This is the companion volume to a major exhibition at the Smithsonian's Arthur M. Sackler Gallery that assembles, for the first time, seventy of the most important biblical codices in the world.
Though the Bible has been called teh best– selling book of all time, the term itself comes from the Greek for "a collection of books." The Bible that we know today was compiled over centuries and comprises numerous components, from the books associated with Moses to the Gospels credited to the Four Evangelists.
IN THE BEGINNING gathers many of the most important early witnesses to the Hebrew and Christian bibles. The physical evidence for the earliest copies of scriptures is fragmentary and partial, from scraps of fragile papyrus to battered vellum codices. Here they are preserved in a sumptuously illustrated volume that captures this formative period of human history. Three leading authorities in the field explore the Bible through its first thousand years, revealing both its transformation into a complex symbol of fatih and the parallel "evolution" of the book as a medium for the transmission of information– – one of the greatest technological revolutions the world has ever known.