On display are the original fragments from the Septuagint, the earliest New Testament Scriptures, exquisite illuminated manuscripts, rare texts from the Cairo Geniza and original pages from the Gutenberg Bible. This exhibition traces the history of the Jewish Bible, the Jewish roots of Christianity and the dissemination of monotheistic faith.
After a six month stay in Jerusalem the exhibition will head to the Vatican and afterwards to Washington D.C, where it will be permanently displayed in a museum which is being built next to the Smithsonian primarily for the purpose of hosting these rare texts and manuscripts.
“It is extremely fitting that this exhibition and these texts are unveiled for the first time ever in Jerusalem, mere meters from where many of the events contained in the Bible took place,” said Amanda Weiss, Director of the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem. “The exhibition is a unique experience to be so close to some of the rarest and most historic texts which helped shape humanity. This is the result of two years of hard work,” Weiss said at the exhibition opening last Thursday. “We have works on display from all over the world, and it is the result of interfaith and scholarly cooperation.”
“This amazing exhibition, which I am sure will be an inspiration to so many people, displays the identity of the Jewish People,” Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat said at the opening, attended by hundreds of guests at the museum. “The Bible is also the basis for Israeli identity and is making a return among secular Israelis as a part of their culture.”
Chief Rabbi David Lau also spoke about the relationship between the Bible and the Jewish People. “The reason why we are here in this land is a result of the Book of Books, the Bible,” Chief Rabbi Lau said. “The Bible is the identification document of the Jewish People. It is impossible not to feel emotion when viewing this exhibition and when you read these texts you become connected to them.”
The opening of the exhibition was attended also by Tourism Minister Dr. Uzi Landau, and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.