Press Releases

Hobby Lobby President Announces Worldwide Traveling Exhibition on the Bible

Published: Apr 4, 2011

Posted In: Press Releases

Diverse Group of Dignitaries Gathering at Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C. for Sneak Preview of Rare Collection

"This exhibition is a 'tour de force' of the history of the most-banned, most-debated, best-selling book of all time," said Steve Green, president, Hobby Lobby, one of the world's largest privately owned arts and crafts retailers

In this year marking the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, an unusual collaboration between one of America's top family retailers, scholars worldwide and religious leaders from across the spectrum has emerged to explore, share and pioneer discoveries around the world's most-translated, best-selling book.

Some 200 business, government, academic and religious leaders gathered March 31 at the Vatican Embassy (Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See) for the first public preview of a worldwide traveling exhibition of a portion of the Green Collection, one of the world's newest and largest private collections of rare biblical texts and artifacts.

Called Passages, the non-sectarian exhibition will debut worldwide in Hobby Lobby's hometown of Oklahoma City, at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art May 16–Oct. 16, with a portion of the collection traveling to St. Peter's Square in Vatican City in October, followed by a worldwide tour of cities and locations to be announced.

"In this 400th anniversary year of the King James translation, what better time than now to explore and experience this Book that has altered history, shaped cultures, inspired minds and changed lives?" said Steve Green, president of Hobby Lobby.

The Green Collection is named for the Green family, founders and leaders of Hobby Lobby, one of the world's largest privately owned arts and crafts retailers. The massive collection that has "set dealers buzzing," according to The New York Times (June 11, 2010), was assembled at an aggressive pace beginning in November 2009. The speed was enabled by the work of Collection Director and Ancient/Medieval Manuscript Specialist Dr. Scott Carroll and the Green family's desire to make the story of the Bible accessible to people of all interests, as well as to scholars worldwide.

Passages paves the way for a permanent, soon-to-be-selected site where visitors can interact, not only with the Green Collection, but also with visiting exhibits around the Bible. The permanent home will also house a research arm—the Green Scholars Initiative—which brings together the world's best and brightest minds to pioneer groundbreaking biblical discoveries through research and technology. 



"The Green Collection provides casual visitors and scholars alike a one-of-a-kind opportunity to go behind the scenes of the most influential work that humankind has ever labored to capture, preserve, translate and study," said Collection Director Scott Carroll, who holds a Ph.D. in ancient studies.

Passages (
Passages' 14,000-square-foot, interactive, non-sectarian, worldwide traveling exhibition will enable visitors to see, touch, feel and experience the dramatic and surprising story of thousands of years of Bible history. Included in the exhibition is one of the earliest pieces of Genesis, along with the Codex Climaci Rescriptus, one of the earliest-surviving, near-complete Bibles, and the most extensive early biblical texts in Jesus' household language of Palestinian Aramaic. 

"The Bible didn't come from Mount Sinai to Moses and end up in a Red Roof Inn desk drawer," continued Carroll. "There was a process and Passages tells the dramatic story of that process."


Passages will be on display at:


  • May 16-Oct. 16
    Oklahoma City Museum of Art, world premiere location (
  • TBD 2012
    St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City
    A portion of Passages focusing on the Catholic contribution to the King James Bible is scheduled to travel to the Vatican next year. 

Some items of the Green Collection are also presently on exhibition at museums and specialty libraries in the United States and across Europe, including Kent State University.

For more information on Passages, go to

About The Green Collection

The world's newest and largest private collection of rare biblical texts and artifacts, the Green Collection is an ever-growing, non-sectarian compilation of more than 40,000 biblical antiquities. Named for the family who founded national arts and crafts retailer Hobby Lobby, the collection "has created a buzz" (, 2011) and is "a sampler of Jewish, Roman Catholic and Protestant treasures" (USA Today, 2011). Hobby Lobby President Steve Green oversees the expansion and outreach of the collection and will serve as chairman of the board for an eventual national Bible museum to enable visitors to experience it year-round. Dr. Scott Carroll, a scholar of ancient and medieval manuscripts, serves as the director of the Green Collection. The national museum also will house the Green Scholars Initiative (, which brings together established and young scholars to pioneer groundbreaking research on items in the collection.

About Hobby Lobby

Hobby Lobby is one of the world's largest privately owned arts and crafts retailers. Founded by David Green in 1972, the company has grown from one 300-square-foot store to more than 469 locations in 39 states. Hobby Lobby carries no long-term debt and is closed on Sundays. Based in Oklahoma City, Hobby Lobby and its affiliates, including Mardel, Hemispheres and Crafts, Etc!, employ more than 18,500 people nationwide. For more information, visit

About Oklahoma City Museum of Art

The Oklahoma City Museum of Art serves over 135,000 visitors annually from all fifty states and over thirty foreign countries and presents exhibitions drawn from throughout the world. The Museum’s collection covers a period of five centuries with highlights in European and American art of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and a growing collection of contemporary art as well as a comprehensive collection of glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly. The Museum boasts the region’s premiere repertoire cinema, which presents the finest international, independent, and classic films. Amenities include the Museum School, which offers classes for students of all ages as well as art camps for children; a library; Museum Store, a roof terrace, and the Museum Cafe, a full-service restaurant, offering lunch, dinner, Sunday brunch, afternoon tea, a full bar and catering services.