Nearly 200 rare biblical texts on parchment and vellum are among the artifacts that will be on display at the Vatican in a new exhibition, starting tomorrow, reports The Catholic Herald.
The event, which will be called Verbum Domini II: God’s Word Goes Out to the Nations, will run from April 2 to June 22.
Along with three fragments of the Dead Sea scrolls and an original copy of the King James Bible, printed in 1611, visitors to the free exhibition will see the microchip Bible that travelled to the Moon and back on Apollo 14 in 1971.
The Vatican Library is also putting on show, for the first time, an original folio from the Bodmer Papyri. Dating from around the year 200, the folio contains the gospels of Luke and John. The library keeps this and other rare and fragile parchments in a specially built underground bunker maintained at very low humidity.
This exhibition is only the second on the Bible to be held inside the Vatican. The first, also mounted in the Braccio di Carlo Magno hall next to St Peter’s Basilica, took place two years ago to mark the 400th anniversary of publication of the King James Bible.
Cary Summers, chief operating officer of the Museum of the Bible, which is scheduled to open in Washington, DC in 2017, said: 'We enjoyed the overwhelming response to that exhibit and so we decided to do another, considerably expanded.
'Such an exhibit is a way to breach barriers between Catholics, Protestants and Jews,' Summers said at a news conference over the weekend. 'The Bible has shaped and reshaped the world.'
The University of Cambridge has loaned a manuscript of the Bath Gospels from the 11th century, the sole complete translation of the Gospels in medieval English.
Showing the global reach of the Bible as well as the Jewish roots of Christianity is a copy – one of only three in existence – of a mid-17th century Torah that once belonged to the Jewish Kaifeng community in China.
Photo: One of 300 microfilm Bibles that flew to the Moon on Apollo 14 in 1971
FULL STORY Vatican Library displays microchip Bible that travelled to the moon (The Catholic Herald)