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Holy hardcovers! A new exhibit shares pages and images from 2,000 years of the Bible, including a Dead Sea Scroll and a Gutenberg edition.

Stephen Carradini May 11th, 2011

Monday-Oct. 16
Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch, 236-3100

A fragment of one of the earliest surviving texts of the Bible, from the Dead Sea Scrolls

On May 2, 1611, the King James Version of the Bible was first published. In commemoration of the 400th anniversary, an exhibit chonicling the book’s history makes its official world premiere, starting Monday at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch.

“Passages” is a 14,000-square-foot, interactive exhibit culled from portions of The Green Collection, an assemblage of Bibles and biblical artifacts owned by the Green family of Oklahoma City, which owns crafts chain Hobby Lobby and Christian bookstores Mardel.

“It’s a big deal,” said Scott Carroll, director of The Green Collection. “It’s an experience of a lifetime. You’d have to travel around the world to see what you can see here.”

Although visitors won’t have to hop a plane, the collection will after the exhibit closes in October: The pieces then will be shown in the Vatican. But it’s by no means a Catholic or Protestant gig.

“We are unswervingly nonsectarian,” Carroll said. “We’re simply about telling the story of the book we’re privileged to curate.”

A tiny Greek version.

Those without a religious connection to the text are welcome as well.

“For people who have no personal investment in the Bible, these are windows to history,” Carroll said. “There’s something about being a cultured person, about knowing the literature of the world.”

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