5 of the Rarest, Most Unique Bibles and Historic Artifacts in ‘The Bible’s’ Epic Exhibit

Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, producers of History Channel’s “The Bible,” have teamed up with Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment to premiere “The Bible Experience,” a gallery of fascinating biblical relics and rare artifacts. On Wednesday night, TheBlaze was on-hand at the exhibit’s New York City opening to be among the first to see this fascinating array of material.

A breathtaking companion to the hit television series about history’s most read, most popular and, arguably, most studied book, “The Bible Experience” includes items that were previously shown at the Vatican and that are rarely unveiled to the public.

This is a massive replica of Jesus’ crown of thorns that sits above “The Bible Experience” exhibit (Photo Credit: Billy Hallowell/TheBlaze)

These artifacts, part of the Green Collection (TheBlaze has reported about this family, which owns craft chain Hobby Lobby, before), range from rare copies of the Bible and scrolls to iron nails used in Roman crucifixions. The relics will very literally leave you in awe.

In addition to these historic pieces, stunning photographs from the television series are shown throughout the gallery.

“Roma and I are thrilled to be working with the Green Family and their rare Bible collection artifacts and to give New Yorkers an opportunity to glimpse the foundation of Western Civilization,” Burnett said in a press release announcing the gallery. “You have seen the TV series, now see the real thing.”

Historical Bibles on display at “The Bible Experience” (Photo Credit: Billy Hallowell/TheBlaze)

After visiting the exhibit, TheBlaze selected just five of the most interesting items to show you. And here they are:

Medieval Torah Scroll

Among the many relics inside “The Bible Experience” is a medieval Torah scroll, which includes the first five books of the Jewish Bible. From the 14th century A.D., it is one of the oldest surviving Torah scrolls in the world. The item on display, a rarity considering how usage typically wore these religious texts down, is open to the book of Exodus.

Photo Credit: Billy Hallowell/TheBlaze

Roman Crucifixion Nails

The story of Jesus’ crucifixion is one that transcends time. Amid the graphic images shown in photos and videos reenacting and depicting the historic event are the nails that were used in the gruesome process. “The Bible Experience” exhibit includes actual examples of these horrifying tools — items that were used in Roman executions.

Photo Credit: Billy Hallowell/TheBlaze

These particular nails pre-date Christ’s birth by about 100 years.

Photo Credit: Billy Hallowell/TheBlaze

Aitken Bible

Then there’s the Aitken Bible, which is unique for two, distinct reasons. First and foremost, it was the first English-language Bible printed in the America. Also, it’s the only holy book to officially be authorized by Congress. It was printed by Robert Aitken (hence its name), a Philadelphia printer who made history by bringing publication of the English-language Bible to America. Read more about the book’s history here.

Photo Credit: Billy Hallowell/TheBlaze

Rare Israeli Swords and Knives

This set of Israeli swords and knives is certainly rare. According to the exhibition, they date back to 1,000 to 700 B.C. and were used in Jerusalem.

Photo Credit: Billy Hallowell/TheBlaze

King James “SHE” Bible

Another one of the numerous Bibles included in the exhibit is the King James “SHE” Bible. This was part of the second printing of the King James Bible (this version and translation of the book remains immensely popular today, despite being originally commissioned by King James I of England back in 1604).

A placard next to the exhibit explained how the book got “SHE” added to its name and it goes like this: In the first printing the book, Ruth 3:15 was published with a dire error. In speaking about the central character, Ruth, the verse mistakingly read, “and he wente into the citie…”

The “he,” quite obviously, should have been a “she.” This was corrected in this second edition, thus giving the book its name. Printing on the second version began in 1611 and concluded in 1613.

Photo Credit: Billy Hallowell/TheBlaze

These five items are only a sampling of what you’ll find at “The Bible Experience.” The exhibit will run from March 20-27 and is located on 450 West 14th Street between Washington and 10th (museum hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET daily).

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