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KEY Oklahoma City

Visitors to Oklahoma City have a once in- a-lifetime opportunity to experience the world premier of Passages at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, May 16 through October 16.

Passages is the nonsectarian exhibition of a portion of The Green Collection, one of the world’s newest and largest private collections of rare biblical texts and artifacts. The Green Collection is named for the Green family, founders and leaders of Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby, the world’s largest privately owned arts and crafts retailer.

Hobby Lobby President Steve Green, the driving force behind the initiative, now devotes half his time to providing vision and financial resources to The Green Collection. By applying his business and marketplace acumen to biblical antiquities, Green’s desire is for people of all interests from around the world to interact with the Bible like never before.

In this year marking the 400th anniversary of the King James translation of the Bible, Passages takes visitors behind the scenes of the most-banned, most-debated, most-translated, best-selling book of all time. “What better time than now to explore and experience this book that has altered history, shaped cultures, inspired minds and changed lives?” said Green.

The compilation of more than 30,000 biblical antiquities, of which approximately 300 are featured in the exhibition, will eventually form the core of a permanent, international, nonsectarian museum of the Bible. This soon-to-be-selected site will enable visitors to interact with the history and impact of the Bible. It also will house the Green Scholars Initiative, bringing together established and young scholars to pioneer new biblical discoveries.

The massive collection has “set dealers buzzing,” according to The New York Times and was assembled at an aggressive pace beginning in November 2009. The speed was enabled by the work of the collection’s director, Dr. Scott Carroll, and the Green family’s resources and passion for the Bible’s impact on history, culture and individual lives and their desire to make the story of the Bible accessible to people of all interests, as well as to scholars worldwide.

“The Bible didn’t come from Mount Sinai to Moses and end up in a Red Roof Inn desk drawer,” said Dr. Carroll, who holds a Ph.D. in ancient studies. “There was a process and Passages tells the dramatic story of that process. The Green Collection provides casual visitors and scholars alike a one-of-a-kind opportunity to go behind the scenes of the most influential work that humankind has ever labored to capture, preserve, translate and study,” continued Carroll.

The unusual collaboration between one of America’s top family retailers, scholars worldwide and religious leaders from across the spectrum has emerged to explore, share and pioneer discoveries around the world’s most-translated book.

“The opportunity to present such a vast and important collection of biblical artifacts is exceptional,” said Glen Gentele, president and CEO, Oklahoma City Museum of Art. “The exhibition provides a once-in-a-lifetime experience for guests to engage with these rare materials at the Museum.”

Passages is a 14,000-square-foot, interactive, nonsectarian, worldwide traveling exhibition that will enable visitors to see, touch, feel and experience the dramatic and surprising story of thousands of years of Bible history. Included in the exhibition is one of the earliest pieces of Genesis, along with the Codex Climaci Rescriptus, one of the earliest-surviving, near-complete Bibles and the most extensive early biblical text in Jesus’ household language of Palestinian Aramaic.

Other highlights include one of the largest collections of cuneiform tablets in the western hemisphere and the second-largest private collection of Dead Sea Scrolls, all of which are unpublished and expected to substantially contribute to an understanding of the earliest surviving texts on the Bible.

Also included is the world’s largest private collection of Jewish scrolls, spanning more than 700 years of history, including Torahs that survived the Spanish Inquisition, ones confiscated by the Nazis and recovered in concentration camps, and others from across the globe.

Following the Oklahoma City premier, a portion of Passages will travel to St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City with the full schedule to be announced at a later date.

The Oklahoma City Museum of Art will feature special hours through the duration of Passages. The Museum will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., with extended hours on Thursday evenings to 9 p.m. Prices for admission to the Museum and the exhibit are: $25 for adults, $20 for seniors, $15 for students (6-18), $15 for Museum members, and free for children 5 and under. Special group and multi-day rates are also available.

The Oklahoma City Museum of Art is located at 415 Couch Drive in downtown Oklahoma City. For more information on the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, visit or call (405) 236-3100. For more information on Passages, visit

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