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 are conducting
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 participating in the
research. These senior scholars oversee teams of established and young scholars who are
pioneering new biblical discoveries.
Scholars Initiative Executive Director Michael Holmes, Ph. D., is a biblical manuscript
authority and professor of early Christian writings. Holmes has spent more than three
decades in higher education teaching on and researching New Testament texts. He coordinates
the global network of academics and student-scholars who make up Museum of the Bible’s
The Scholars Initiative is addressing a two-fold need in biblical studies, equipping the
next generation of scholars and researching a vast reservoir of primary sources.
Scholars from 60 participating colleges, universities and seminaries around the
globe are involved with some 90 research projects on items in the Museum Collections, many of
which are unpublished.
The research initiative breaks the mold of traditional research paradigms by pairing students with established scholars for primary research on the collection’s biblical texts and artifacts. The initiative democratizes research as it redefines excellence in teaching and scholarship.
- Senior Scholars oversee a research project area involving scholars from various institutions and their students
- Distinguished Language Scholars provide their expertise in their main language or unique scholarly competency
- Scholar-mentors work under the auspices of a senior scholar to conduct research and mentor undergraduate and graduate students (junior scholars), helping to enrich their education through direct access to primary sources in the Museum of the Bible Collection.
Two forthcoming book series from Brill Publishers will cover both the early Jewish texts
and an assortment of early papyri. An international team of textual scholars will unveil
research on ancient Hebrew manuscripts—including fragments from the Dead Sea Scrolls and
prominent early codices from the Museum Collections.
The Scholars Initiative Series on Jewish Texts—the first book of which is set to be released in 2016—will feature in-depth examination of some of the world’s oldest and rarest biblical texts, including portions from the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Nehemiah, Jeremiah, Jonah, Ezekiel, Micah, Daniel and the Psalms.