Press Releases

Young Biblical Students Honored By Museum Of The Bible Scholars Initiative

Published: Jun 22, 2016

Posted In: Press Releases

Edwin M. Yamauchi Awards for Excellence in Textual Studies

Given to Edinburgh and Fuller Students


WASHINGTON, June 21, 2016—The 2016 Edwin M. Yamauchi Award for Excellence in Textual Studies is being awarded to two students from University of Edinburgh and Fuller Theological Seminary. The award, given annually by Museum of the Bible Scholars Initiative, is presented to young scholars who have demonstrated rare aptitude in biblical language studies, shown exceptional academic performance and are pursuing terminal degrees.


The honor includes an annual graduate stipend renewable for up to three years, and recipients may be invited to present their research at the Scholars Initiative summer workshop in Oxford, England, and given access to research artifacts in the Museum of the Bible Collection—one of the world’s largest private assemblages of biblical texts and antiquities.


This award is named after eminent ancient historian and Professor Emeritus at Miami University (OH), Edwin Maseo Yamauchi, Ph.D.


“Dr. Yamauchi, renowned for his scholarship, is more widely admired for the time and energy he invested in mentoring younger scholars and the depth and graciousness of his character,” said Michael Holmes, Ph.D., executive director of the Scholars Initiative, the research arm of Museum of the Bible. “It’s an honor to have his blessing on this award and to have two exceptional recipients displaying commitment to these same qualities.”


The 2016 recipients of the Edwin M. Yamauchi Award are:

  • Elijah Hixson, who is in the doctoral program for Early Christianity at University of Edinburgh
  • Jason Riley, who is in the doctoral program in Ancient Near Eastern Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary


“Elijah Hixson is an outstanding Ph.D. student with an insatiable academic curiosity in regard to all aspects of New Testament textual criticism,” said Paul Foster, professor and head of the School of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh. “He is engaged in groundbreaking research on the so-called ‘Purple Codices,’ and he already has several important publications to his name.”


“Jason Riley is an exceptional Ph.D. candidate who is already publishing in peer-reviewed journals, teaching successfully and demonstrating leadership on our campus and in our community,” said Christopher Hays, who is the D. Wilson Moore associate professor of Ancient Near Eastern Studies, and chair of the Old Testament Department at Fuller Theological Seminary. “His promising dissertation, incorporating ANE iconographic and textual data, has brought him into contact with major international scholars, and he is likely to make a mark on the field.”


Hundreds of students have already participated in the Scholars Initiative, which brings together established and student scholars to conduct groundbreaking research on rare biblical artifacts. During the past two summers, more than 70 Scholars Initiative students and their mentors were selected to participate in intensive workshops at University of Oxford. The program’s growing international presence has research hubs at Tyndale House, Cambridge, Wycliffe Hall, Oxford and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and Baylor University; and its headquarters will eventually be established at Museum of the Bible when it opens in Washington in fall 2017.


About Museum of the Bible Scholars Initiative

The Scholars Initiative is the research arm of the Museum of the Bible. A select group of senior research scholars from academic institutions around the world conduct and mentor primary research on items from the Museum of the Bible Collection—one of the world’s largest private collections of rare biblical texts and artifacts—through the initiative. Leading experts in the fields of papyri; Aramaic, Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Egyptian and Ethiopic texts; Coptic, medieval, Middle Eastern, early Jewish and early American artifacts; illuminated manuscripts; and Christian tradition and spirituality are mentoring teams of established and student scholars who are pioneering new biblical discoveries.