Passages Bible History Exhibit Opens in Santa Clarita

By Strauss, Bob | Daily News (Los Angeles, CA), April 2, 2015 | Go to article overview

Passages Bible History Exhibit Opens in Santa Clarita


Strauss, Bob, Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)


Coverdale Bible, 1535 at Passages Bible exhibit in Santa Clarita on Thursday, April 2, 2015. The 30,000-square-foot interactive, nonsectarian exhibit on the history of the Bible that featuring some 400 rare texts and artifacts from one of the world's largest private collections of biblical antiquities. The exhibit opens to the public April 3. Many artifacts traveling with Passages will be featured in Museum of the Bible, a 430,000-square-foot, $400 million construction project that is opening late 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht/Los Angeles Daily News)

Just in time for Easter and Passover, a treasure trove of biblical artifacts, rare religious publications and interactive installations has come to Santa Clarita.

The traveling exhibit Passages opens today in 30,000 square feet of space that once housed an OSH hardware store on Bouquet Canyon Road and will be open until Feb. 27.

There is, of course, a gift shop, and a children's entertainment area designed by the VeggieTales folks. The main attraction, though, is some 400 items from antiquity through Medieval times and literally up to the Space Age, alongside animatronic historic figures, meticulously reproduced facsimiles of everything from sections of the Dead Sea Scrolls to a working Gutenberg printing press, video and computer presentations and more.

"We are here to invite people to study their Bible again, pick up the Bible, realize how relevant and important it is for today," Passages' director Aaron Rutherford explained. "What we're doing with Passages is displaying it as a historical document. We're asking people to come in and look at the history of the Bible."

"I think this is great for the community," added Terri Crain, CEO of the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce. "There are a lot of different denominations and large churches here and this is a very giving and spiritual community, so I think this is huge for the churched and the nonchurched to have an opportunity to see. This is part of history."

Two early 17th Century King James Bibles, a letter written by Martin Luther, singed Torahs recovered from Nazi Era Europe and much, much more are grouped in four display quadrants:

*Transmission houses everything from Mesopotamian Cuneiform cones to a reproduction of the Caves of Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered to Gutenberg's print shop (where one of the mass media pioneer's "employees," wittily played by local resident Bruce Fox, will help visitors press their own pages the old-fashioned way). There's also an immersive Moonscape where the Lunar Bible, a microfiche King James that was taken to Earth's satellite on Apollo 14, can be viewed and, with a computer tablet's help, read.

*Translation charts the various interpretations of the holy book through millennia. You can ask an animatronic St. Jerome in his cave questions about his Latin translation, see a similar display of English martyr William Tynsdale just before his execution and hear a sermon from robo-Presbyterian Church founder John Knox. …

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