Verbum Domini: Preserving the Word

St. John the Evangelist

St. John the Evangelist, Full-Page Illuminated Miniature from an Armenian Gospel Book (1620-1630)

Museum of the Bible presents “Preserving the Word: Scribal Practice Through Time,” a six-month exhibit highlighting the individuals who have helped preserve the most important book ever written, the Bible.

Scribes are people trained in the craft of copying, composing, and recording documents by hand. They have been present in almost every literate society since writing first emerged in Mesopotamia thousands of years ago. Training to be a scribe was a long and intense process, and for much of human history only a select few—usually the male children of wealthy elites—were chosen to learn the profession. In the Middle Ages, finally, nuns, as well as monks, were employed in the task of producing manuscripts.

Among the most important functions of the scribe is the copying of religious texts and documents. From ancient Egyptian funerary rites to the Dead Sea Scrolls, many of our earliest examples of writing are religious in nature. Indeed, it is only through the work of scribes that we have the Bible in our hands today.

“Preserving the Word” is an exhibit of Museum of the Bible, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that exists to invite people to engage with the Bible through four primary activities: exhibits, scholarship, a museum, and curriculum.

Museum of the Bible houses the Green Collection, one of the world’s largest private collections of rare biblical texts and artifacts. The more than 44,000-piece collection includes cuneiform tablets (some from the time traditionally associated with Abraham), Dead Sea Scroll fragments, biblical papyri, biblical manuscripts, Torah scrolls, and printed Bibles.

The exhibit is housed in the Creation Museum’s former collections area, right next to the attractive Palm Plaza, with no additional cost to guests.

Enhanced Tour

This exhibit is stop number 430 in the Creation Museum’s enhanced tour.