While I hoped to start this mad-dash to the end of the semester re-energized from my wonderful Thanksgiving break at home, I was already dragging by mid-day yesterday. Woof. I rolled into my 6:30-9:30pm Church History class tired and anxious about the long night of work ahead. ...And then, we visited LSTC's Gruber Rare Books Collection, housed in JKM library.
I was excited to have the opportunity to hear about these rare books from the library's current curator--and my current Pentateuch professor--Dr. Ralph Klein, but little did I know what we were about to see...
|Luther's "September" New Testament|
For an hour and a half, my class slobbered (metaphorically speaking) over original prints of numerous books including a Gutenberg Bible (15th c.), Martin Luther's translations of the New Testament into German (1522), and a King James Bible (1611) to name a few.* It's not every day when you get to stare at such profound and tangible pieces of history. I was tickled! To say the least, this was an amazing field-trip for a girl with an imagination--I could only think about the hands that prepared these books and then passed them down from one century to the next...
|Oldest known complete |
Greek cursive New Testament (9th c.)
I cannot express how humbling it was to be in that room. I was standing among books that changed the course of church history; I was standing among two esteemed Biblical scholars of the modern age; I was standing among my peers while we engaged this history even while looking forward toward our own discernment journeys and how we must continue too share the gospel as it had been shared for centuries before us.
And while I cannot explain exactly why this trip to the library was so re-energizing, when I left that room I was ready to hit the books again with full force. Three cheers for books!
*For all you Greek New Testament scholars out there, Dr. Klein even brought out the big kahuna: the oldest known complete New Testament written in Greek cursive (9th c.), known to New Testament scholars as manuscript #1424!!!