More than a Hobby: Steve Green’s Bible Collection and New Bible Museum

And I thought J. Mark Bertrand had a lot of Bibles!  Just a few years ago, Steve Green, the owner of Hobby Lobby, began a collection of Bible artifacts.  Now, just four years later, the Green Collection is one of the largest in the world, valued at over $40,000,000!  Here’s the story, according to Green’s Passages website:

In 2009, Hobby Lobby purchased its first biblical artifact. Today Green devotes half his time to what has become known as The Green Collection, among the world’s newest and largest private collections of rare biblical texts and artifacts. The            collection of more than 40,000 biblical antiquities will eventually become the core of an international, non-sectarian museum of the Bible and will be the subject of ongoing scholarly research through the Green Scholars Initiative. In the summer of 2011, 400 items from the collection were put on display in a traveling exhibit called Passages which began in Oklahoma City and then moved to Atlanta. It will be traveling to other cities nationwide. Beginning on March 1, 2012, over 100 items            will be on display at the Vatican in Rome during Lent.

To provide a permanent home for this enormous collection, Green is launching a museum in Washington D.C.  The Washington Post has a photo gallery of the project along with an article about the historical and cultural significance of its ancient texts, both of which are worth checking out.

The museum has a Hebrew Torah Scroll from the Spanish Inquisition, parts of a Gutenberg Bible, and a working replica of the Gutenberg Press, among many other artifacts.  To us “Bible Geeks of the World” this is great news; we’re as giddy as a Trekkie who just found out that Jeff Goldlum will be reprising his role as Darth Solo in a new Battlestar Galactica movie.

But the Bible Scholar side of me has good reason to be encouraged by this as well.  According to the Washington Post, “The venue is to include  .  .  .   offices for biblical scholars who Green family sponsors.”  In a time when Universities, Colleges, and Seminaries are slashing their budgets and opting for poverty-wage adjuncts instead of salaried full-time faculty, it is encouraging to see that there are still philanthropists who value biblical scholarship enough to support biblical scholars.

How cool would it be to see a working model of the Gutenberg Press on the way into your office in the morning?  Mr. Green is a man after my own heart.  Time to start planning a trip to D.C.!  I’ll be sure to drop off my CV while I’m there.


About hjimkeener

Education: B.A.: Moody Bible Institute GCTS: Knox Theological Seminary M.Div.: Pittsburgh Theological Seminary Ph.D.: Baylor University Ministry Experience: I have served as a Youth Minister, Associate Pastor of English Ministry, and a pulpit supply preacher. Teaching Experience: In addition to teaching in various volunteer and professional ministry settings, I have taught as a University Professor (Teaching Fellow; Baylor University) and as a Seminary Professor (El Seminario de la Iglesia Presbiteriana de Bolivia). I have also given lectures and sermons in Spanish.
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3 Responses to More than a Hobby: Steve Green’s Bible Collection and New Bible Museum

  1. Carlton Meredith says:

    Jim, if you’re in the market for a great, historical Bible collection, you might just take a look at the following (shipping costs alone probably make the purchase unreasonable, however)…
    Love and prayers in His fellowship,
    Séminaire Biblique de Bruxelles
    Brussels, Belgium

    2500 Volumes, Rare Bible Collection – Great Bible, Matthews Bible, Geneva Bibles, Bishops’ Bible 1611 King James Version Bible, Americana Bibles Greek, Latin Editions, etc.
    Bookseller: Rare Bibles & More (Falling Waters, WV)
    Price: US$ 2,500,000.00 (only!!)
    Shipping: US$ 3.00 Within U.S.A. (such a shame…)

    P.S. — I just checked back on the link… alas, it’s now too late…
    “We’re sorry; this book is no longer available. AbeBooks has millions of books. Please enter search terms below to find similar copies.”

  2. hjimkeener says:

    I think you’re right about the shipping. It sounds like a steal at $ 2,500,000.00 . But $ 2,500,003.00 is just a bit over my budget. :0)
    Sounds like the sort of thing only a rich philanthropist like Mr. Green could even consider.

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