AZUSA, Calif.―Share in one of the greatest archeological discoveries of the 20th century as Azusa Pacific University hosts an exhibition featuring five fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls and a collection of rare biblical artifacts from May 21–July 18. Tickets are currently on sale at www.apu.edu/deadseascrolls/.
Treasures of the Bible: The Dead Sea Scrolls and Beyond offers a rare opportunity to take in the full historic sweep of the Bible’s presence in the West in a single exhibition, and marks the first time all five of Azusa Pacific’s Dead Sea Scroll fragments will be available for public viewing. Also on display are more than 50 biblical items, including a 5,000-year-old cuneiform tablet, a Gutenberg Bible leaf, original King James Bibles from 1611–40, and a 17th-century Hebrew Sefer Torah scroll.
“We consider it a privilege and a responsibility to play a part in history by carefully preserving, while also sharing, these remarkable treasures with the public,” said APU President Jon R. Wallace, DBA. “Our theology faculty have closely studied the Dead Sea Scroll fragments alongside other scholars. They discuss them in the classroom, referencing their learning from these ancient documents to bring history to life for our students. Now, through this exhibition, we can invite more people to experience how Scripture has been preserved and passed on for thousands of years.”
Purchase tickets online at www.apu.edu/deadseascrolls/. Prices include $18 general admission, $12 group rates, $8 for students, and $5 for children under 12. Tickets must be purchased in advance for specific dates and times. A minimum number of tickets will be sold at the door each day. Exhibition hours are Wednesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–8 p.m., and Sunday, 12–6 p.m. Additional information on blackout days, holiday hours, and more can be found on the website.
Media Representatives: Several Azusa Pacific scholars and Dead Sea Scroll guest scholars will be available for interviews at APU March 26, 29, and 30. Print, radio, and TV news reporters are invited to meet these scholars and preview some of the items that will be featured in the summer exhibition. Please contact Allison Oster, public relations manager, at (626) 815-4518 to schedule a time to attend.
View photos of some of the biblical artifacts on Flickr.
Comments from the Scholars:
“These items are significant to many people of faith, and making them accessible to different religious groups is a rare gift APU can give residents of Southern California. Those who attend the exhibition will walk away knowing how they ended up with the English Bible in their hand, and have increased knowledge of the complex and exciting history of the transmission of the Bible.” – Robert Duke, Ph.D., assistant professor of biblical studies, School of Theology, Azusa Pacific
“One crucial function of the university is to preserve the heritage of the past, and show that many principles learned by past generations transcend eras and cultures and are relevant for us today. The tragedy of the present era is that we are in grave danger of forgetting these principles. Displaying ancient artifacts such as will be exhibited at APU this summer reminds us that we have much to learn from the peoples of the past.” – Timothy Finlay, Ph.D., associate professor of Old Testament, C.P. Haggard Graduate School of Theology, Azusa Pacific
Read more about a few of the scholars studying the university's five fragments: www.apu.edu/media/news/expert/15254/.
About Azusa Pacific’s Dead Sea Scroll Fragments and Biblical Antiquities:
Azusa Pacific acquired the five fragments and a number of rare biblical antiquities in August 2009. Currently, APU is one of only three higher education institutions in the United States that own Dead Sea Scroll fragments. The University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute Museum has one, and recently Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Texas acquired three scriptural fragments.
These earliest known texts of the Hebrew Bible, dating back to roughly 150 BC, were discovered in the caves of Qumran, east of Jerusalem, between 1947–56. Today, many of the estimated 15,000 known fragments are held in private collections.
Four of the fragments were obtained from Lee Biondi of Biondi Rare Books and Manuscripts in Venice, California. The fifth fragment came from Legacy Ministries International, a Phoenix, Arizona-based nonprofit committed to telling the story of the Bible and assembling artifacts, objects, Bibles, and documents tracing the history of Scripture.
In addition, APU received five original King James Bibles dating from 1611–40, a collection of Bible leaves, two late 17th-century Hebrew Sefer Torah scrolls, and more from Legacy Ministries International.
Read more about the acquisition: /media/news/release/14307/