In February 1971, astronaut Edgar Mitchell traveled to the moon aboard Apollo 14, carrying with him a reminder of the Creator: a tiny Bible. I told the story of the “space bible” when it was up for auction two years ago (and I linked to some notable prayers from space).
Now the microchip Bible will be among items displayed at the Vatican in a special exhibit called “Verbum Domini II: God’s Word Goes Out to the Nations.” The exhibit, which runs from April 2 through June 22, will feature artifacts including three fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls, an original copy of the King James Bible, and nearly 200 rare biblical texts on parchment and vellum.
At the same time, the Vatican Library is exhibiting for the first time an original folio from the Bodmer Papyri, which dates from around the year 200. Contained in the folio are the gospels of Luke and John. These fragile and priceless parchments are stored in an underground bunker, where the humidity levels can be controlled.
I had the opportunity to visit that climate-controlled bunker in 2004, and I reported on some of the wonderful things I saw during a tour of the Vatican “Secret Archives.” You can check it some photos from my tour here.