As the academic research wing of Museum of the Bible, the Scholars Initiative fosters biblical research at colleges, universities, and seminaries across the world, planning and supporting academic projects related to the languages and material culture of the Bible, and capitalizing on artifacts in the Museum Collections. Past projects have addressed the Dead Sea Scrolls, Greek papyri with secular and religious texts, ancient translations of the Hebrew Bible, the Greek text of the Pauline Epistles, and various Aramaic, Coptic, Ethiopic, Hebrew, and Latin manuscripts.
Students with intermediate to advanced language proficiencies participate in collaborative research projects administered by specialized scholars, who resource local scholar–mentors. Participating students typically spend about 120 hours transcribing manuscripts, reading relevant academic publications, and composing a critical paper. In a typical project, students attend webinars featuring scholarly authorities and contribute to a digital database of relevant manuscripts within a cutting-edge online workspace.
Sponsored by Museum of the Bible in partnership with Wheaton College and Tel Aviv University, the Tel Shimron Excavations seek to understand the ancient world, including the world of the Bible, through rigorous archaeological investigation.
Sponsored in part by the Museum of the Bible, the El Araj excavation is a project of the Center for the Study of Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins, in partnership with Nyack College, Kinneret College on the Sea of Galilee, and HaDavar Yeshiva. The archeological project is particularly interested in the Roman and Byzantine periods, and argues, among other things, that the site was the location of ancient Bethsaida-Julias.
Dead Sea Scrolls Forgeries
Following the suggestion of multiple scholars, Museum of the Bible sponsored multiple research projects to investigate the 16 alleged Dead Sea Scrolls fragments in the Museum Collections. The first project (2017) revealed concerning evidence that launched a larger investigation. The final report was completed in fall 2019. The team of conservators, scientists, and investigators gathered remarkable data and concluded all 16 fragments are modern forgeries.