Information about the Fowler Bible Collection
Dr. James A. Fowler began to collect bibles when he purchased a facsimile of the Codex Vaticanus B around the turn of the century. It soon became his passion to develop a collection that demonstrated "The History of the Christian Scriptures." The collection has grown to over 1000 bibles documenting the development of the scriptures from the Dead Sea Scrolls, through various Hebrew texts, papyri and vellum Greek texts, Latin manuscript texts and Gutenberg's first printed Vulgate Bible, numerous early European bibles, and representations of all the early English bibles up to the modern twenty-first century English translations. The collection also includes a one-third size wooden printing press that demonstrates how early Bibles were printed, as well as an extensive array of replica archaeological artifacts that have biblical significance. The exhibit is self-explanatory with standing info cards that explain all of the major items.
Dr. Fowler's objective is to provide an educational opportunity that allows people to see the history of the development of the Christian scriptures, in order to recognize that not only did God inspire the scriptures, but He providentially preserved the scriptures through the various translation processes and in the varied media presentations of the text. The educational objective of the collection does not necessitate original artifacts, but is well served by facsimiles and reproductions that demonstrate the various translations and editions. Jim Fowler constantly reiterates that the bible is not an end in itself – Jesus said, "You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; but it is they that point to Me, and you refuse to come to Me" (John 5:39,4). The end objective is always that an individual might come to a personal relationship with the living Lord Jesus.