JACKSON, Tenn. – Sept. 9, 2011– The Green Collection, one of the world’s largest private collections of rare Bibles, biblical texts and artifacts, will be on display at Union University and open to the public Sept. 15 and Sept. 17.
The collection, owned by Steve Green, president of Hobby Lobby, is a compilation of more than 30,000 biblical antiquities, some of which will be part of the exhibit at Union. The display is part of the “KJV400: Legacy and Impact” festival celebrating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible.
On Sept. 15 from noon-4:30 p.m. and on Sept. 17 from 1-4 p.m., the collection of rare Bibles will be viewable to visitors not attending the festival.
The exhibit will be held in the Carl Grant Events Center, and admission is free.
“The Green Collection is an amazing collection of biblical manuscripts and artifacts,” said Ray Van Neste, associate professor of biblical studies at Union and director of the R.C. Ryan Center for Biblical Studies. “It is a great opportunity for our region to have this exhibit coming to Union University during our KJV festival. The exhibit helps to tell the story of the translating of the Bible, of which the King James is a significant part.”
Among the pieces of the collection scheduled for display at Union are leaves from the Codex Climaci Rescriptus, the earliest surviving New Testament written in Jesus’ household language, a pictograph cuneiform text, a 1516 Erasmus Greek New Testament and a 1524 Luther New Testament. English Bibles that will be part of the exhibit include a 1535 Tyndale New Testament, a 1535 Coverdale Bible, a 1537 Matthews Bible, a 1539 Great Bible, a 1560 Geneva Bible and a 1611 KJV Folio.
The exhibit will consist of about 70 total pieces.
“Union University has been blessed by the kindness of the Green family to share this marvelous Bible collection with the Union community in this historic year in which we celebrate the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible,” Union President David S. Dockery said. “This amazing display will be a great gift to the Union community during the time it is on our campus.”
In addition to the Green Collection, the KJV festival exhibit will also include about 30 items from the collection of Michael Morgan, seminary musician at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Ga. Displayed items from Morgan’s collection will include several early English Bibles, psalters and most of the early revisions of the KJV.
“I can’t imagine another exhibit in the country which comes close to this,” Morgan said. “I do know that the Folger Library in Washington, D.C., and the Bodleian Library at Oxford have assembled an exhibit, but except for the fact that some of those books belonged to the kings and queens involved in the process, it won’t be any more comprehensive.”
More information about “KJV 400” is available at www.uu.edu/events/kjvlegacy.