Due to a strong response from East Tennessee, organizers today announced that the exhibit Ink and Blood: Dead Sea Scrolls to the English Bible is being extended to May 1.
Featuring authentic Dead Sea Scroll fragments, rare ancient Biblical manuscripts and historic Bibles, the unprecedented exhibition opened in Knoxville Feb. 5 at the old Convention Center below the Holiday Inn downtown.
“Since we opened, tens of thousands have seen the more than 100 specific Hebrew, Greek and Latin transcripts and rare Reformation Bibles from around the world,” said Dr. William Noah, curator of the museum exhibition.
“The interest from the people of East Tennessee in this seldom-told story of the Bible and the people who died to keep it alive has been fantastic. Plus, we continue to hear from people and groups who want to see the exhibit, and that’s why we decided to extend the closing date to Sunday, May 1.”
Numerous church and school groups have seen the exhibit, Noah said, but the historical nature of the exhibit has appealed to a wide secular audience as well.
Noah worked for many years with Biblical scholars from around the world to gather the priceless ancient documents. He focused on the Bible in English and was overwhelmed by the fact that people were martyred for printing or possessing Bibles.
“These priceless, ancient documents inspire us today, and they came to us at a tremendous human cost,” Noah says. “As the name of the exhibition implies, the Bible has been transmitted to us through the diligence of scribes and the blood of martyrs.”
Rare items include:
· authentic Dead Sea Scroll fragments of the books of Genesis and Isaiah
· several 5,000-year-old pictographic clay tablets from ancient Mesopotamia (the earliest form of writing in history)
· a 2,600-year-old scroll containing the oldest known Hebrew writing on papyrus in the world and the earliest known written example of the Hebrew name for God, Elohim
· numerous Bibles, including a medieval manuscript Wyclif Bible from the 15th century, which was the first translation of the Holy Book into English.
The exhibition also features a working replica of Gutenberg’s press, which brought the Bible to the masses in the 16th century with a profound impact on society. In addition to the interpretive displays, historians are available to answer visitors’ questions. Visitors see multimedia presentations, and lectures given by visiting scholars will continue.
“The story of the Bible is intriguing, educational, and moving, no matter what one’s age or religious beliefs,” Noah said. “As they burned John Rogers at the stake for his English interpretation of the Bible, his last words were, ‘Seal this with my blood!’ What could be more moving that that?”
Ink and Blood adult tickets are $15. Matinee, senior citizen and student tickets are $12. Children 8-18 are $8; and children under the age of 8 are free.
Noah says that the exhibition provides an educational and entertaining activity for school groups, church groups, families and clubs, and group rates are available. For more information or to order tickets, call 1-877-33BIBLE or visit www.InkAndBlood.com.