If you're going to amass a collection of more than 30,000 ancient biblical artifacts, scholars are going to want to study those texts, papyri and manuscripts for history's sake.
The Green family, which has been collecting these artifacts in recent years, has big plans for such research in conjunction with the launch of “Passages,” the new worldwide traveling exhibition which debuts May 16 at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.
The Green Collection includes works such as 11,000 Cuneiform tablets from 4100 B.C. to 300 B.C., ancient literary tablets that show cultures, languages, laws of biblical times, Biblical papyri that feature the writings of Homer and Aristotle, second-
“The beauty of it is that we have a lot of items that have not been studied or analyzed so there is interest in knowing what some of this is,” said Steve Green, Hobby Lobby president and the most visible Green family member behind this project, in a phone interview with The Oklahoman last week.
“Because of the significance of our collection, a lot of the leading scholars around the world have interest in being part of the study of it because that's their world.”
The Green Scholars Initiative already has attracted interest from scholars at more than 30 universities worldwide, including in Jerusalem, England, Germany and the United States. As many as 700 students are expected to work with these scholars to study the artifacts, said Scott Carroll, who is director of the Green Collection and a specialist in ancient and medieval manuscripts.
As Carroll talked about the initiative in Oklahoma City recently, his enthusiasm was clear about what he called the “democratization of research” that will let the world's top biblical scholars have access to these documents on loan to their universities. It will give students the chance to study them and make their own discoveries.
“I'm just trying to help you understand the significance of all this,” Carroll said as he told of the extensive collection, which also includes one of the earliest surviving Bibles, the Codex Climaci Rescriptus and early Aramaic Bibles.
More information about the Green Scholars
Initiative is available at www.