

Courtesy of The Green Collection

Blockbook Apocalypse

Considered the finest and earliest of the blockbooks, before the Gutenberg Bible, only fifteen complete copies of this 1463 German edition are recorded. The scenes are colored by hand. Blockbooks were sometimes thought to teach the Bible in pictures but some think it more likely they were made for well-off individuals.

Courtesy of The Green Collection

Biblia Pauperum

The pages from this near-complete blockbook were printed from single carved blocks containing the first edition of this popular work, written in Latin. This method of printing was before Gutenberg's moveable typeset printing and  even continued to be used  after Gutenberg's innovation. Blockbooks allowed for the first printing on demand, because the page did not need to be composited and they allowed printers to combine the text and image.

Courtesy of The Green Collection

Gospels of St. Matthew and St. John with Canon Tables:

The largest surviving fragment of an early Armenian Gospel, it dates back to 1040. Few Armenian manuscripts exist from before this none pre-date the mid-ninth century. Armenian illuminated manuscripts are among the most richly lavished screen fold books of the Christian Church. The Eusebian Canon Tables  provide a cross-reference system for the Gospels and are commonly well decorated.

Courtesy of The Green Collection

Book of Psalms

A 1631 metrical translation, it is believed to have been done by King James with the assistance of his clerical advisors.

Courtesy of The Green Collection

Greek Gospel

One of the smallest Greek gospels and one of the earliest written in this script, it was commissioned by and for a non-cleric.

Courtesy of The Green Collection

New Testament

This hand-colored and gilded edition of Luther's German translation of the New Testament was published two years after the first edition. Evidence also shows that it was commissioned by a person of nobility.

Courtesy of The Green Collection

Scroll Cover

Here is a decorative cover of an early Esther or Megillah Scroll, dating to the 16c. It was likely used in the synagogue for the Feast of Purim and surviving the Nazi Holocaust.

Courtesy of The Green Collection

Blockbook

One of two surviving copies of this block book, "The Antichrist and the 15 Signs of Doomsday," produced in Germany with an accompanying German text.

Courtesy of The Green Collection

Genesis

A fragment of one of the earliest surviving texts of the Bible from the Book of Genesis, from the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Courtesy of The Green Collection

Torah

A complete Torah scroll, composed in northern Spain and dating to the time of the Spanish Inquisition

Courtesy of The Green Collection

The Matthias Bible

This richly illuminated  Latin Bible contains contemporary notes of great interest. A scribe who escaped from Prague when it fell to the Hussites copied the manuscript.

Courtesy of The Green Collection

William Tyndale, New Testament

This undocumented Tyndale New Testament dates to just prior to his 1535 execution.  Each book is preceded by chapter summaries and followed by a biographical sketch of the author. The first complete edition appeared in 1526 and was fully revised in 1534, but only a few copies of each remain. 

Courtesy of The Green Collection

Khabouris New Testament Codex

According to the colophon of this important version of the New Testament, it was copied in Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian Empire, from a now-lost manuscript which may have dated to the second century CE. It even has the authenticating seal and signature of the Bishop of Nineveh. Carbon-dating indicates that the copy was made in the eleventh century and is one of the earliest-known, complete Peshitta manuscripts.

Courtesy of The Green Collection

Codex Climaci Rescriptus

Scholars have uncovered this earliest surviving New Testament written in Palestinian Aramaic - the language used in Jesus' household - found on recycled parchment under a layer in this rare manuscript.They did this using a  new technology developed by The Green Collection in collaboration with Oxford University.

Courtesy of The Green Collection

Gospel of St. John

This half page was once part a codex that contained the Gospel of St. John. It is one of the earliest-known texts of that Gospel dating to the late-second or early third century. It is believed to be composed by a professional scribe in the city of Alexandria. It has the earliest-known page number, which has proved useful for researchers.

Courtesy of The Green Collection

Bodmer Papyrus Codex XXIV

The papyrus codex containing this leaf is the earliest, near-complete Greek codex of Psalms. Seen here is a passage from Psalms 109-110, that speaks of deliverance from evil.

Courtesy of The Green Collection

King James Bible

This extremely rare octavo edition of the New Testament was clearly intended for popular use and very few have survived.

Courtesy of The Green Collection

Steve Green

Steve Green, president of Hobby Lobby, one of the world's largest privately owned arts and crafts retailers, and founder of The Green Collection. 

Courtesy of The Green Collection

Passages

Passages, the 14,000-square-foot, interactive, non-sectarian traveling exhibition in Hobby Lobby’s hometown of Oklahoma City, at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art May 16-Oct. 16 of 2011.

Courtesy of The Green Collection

Carroll and Green

Dr. Scott Carroll and Steve Green  at the Vatican Embassy - Public Debut of The Green Collection Photo Gallery on March 31, 2011

Courtesy of The Green Collection

The Green Collection: Rare Biblical Artifacts

Steve Green's collection includes more than 44,000 pieces, including cuneiform tablet, pieces of the Dead Sea Scrolls and rare illuminated manuscripts. "Scroll" through for more images.

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