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Sixth-century Bible purchased by Oklahoma-based Green family as part of museum collection

upstairs_largeCodex Climaci Rescriptus, an incredible sixth-century Bible containing passages from the New Testament in Palestinian Aramaic (the vernacular that is thought to have been spoken by Jesus) , was purchased recently by Hobby Lobby, Inc. – an Oklahoma-based arts and crafts national franchise owned by the Green family. This piece will be one of many in the impressive collection of rare Bibles and books, Hebrew scrolls of ancient times, historic manuscripts and more that the family is accumulating. The collection will be displayed at the proposed National Bible Museum, that is likely to be located in Dallas. The notoriety of this particular document is off-the-charts. Incredibly rare and in certain publications described as “one of the earliest-known near-complete Bibles in the world.”

Scott Carroll, a professor at Cornerstone University and Biblical scholar, will be the executive director at the museum and has been spearheading the purchases of many of these rare documents. Alongside him during the acquisitions, is a Dallas man, Don Shipman. The two have reportedly spent upwards of $300 million. The space they are seeking is said to be in excess of 300,000 square feet. Let’s just say that this isn’t going to be just any museum.

The Green family spoke with Carroll about four years ago and agreed to begin securing various pieces for the National Bible Museum. As of late they have become very aggressive buyers. They are making some serious moves to purchase rare documents like Codex Climaci Rescriptus and are moving ahead with full steam.

Driving the passion behind this project is the Green’s desire to make available the stories, experiences and history of such a controversial piece of literature, but one that is very near and dear to their hearts. “Our family has participated in ministry efforts worldwide and has had the opportunity to visit places and see things that are of great historical and Biblical significance. We feel it is important to give others the opportunity to experience Biblical history without traveling around the world, and the museum will bring this history together in one location,” Steve Green, President of Hobby Lobby, Inc. said. In line with the family’s giving spirit, Mart Green, founder and CEO of Mardel Christian and Educational Supply announced in November 2007 that he would pledge a gift of $70 million to Oral Roberts University when it was in dire financial need. Mart also serves as Chairman of the Board at Oral Roberts University.

I have a feeling that while this museum has stayed under the radar a bit, it won’t be long until it begins to receive more and more press. It will be exciting to see how the journey continues to unfold and the progression of such an enormous undertaking. Be sure to check TulsaGuide.com for updates as they become available. Until then, be well!

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May 11th, 2010



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