Centennial Library Opens New Biblical Heritage Gallery Exhibit

by Public Relations

Cedarville University’s Centennial Library recently completed a new Biblical Heritage Gallery exhibit: “Celebrating the Bible in English: 400 Years of the King James Version, 1611-2011.” The gallery is located in the atrium of Cedarville’s Center for Biblical and Theological Studies. All pieces in the display are part of the library’s special collections and will be exhibited through mid-June.

Although this year marks the 400th anniversary of the publication of the first King James Bible in 1611, it was not the first English translation of the Scriptures. Rather, it was the culmination of many extensive translations produced through the 1500s, including the Tyndale Bible, the Great Bible, the Geneva Bible and the Bishops’ Bible. It was not until 1604 that King James united England and authorized a new translation of the Scriptures, building on previous work. Fifty-four scholars completed the first edition, and from the mid 1600s through the 20th century, the King James Bible was the primary Bible of the English-speaking church, still retaining worldwide influence today.

A museum-quality display, the exhibition uses accompanying graphics and placards to tell the story of the King James Bible’s history and includes items from a number of significant periods over the last 400 years. The new exhibit includes pages from the first-edition King James Bible as well as a number of rare King James Bible editions from the 17th and 18th centuries. The exhibit also contains a page from the first printing of the version in the colonies after the start of the Revolutionary War. While the colonies were still under England’s rule before the war, the King James Bible was imported from printers in England who held exclusive licenses of production. One exhibit case even includes a 2” by 2” microfilm slide on which all the pages of the King James Bible are printed—the only Bible to be taken to the moon on an Apollo mission.

“One would not usually see all of these items in one place,” says Lynn Brock, dean of library services. “It really gives you a sense of the history and progression of the development of the English language Bible.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,200 undergraduate, graduate, and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at www.cedarville.edu.