Sacred History on Display

Rev. Dr. Scott D. Seay, CTS Seminary Associate Professor of the History of Global Christianity and Pastor of the Brown County Presbyterian Fellowship is constantly discovering something new at work, and it’s usually old. Sometimes, very old.

In addition to his other responsibilities, Scott is curator of the historical archives at Christian Theological Seminary -- a veritable treasure trove of religious artifacts, ancient texts and missionary memorabilia matched by few places on earth.

“I knew CTS had a very rich source of archival material. However, after digging through and organizing these resources for years, I have an even broader and deeper appreciation for the richness of our archives,” said Scott, who also served as Managing Editor of The Stone-Campbell Movement: A Global History, published last year by Chalice Press.

Currently, Rev. Seay is mounting an exhibit to coincide with our 2014 Baccalaureate and Commencement exercises in a mid-May. Called ‘Sacred History: Rare 16th Century Bibles,’ it will display ten or so of our irreplaceable texts, many of which have fascinating stories about how they came to be printed . . . some 50 or more years before Shakespeare was born.

The exhibit will include the following volumes, described here by Dr. Seay:

Daniel Bomberg, 
Biblia Hebraica, 2d edition (1521), produced by a Christian printer living in Venice. This Hebrew Bible eventually became the preferred edition for Jewish exiles from Spain and Portugal expelled in 1492 and living on the Italian peninsula. Incidentally, Bomberg's 1st edition (1516) carried the imprimatur of Pope Leo X and the name of his co-editor (a Jewish convert to Catholicism). For that reason, Jewish communities refused to use it.

Desiderius Erasmus, Novum Instrumentum omne 3d edition (1522) was used by William Tyndale to produce the first English-language Bible in 1526, and later the Geneva Bible and the King James Version. The works of this a classic humanist scholar helped fuel the Protestant reformations.

The six-volume Compultensian Polyglot Bible (1522) by Cardinal Francisco Jimenez de Cisneros, printed in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. This Bible was a key resource for the Roman Catholic Reformation and was the principal source used in the first Spanish translation of the Bible in 1569. Only 600 were printed originally and CTS has one of the 123 sets known to still exist.

The Byble, that is to say all the Holy Scripture (1549), commonly called "Matthew's Version," an English-language Bible produced during the reign of Edward VI (r. 1547-1553), but then suppressed by Mary I (r. 1553-1558). Two of the three translators – William Tyndale and John Rogers – were burned at the stake for their involvement in producing it.

The Bible, translated according to the Ebrew and Greeke (1583), commonly known as the Geneva Bible. This was the Bible of the Elizabethan Renaissance, during which such figures as William Shakespeare, John Donne, and John Bunyan lived.

Catch this fascinating peek into our shared religious history, May 15 – 19, in front of the CTS Library interior entrance.

upcoming events

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Every Wednesday at 11:30am in Sweeney Chapel. Open to the public, come one, come all!

Journey Through Poetry and Stories Told Live.  Part of the Spirit & Place Festival

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