The Scholars Initiative is the research arm of the Museum of the Bible. A 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.
Scholars Initiative Director Michael Holmes, Ph. D., is a leading New Testament textual scholar and
editor of early Christian writings. Holmes has spent more than three decades in higher education
teaching on and researching New Testament and other early Christian texts. He coordinates the global
network of academics and student-scholars who make up Museum of the Bible’s research initiative.
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 or have
been involved with some 90 research projects on items in the Museum Collection, many of which are
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.
The Museum sponsors a monograph series, Publications of Museum of the Bible, published by Brill
Publishers. Three sub-series will cover Semitic texts, Greek texts, and Latin and
Western Vernacular texts. In August 2016 an international team of textual scholars released the
volume, based on research sponsored by Scholars Initiative. Edited by Emanuel Tov
(Hebrew University, Jerusalem), Kipp Davis (Trinity Western University) and Robert Duke
Pacific University), the volume presents 13 previously unpublished Dead Sea Scrolls fragments,
including portions from the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Nehemiah, Jeremiah,
Jonah, Ezekiel, Micah, Daniel and the Psalms. Forthcoming volumes will present other documents
in the Museum collection, including Greek papyri (both Biblical and literary) and an illustrated
medieval Latin text.