Biblical Heritage Gallery

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Biblical Heritage Gallery: bringing people in touch with the history, preservation, and influence of God's Word.

Through the use of university collections and visiting exhibits, the focus of the gallery is on the Scriptures -- their production, preservation, and distribution, and on the many godly heroes who gave their energies and sometimes their lives to assure access to God's Word by all.


Most of the exhibits are in place for a full 16- week semester (fall, spring, summer) and the Gallery may be visited any time that the Center for Biblical and Theological Studies is open. The hours during the summer months are more limited.

Born out of Persecution: History of the Early Printed English Bible

Born out of Persecution: History of the Early Printed English Bible

January 2016 - June 2016
With the coming of the Protestant Reformation, the 15th and 16th centuries were religiously tumultuous in England and Europe with some of the struggle focusing on whether it was appropriate or not for the Scriptures to be made available in the common language for all to read. This conflict was most evident in England where in significant periods of the 16th century under the Roman Catholic Church, it was illegal to translate the Scriptures into the English language from Latin. There were times when it was illegal to read those illegal translations in public–or to own one. There were times when people were martyred for doing both. This exhibit of early printed English Bibles is intended to tell that story and recognize those who gave up comfort, safety, living in their own country, and in some cases their lives, to make sure that everyone would have the privilege of reading the Bible in their own language.

Preserved by Hand: the Bible from Manuscript to Gutenberg

Gutenberg Bible

July 2015 - December 2015
For centuries, prior to the invention of printing in the Western world, the text of the Bible was preserved in manuscript form. From the hand-copied manuscripts of the post New Testament and Medieval periods to the hand-copied Bibles of the early Reformation period, the text of Scripture was preserved by God to assure that the Words of God--his plan, principles, and purposes--would be accessible to man created in His image. This exhibit presents examples of manuscript portions of the Bible from the 4th to the 15th centuries, leading in 1455 to the production of the first printed Bible, the remarkable Gutenberg Bible, seen in the exhibit in facsimile form. Following that momentous event, the printed Bible could be distributed to the masses.

The King James Bible: A Translation for the Ages

Celebrating the Bible

January 2015 - June 2015
The King James Version of the Bible was not the first English language translation of the Scriptures, but the culmination of extensive translation activity in the 1500's, including the likes of the Tyndale Bible, the Great Bible, the Geneva Bible, and the Bishops' Bible. In 1604, King James came to power unifying a divided England. In order to settle disagreements over reforms in the Church of England, he authorized a new translation of the Scriptures building on the previous English Bible translation work and using the best Hebrew, Greek, and Latin texts and manuscripts available. The work, undertaken by a total of 54 scholars, was completed and the first edition published in 1611. Since the mid-17th century, the King James Bible has been the Bible of the English-speaking church. Even though more recent modern translations have in popularity, the KJV stills stands as the masterpiece of the English language. Over four hundred years after its first printing, the King James Bible continues to have worldwide influence, retaining its place as the most influential book and Bible ever published. The exhibit includes a collection of rare King James Bible editions from the 17th and 18th centuries, the earliest from 1613, pages from the first edition, and other rare English language Bibles which were forerunners of the King James version.

Dawn of the Reformation: Sola Scriptura

Dawn of the Reformation

July 2014 - December 2014
The Protestant Reformation, a movement to the Scriptures as the primary rule of life and practice - Sola Scriptura, was a reaction against the teachings, corruption, and abuses of the Roman Catholic church in the 14th to 17th centuries. While the movement initially was an attempt to reform the Catholic Church, the failure of those attempts led to a departure from that church and the founding of what today has become a number of protestant denominations. This exhibit highlights the works and ministry of some of the early key figures in the Reformation movement across Europe, displaying some of their original Bible translation and theological works. Theologians represented are John Wycliffe, Erasmus Desiderius, Martin Luther, Philipp Melancthon, William Tyndale, and a special emphasis on John Calvin.

Sing to the Lord a New Song: Early Church Music

Sing to the Lord a New Song

January 2014 - June 2014
For centuries, those who composed music for the church were arguably the major influencers on the development of music in the western world. At other times, the culture of music in vogue was adopted by the church and integrated into worship elements. Church music has generally been based on singing, written for individuals and choirs to express the words of Scripture and the experience of faith as encouraged by the words of Bible, "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord." (Ephesians 5:19)
From the early, simple monophonic chants sung by the clergy and monks alone, to the complex polyphony of the Renaissance sung by choirs, to the vibrant congregational singing inspired by the Reformation and the revivals, to the simple singing of the Psalms without instruments in the settlements of the New World, music has continued to lead God's people in personal and corporate worship experiences. This exhibit provides selected examples of church music starting with the plainsong of the Middle Ages on through the development of Gospel hymns in the 19th century. In addition to the main exhibit, a supplemental exhibit is available on sacred music shape-note singing.

One Nation Under God: the Bible in Early America

One Nation Under God

July 2013 - December 2013
True to the motto of the United States, One Nation Under God, this exhibit highlights our country's biblical heritage. The exhibit begins with the first Bible brought to America by the Puritans and Pilgrims, moves on to the first Bible printed in America and those that followed in the Colonies, and then to the rapid expansion in the 19th century of the printing and distribution of the Bible driven by the desire of many individuals, churches, and societies to provide and share the principles and message of God's Word.