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Oklahoma City Museum of Art to feature exhibit of rare biblical texts, artifacts

A portion of Hobby Lobby’s President Steve Green’s extensive collection of biblical art will be put on exhibit called “Passages” that opens May 16 at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.

BY CHRIS CASTEEL Published: April 1, 2011
/articleid/3554400/1/pictures/1387674">Photo - Steve Green Hobby Lobby president
Steve Green Hobby Lobby president
“There was a process, and ‘Passages’ tells the dramatic story of that process.”

Carroll called the collection “an absolute treasure trove of material” that includes the second largest collection of Dead Sea scrolls and the largest collection of Jewish scrolls.

Green said the exhibition will trace the early transcriptions of the Bible through its translation into European languages and, ultimately, into English.

Among the items to be displayed, Green said, will be “one of the oldest, relatively complete Bibles in the world.”

Known as Codex Climaci Rescriptus, the Bible is the only surviving New Testament text in Jesus’ household language of Palestinian Aramaic, Green said.

One of the earliest fragments of the Book of Genesis will be on display.

Started in 2009

Green has amassed his collection in a short time, buying his first piece in November 2009. He said Thursday that he never anticipated collecting so many items but that he took advantage of opportunities to make multiple acquisitions.

He has been scouting locations for a permanent museum to house the collection, most of which is now in a warehouse in Oklahoma City.

Green said Thursday that he is looking now in Dallas, New York and Washington, D.C., for a permanent home.

It likely will be “a few years down the road” before a site is selected and a museum built, Green said.

“So in the meantime, what we have done, because we have a collection of Bibles that are itching to tell their story, we wanted to create a traveling exhibition that we can open up before our museum opens up,” Green said.

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