In the Beginning: Bibles Before the Year 1000
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The history of the Bible can be traced from fragile fragments of papyrus and humble parchment codices to resplendent manuscripts and sumptuous jeweled bindings. As an exhibition, In the Beginning: Bibles Before the Year 1000 gathered some of the world's most important biblical manuscripts—many never before seen in the United States—to examine how the Bible took shape.
Hailed as a "superb volume" by Johns Hopkins University's Journal of Early Christian Studies, the accompanying catalog also offers rare glimpses into ancient texts, such as Charles Lang Freer's own Codex Washingtonensis and the earliest complete Christian bibles, dating to the fourth and fifth centuries. In all, the catalog contains more than 70 images of the oldest biblical artifacts in existence, including pages and fragments written in Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Arabic, Syriac, Armenian, Ethiopian, and Coptic. Also featured are contributions by scholars that illuminate the Bible's evolution, detailing how various cultures participated in its development and how its teachings were promoted and experienced during this formative period. 360-page hardcover book with color and black & white illustrations throughout.
As Smithsonian museums, the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery hold in trust the nation’s extraordinary collections of Asian art and of American art of the late nineteenth-century aesthetic movement. Our mission is to encourage enjoyment and understanding of the arts of Asia and the cultures that produced them. We use works of art to inspire study and provoke thought.
Every Smithsonian purchase will arrive with a museum provenance card explaining how it is adapted from or inspired by an object or objects in our collection.
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