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Museum of the Bible ~ continued from January 2018 issue pdf page 5

The Rice Psalter, Use of Sarum (© MOTB).

The Rice Psalter, Use of Sarum (© MOTB).

Wyman Fragment (Uncial 0220), Romans 4–5 (© MOTB).

Wyman Fragment (Uncial 0220), Romans 4–5 (© MOTB).

 

These niches featuring life-size depictions of the luminaries of translation are welcome stopovers on your winding journey, providing a respite from reading the text in the display cases as well as on wall panels and sometimes even the floor. (You’re also able to have a seat while watching, something you grow more and more and thankful for while progressing through the museum.)

Additionally, the short film “Quest for Manuscripts” tells of the so-called Sisters of Sinai, two Scots women who discovered, in an isolated monastery in Egypt, palimpsests that had concealed for centuries the Syriac Sinaiticus, some of the earliest copies of the New Testament ever found. The sisters were pioneers in using chemical treatments to find texts obscured by later writing obliterating and written over the original text.

At this point any first-time visitor to the museum comes to a fork in the road. You can either spend another hour or so in History of the Bible, examining dozens of pocket Bibles, Bibles for children and for families, sumptuously illuminated prayer books and Psalters, or you can opt for a foray on the second floor, discovering impacts of the Bible on both the United States and on the world. The advantage of taking in the second-floor at this point is putting it all in context, now that the Bible’s historical underpinnings are fresh in your mind.

*Steve Moyer, a former co-owner of Chapters Literary Bookstore, is a professional translator and freelance writer, with degrees from American and Georgetown Universities; has written reviews for the Georgetowner and other publications, and is Associate Editor of Humanities magazine, published by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Copyright © 2018 InTowner Publishing Corp. & Steve Moyer. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited, except as provided by 17 U.S.C. §107 (“fair use”).