Fort Worth Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition receives $50,000 sponsorship
FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Representatives from U.S. Trust presented Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth with a check for $50,000 on behalf of the Crystelle Waggoner Charitable Trust, June 29. The money has been designated to support the seminary’s Dead Sea Scrolls & the Bible exhibition, which begins July 2.
Crystelle Waggoner was a descendent of the famous North Texas ranching family. She was a patron of the arts and supported medical charities during her lifetime. Upon her death, her estate established a trust to support organizations in the arts and social services.
Southwestern Seminary owns more Dead Sea Scroll fragments than any institution outside of Jordan and Israel. Southwestern will host the six-month Dead Sea Scrolls & the Bible exhibition in its MacGorman Performing Arts Center from July 2, 2012 to Jan. 13, 2013, which will feature more than 20 scroll fragments, including Southwestern’s collection as well as scroll fragments and artifacts related to the discovery on loan from Israel, Jordan and private collectors. Many of the fragments, including a large piece from the book of Genesis, have never been on public display before. The exhibition expects to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors to Fort Worth.
Additionally, the exhibition will include a simulated archaeology dig site, which is a scale replica of the ancient site of Qumran near the Dead Sea where the scrolls were found. The Smithsonian Institute has donated 20,000 pounds of pottery sherds, which can be taken home by children who unearth them as they dig. Also, a weekly lecture series featuring biblical and archaeological scholars from around the world will take place throughout the six-month exhibition. Additional details can be found at www.seethescrolls.com.
The Dead Sea Scrolls are arguably the greatest archaeological manuscript find of the 20th century. The first discoveries were made in 1947 and sparked a nearly 10-year search in caves overlooking the Dead Sea near Qumran in what is now Israel. The scrolls date back to the second century B.C. and contain biblical manuscripts, biblical manuscripts with commentary, apocryphal manuscripts and extra-biblical literature.