(Photo: Mark Von Holden/Invision for Fox Home Entertainment)
Hobby Lobby President Steve Green brought his family's huge exhibit of Biblical artifacts to Jerusalem last week, including several portions of the Dead Sea scrolls and other items from the earliest centuries of Christianity.
"It's a bit of a history of the Bible, starting from the Dead Sea scrolls going through the King James version and many of the artifacts show that timeline," Green shared with Fox News on Monday. "With our collection as a whole, we wanted to encourage people to know their Bible better, whether it be here in America or anywhere around the world."
The impressive exhibit, called the Green Collection, features more than 40,000 antiquities including 4,000 Jewish Torahs, rare illuminated manuscripts, early tracts and Bibles belonging to Martin Luther, and the Western Hemisphere's largest collection of cuneiform tablets, an early form of writing.
It is believed to be the world's largest private collections of rare biblical texts and artifacts, and Green has showcased the exhibit at the Vatican and several cities throughout the world, including a "Bible Experience" event in New York City in March, attended by The Christian Post.
"The artifacts help bring some real-life validity to the whole story that is being shared. This is a book (Bible) that has been with us for thousands of years and that's what the TV series is trying to bring to life," Green told CP in an interview at the event, referring to the History Channel's "The Bible" miniseries also featured at the NY exhibit.
"I imagine that it (the series) will bring interest to a lot of people to understand and hear the Bible; hopefully it will help them engage in reading the Bible, and also get them interested in its history. That's what the artifacts bring – part of the history of the book," he added.
The trip to Jerusalem last week celebrated the opening of the temporary exhibit "The Book of Books" at the Bible Lands Museum, and will run through May. A permanent exhibit for the Green Collection is planned for Washington D.C., which is not yet named, but is envisioned to open sometime in 2017.
"The Book of Books exhibit will serve to delineate the relationship between the Jewish and Christian faiths by tracing the transmission of the biblical text over the last two millennia, spanning from the Judean wilderness to the nations of the world," curator Heather Reichstadt explained.
"Visitors will enjoy some 200 artifacts displayed in immersive contextual settings that bring history to life."
Green added that the hopes behind sharing the Collection are to encourage people to get to know the Bible better, and to "consider the principles that it teaches for their own personal lives as well."
"So far, it's been well received everywhere we've been," the Hobby Lobby president revealed.
"But there will be controversy; there will be people who don't like the Bible for whatever reason. But we just want to educate people on a book that's impacted our world and let them make their own choice."