Where is the exhibition?
Dead Sea Scrolls & the Bible is at the MacGorman Performing Arts Center on the campus of Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Southwestern Seminary is committed to archaeological research of the times and cultures in which the Bible was written. The seminary is home to the Tandy Archaeological Museum and owns a collection of scroll fragments.
Does Israel allow fragments to travel outside their borders? Will I be seeing authentic fragments?
Israel allows scroll fragments to be exhibited for limited time periods. This gives the public occasional opportunities to see authentic antiquities such as the Dead Sea Scrolls. Specifically, Southwestern Seminary has partnered with The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and its curator, Gila Hurvitz.
The Fort Worth exhibition is slated for six months. Are all the fragments in the exhibition on display at the same time?
All fragments in the exhibition are on display for the entire six months, with the exception of the two Isaiah fragments from our partner The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which, after the first three months, will exchange these two for other similar fragments.
In addition to Dead Sea Scroll fragments, what does Southwestern Seminary’s exhibition include?
Besides the scroll fragments, there are large photographs to make the details of the scrolls more visible, and translations of the texts into English and Spanish. Other ancient objects illustrating the era of the scrolls, the period of the Second Temple and the rise of Christianity, are also shown. These include coins, blown glass jars, Jewish ossuaries (inscribed stone bone containers), and household objects such as leather sandals, a comb, and Kohl (eye makeup) applicators made of copper and alabaster.
What hands-on activities are included with the exhibition?
There are several hands-on activities included in and adjacent to the exhibition, including: the Scriptorium, where you can view the scrolls the way modern scholars view them, with high-resolution zoom and infrared photography; the Bedouin Tent, where you can walk through a genuine example of the living quarters used by desert nomads for the last 4,000 years; and the Qumran Simulated Dig Site, where, under the guidance of our Ph.D. students, you’ll experience what it’s like to be a real archaeologist as you excavate 2,000-year-old potsherds.
Is this exhibition similar to others that have been seen in the United States?
A handful of Dead Sea Scrolls exhibitions have been held across the country, covering much of the same history, but Dead Sea Scrolls & the Bible is unique both in scope and content, including at least 12 scroll fragments never before exhibited for the public. Southwestern Seminary’s goal for Dead Sea Scrolls & the Bible is to immerse visitors in the story of the scrolls, from the time when they were written, used and hidden, to the time of their discovery and translation 2,000 years later.
What educational opportunities does this exhibition offer?
In addition the printed materials and audio guide available during the exhibition, we are also hosting the weekly Joan & Andy Horner Lecture Series, underwritten by Premier Designs, in which international historians, linguists and scholars take study of the scrolls even further and reveal fascinating recent discoveries in biblical archaeology. We are also providing a free downloadable curriculum, ideal for students in traditional schools, home schools, and for educational purposes in synagogues and churches. (Coming Soon)
Who will attend the exhibition?
Anyone with an interest in archaeology, history, the Bible, language, and similar topics will want to see the scrolls. Everyone is welcome, including children accompanied by a parent or an adult.
Is there a component for kids?
Yes, there are numerous interactive kiosks located throughout the exhibition and educational resources are also available. Additionally, students and people of all ages are encouraged to take part in an outdoor Qumran Simulated Dig Site (located outside the MacGorman Center). Supervised by Southwestern's archaeology Ph.D. students, visitors can join in an excavation experience where they search for authentic pottery shards buried in the tel (mound).
How will you help me plan a school field trip?
A free teachers' guide is available to prepare your 6-12 grade students for their visit. Please contact our team at to learn about group ticket rates and to schedule your field trip.
How can I tell my friends about the exhibition?
You can download this flyer about the exhibition to post on a bulletin board at church or school. You can also like and follow us on and .
Can I bring a group?
Yes, group ticket sales are available. Contact our team at for additional information.