WACO, TX — A Dead Sea Scroll, a Torah taken from a Jewish community in Spain during the Inquisition and the "Wicked Bible", in which the printer left out the "not" in "Thou shalt not commit adultery, will be displayed at Baylor University April 7-9.
The free exhibition of more than 100 rare Bibles, scrolls and medieval manuscripts will be presented by Baylor to celebrate the completion of the King James Version in 1611 and its impact on religion, politics, culture and literature.
The exhibit will include early printings of the Bible, Hebrew scrolls and medieval manuscripts on loan from the Oklahoma-based Green Collection, said Dr. David Lyle Jeffrey, Distinguished Professor of Literature and the Humanities in Baylor's Honors College, as well as a Distinguished Senior Fellow and Director of Manuscript Research in Scripture and Tradition at Baylor's Institute for Studies of Religion.
Also displayed will be the Codex Climaci Rescriptus, a manuscript of Scripture from the sixth century. It was written on vellum in Palestinian Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus. Greek became the preferred translation, and because vellum — skin of calves, goats or lambs — was so costly, a writer re-used it, gently scraping away much of the Aramaic and writing a commentary in Greek atop it. With a particular type of camera, a viewer can see through to the Aramaic beneath.
Another item will be a handwritten text by King Henry VIII about the seven sacraments. He rejected Martin Luther's view that there were only two sacraments — baptism and Communion. Because of this, the Pope called the king "the Defender of the Faith" — ironic in light of the king's "increasingly flamboyant disregard for the sacrament of marriage, in which he was famous for being anything but faithful," Jeffrey said.
No Bible occupies a position in the heart of Christianity like that of the King James Version, and "I think it will always come back as a monument of literature, a standard by which other versions are judged," said Dr. Philip Jenkins, a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Baylor's Institute for Studies of Religion.
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