Events to commemorate 400th anniversary of King James Bible
Liberty University is holding a series of events in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible. The events include a film series, a rare exhibition of ancient books and manuscripts related to the King James Bible, and a conference on the history and influence of the King James Bible.
All events are open to the public.
The film Indestructible Book: The Historic Path of God's Word from Mt. Sinai to Plymouth Rock will be shown at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 20 (Volumes 1 & 2) and at 7 p.m. on Sept. 27 (Volumes 3 & 4) in the Towns-Alumni Lecture Hall at Elmer L. Towns Religion Hall. The films are free.
Starting on Thursday, Sept. 29 and running through Saturday, Oct. 1, a special exhibit from the notable Green Collection, the largest private collection of biblical manuscripts and artifacts in the world, will be on display at the Liberty University Art Gallery. There is no admission fee.
The exhibit will feature 55 items, including an original 1611 King James Bible. The Green family, owners of the Hobby Lobby chain of arts and crafts stores, have collected more than 40,000 ancient texts and artifacts related to the Judeo-Christian story and have hopes of creating a national Bible museum. (Liberty’s Green Hall was an indirect donation from Hobby Lobby.) The collection has been featured in the New York Times, USA Today and other major news publications. Liberty is one of the first institutions to host the exhibit. Hours are from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. The exhibit will also be on display at Thomas Road Baptist Church on Sunday.
“The exhibit will be in chronological fashion, taking viewers through the historical development of the Bible and the preservation of historical manuscripts, from the first century through today,” said Dr. Douglas Mann, associate dean in the Graduate School and a professor of history at Liberty. “It’s not just a nice collection; there is a spiritual part of this. They want to show the historical nature of the Bible, and not just as a piece of literature but an important piece of Christianity.”
Much of the collection has never been examined from an academic perspective and the Green family is hoping to partner with institutions to begin more study into the ancient texts through the Green Scholars Initiative. Noted scholar Jerry Pattengale, the director, will be with the exhibit as well as speaking at the conference.
The Conference of the Quatercentennial Anniversary of the King James Bible will be held Saturday, Oct. 1 from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Liberty Mountain Conference Center in Candler’s Station shopping center. It will feature many nationally known scholars, including several Liberty University faculty members. A banquet will be held Friday, Sept. 30 from 7 to 10 p.m. featuring keynote speaker David W. Bebbington, a noted scholar from the University of Stirling.
Registration is required for the banquet and conference. Admission to the conference is free for students with valid ID. Registration and other information on the conference can be found at www.liberty.edu/kjv400.