Biblical Archaeology Review 40:2, March/April 2014

Strata: Exhibit Watch: Bibles over the Centuries

The best-selling book of all time, the Bible is the most important text for two major world religions: Judaism and Christianity. With rich content—and an equally rich transmission history—the Bible has captivated audiences for millennia, although the appearance of this text has certainly changed over the ages—from scrolls to codices, manuscripts to printed books. The Book of Books exhibit in Jerusalem chronicles the history and development of Judaism and Christianity by focusing on some of the earliest copies of the Bible that have survived.

Beginning with the Second Temple Period, when Alexander the Great sought to conquer the known world and spread Hellenism, the exhibit walks through the historical background of the periods in which the Hebrew Scriptures were canonized, the Dead Sea Scrolls were written and Jesus began his public ministry. The exhibit delves into the dissemination of the Bible to the world through Christian and Jewish emissaries and diasporas.

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