American News

Update on The Living Word National Bible Museum
(see TSJ, number 17, December 2000 for previous information on this project)

Report by John R.Hellstern

“The Fire of Devotion” continues as a temporary exhibit in Tulsa, Oklahoma as a major part of The Mission’s Memorial Museum and Gardens. In the first full year of being open the exhibition has welcomed some 175,000 visitors.

In approximately 1,500 square feet of space, 65 Bibles present the three periods of the Manuscript Bible, Early Printed Bible of the 15th century, and the Early English Bible to the King James. The artefacts, scrolls, and Bibles range in age from 1,000 years before Abraham with some of the pottery used as ambience in displays of Hebrew scrolls, to two King James’ Bibles, a 1611 “He” edition and the Third Great Folio of 1617 opened to the near perfect two-page map in the preliminary pages. Media, graphics, and a full-size Gutenberg-style press help tell the dramatic story how the Bible has come down through the centuries. A thirty-three foot Bible and history timeline stretches across the top of the lighted cases to help visitors coordinate major Bible and world-history events. The Bibles in this exhibit, and a core collection in the permanent home for the Bible Museum, are from the approximately 4,000 Bibles, scrolls, and artefacts, in the private collections of Dr Donald L. Brake Sr, Dean of Multomah Biblical Seminary, Portland, Oregon, and Museum.

Outstanding settings for the Bibles exhibited in Tulsa also contribute to the effectiveness of the presentation. For example, as you enter the Early English Bible period, you are confronted with a stone-walled jail cell. Within the recesses of the dungeon cell, dimly lit by the light of a single candle on a crude table, sits a life-size depiction of William Tyndale working on his translation of the Bible. An adjacent large screen TV shows a continuous loop of the 6 minutes movie, ‘The Fire of Devotion’, highlights of William Tyndale’s life, which was produced by The Living Word National Bible Museum.

The Mission’s Memorial Museum and Gardens is located at 8863 E 91st Street, Tulsa, Oklahoma. For additional information and reservations call 918-459-0431 or go to

Whilst this temporary exhibit continues, so does the search for funding the permanent home for The Living Word National Bible Museum. Thankfully this has greatly accelerated in the past few months, although we are not ready at this time to release information on the location of the permanent home. Interested persons can follow the progress at the personal web site of the director, Dr J.Hellstern:

Annual Meeting of the International Society of Bible Collectors, 13-14 September, 2002, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

The International Society of Bible Collectors will hold its annual meeting at Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia, 13 and 14 September 2002. Featured presentations will be made by Dr Walter Brueggermann, Professor of Old Testament Studies at Columbia, Dr Kent Richards, President of the Society of Biblical Literature, and Dr Pat Graham, Librarian, Pitts Theological Library, Emory University. Attendees will be hosted on a tour of Pitts Theological Library where Dr Graham will show some select rare books from its Reformation and Wesley collections. At the Carlos Museum at Emory University there will be a special presentation on some of the museum’s Egyptian and other archaeological antiquities. Michael Morgan, local host of the convention, will show attendees his collection of over 1,000 English Bibles and Psalm books. Michael is organist for the Central Presbyterian Church and organist and musician at Columbia Seminary, where he also teaches music.

For more information, call Michael Morgan at 770-964-0085, or email him at:

Plans are underway for the 2003 International Society of Bible Collectors’ Meeting to be held at Hertford College, Oxford, 3-6 September. More information will be in the October-December 2002 edition of ‘Bible Editions and Versions’.

For further information on this 38 year old organization (ISBC) and its quarterly ‘Bible Editions and Versions’, go to:

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