Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Ancient World: An Exhibition (Part 2)

See ALL posts about the Dead Sea Scrolls

Saturday, 5 September, 1.35 p.m.:
I touched down at the Singapore Changi Airport via Air Asia flight AK703. I hopped into a taxi, still contemplating whether to check in at the hotel or to go directly to The Arts House for the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition. I opted for the former; however, I was caught in a traffic situation (there was a road accident) and had to re-evaluate my decision. After a while, I informed the driver to send me to The Arts House instead.

Upon arrival at about 2.30 p.m., I was greeted by Ms Jenny Tan, the event chairman. She introduced me to the two curators, Dr Joel Lampe and Dr David Byrd. I also met with the organiser, Mr Morgan Tan. Dr Lampe gave me a brief orientation.

Before I go on, I would like to extend my gratitude and appreciation to Mr Alfred Lye who made this special arrangement with the organizer (we met at a PA conference organized by ABF Singapore in May this year where he was one of the conference chairpersons and I was a speaker); Ms Jenny Tan, Dr Joel Lampe, Dr David Byrd, and Mr Morgan Tan for their hospitality. Thank you all for making my trip a special one!

My tag

I hope you will enjoy this post! But before you get started, I’d like to encourage you to read my earlier post if you haven’t already done so, because it’ll give you a good background to the exhibition. See also Facebook album.


The registration counter for pre-purchased tickets and guests (like me)
This is the ticketing counter for walk-in visitors
Even young children will enjoy what the exhibition has to offer
Visitors. The Arts House was literally full house.

I like the layout of the exhibition. I would think that visitors may be able to appreciate the exhibits and digest the information better if the place is not so crowded. But then again, having the others to appreciate the precious exhibits with me was a satisfying experience.
There are lots of photo-taking opportunities but flash is not allowed

Curators Dr Joel Lampe and...
...Dr David Byrd giving lectures... a large crowd of attentive listeners

Let's go to the Activity Room where you can participate in the various activities in store for you
I also attended the 10-minute video preview of the exhibition inside the room where the parliament proceedings used to be held
This is where I was seated and I got a great overall view of the hall
Various items in relation to the exhibition are on sale. It is advisable to purchase the Exhibition Guide (S$2) and Commemorative Book (S$25) so that you can benefit more from the exhibition.


Below are some of the artifacts on display. The text in Italics is a reproduction from the exhibition. To see more, please visit the exhibition!

The 1611 Geneva Bible
This is a printing of the Geneva Bible from the same year as the first edition King James Bible. Some background: Queen Mary enforced Catholicism throughout England. During this time of “Bloody” Mary’s repressive reign, British theologians and scholars of the Reformation took refuge in Geneva, Switzerland under the protection of John Calvin. In Geneva, some of those exiles produced a new edition of Scripture that came to be known as “The Geneva Bible.” It was this edition that became the Bible of Puritans in England, and the Bible that the Pilgrims brought to America, both to Virginia and Massachusetts. It was the Bible through which John Smith witnessed to Pocahontas and her people. It was the Bible read and quoted by John Bunyan.

Ancient Cuneiform Writing

Tablets written in cuneiform on fired clay. Circa 2000-1700 B.C.: Isin-Larsa/Early Old Babylonian period. These tablets are types of Royal Hymns, lexical lists, and payroll and administrative records.

The Discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls
Early in 1947, a Bedouin shepherd threw a rock into a cave in an attempt to drive out a missing animal under his care. The shattering sound of pottery drew him into the cave, where he found several ancient jars containing scrolls wrapped in linen. It was the improbable beginning of the greatest find in modern history—the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The Elias Hutter Hebrew Bible, Hamburg, Germany, 1587

The Elias Hutter New Testament Polyglot Nuremberg, Germany, 1599

Printed in Syriac, Greek, Latin, Hebrew, German, Italian, Spanish, Polish, English and Danish. A masterpiece of complex typography.

A Scroll of the Book of Esther Called an “Esther Megillah”

This example circa 1800; scribed in Poland. A surviving artefact of the Nazi Holocaust in Poland.

The Greek New Testament by Desiderius Erasmus

This is an inside look inside the unique 1519 second edition of the Greek New Testament produced by Desiderius Erasmus, bound in a 16th century vellum choral sheet.

Hebrew Torah Scroll for Rabbinical Use

The Torah (the Law), the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. This handwritten scroll, on parchment, is approximately 250 years old (rollers are later).

The Pilgrim’s Progress

One of the bestselling, most influential, and beloved books in history. This is the famous and rare Elstow Edition, 1880, bound in wood from Bunyan’s Church.

The “Postillas” (Sermons)

A fascinating glimpse into the publishing of sermons in the 15th and 16th Centuries. This is a standard work, the “Postilla” (Sermons) of the medieval theologian Guillermus Parisiensis—illustrated with an exceptional suite of woodcuts, indicative of the art of the Continental book illustration in the generation before Martin Luther’s publications. This work was published in Switzerland in 1506.

The First “Quarto” Size printing of the King James Version

Example of the first “quarto” or hand-held size printing of the King James Version (“Authorized” Version) intended for home use by individuals and as a commercially viable alternative to the widely popular Geneva Bibles in quarto size.

The First Bible in English for Catholics

Under Queen Elizabeth 1, the Catholic scholars in exile in France (with the permission of the Church at Rome) began a translation of Scripture into English intended for an English-speaking Catholic readership. The key translator was Gregory Martin. The work was published in three volumes with the single-volume New Testament printed in the city of Rheims in 1582 and the two-volume Old Testament being printed in Douai in 1609 and 1610.

See ALL posts about the Dead Sea Scrolls