Faiths unite at the Book of Books exhibit in Jerusalem’s Bible Lands Museum
In cooperation with Verbum Domini from the Vatican, Book of Booksincludes 200 of the world’s rarest and most important Biblical texts and manuscripts.
A leaf from the Gutenberg Latin Bible, printed in 1450.
"It is extremely fitting that this exhibition and these texts will be unveiled for the first time ever in Jerusalem, mere meters from where many of the events contained in the Bible took place," she notes.
“As all of their previous exhibits came from a Christian perspective, the family had the sensitivity to enrich the exhibition for a Jewish audience,” she adds.
The show includes hands-on exploration of the documents using iPads, and showcases an original Gutenberg printing press from the 1400s. Visitors can get a page of the Bible printed from the actual press, which revolutionized the spread of the written word.
This 17th century Torah scroll is from North Africa.
“This exhibit is earth-shattering for many Jews,” says Weiss. “Particularly, the Septuagint [translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek] is one of the most important documents we have. There are two display cases that are phenomenal and which have never been displayed in Israel. This is extremely important material.”
The Book of Books show will feature a high-quality facsimile of a Dead Sea scroll kept in Jordan. It will include original documents from the Cairo Geniza, an ancient document depository that reveals some of the most fascinating correspondence in Jewish history. It will showcase the earliest Christian Scriptures, as well as exquisite illuminated manuscripts and some original pages from the Gutenberg Bible.
While the documents themselves may not be touched, viewers are able to interact with them in novel ways. One part of the display reveals layers of text impossible to see with the naked eye.
“This is the first time an exhibition of the Bible itself has been done in Israel. It is visually a gorgeous show with vibrant colors and dramatic iPads throughout to help us look at different elements of text,” Weiss concludes.
The Bible Lands Museum offers temporary and permanent exhibits that examine the history of the Bible and the people mentioned in it, from the ancient Egyptians to the Canaanites, Philistines, Arameans and Persians. For now, it is the only museum in the world dedicated to the Bible.