Published August 2, 2007
Visitors to the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University can travel back to the earliest days of Christianity as they stroll through the exhibit “Cradle of Christianity.”
The exhibit uses important biblical artifacts to depict emerging Christian life concurring with Jewish tradition at that time.
“The exhibit concretely and dramatically illustrates the gradual evolution of a new religion from its predecessor,” said Dana Greene, Dean Emerita at Oxford College and director of the Aquinas Center of Theology at Emory University. “The link between Judaism and Christianity is essential and profound; this can never be forgotten.”
Among the most significant pieces of the collection is a section of the Temple Scroll, a major Dead Sea Scroll. Also included are the burial ossuary of Caiaphas the High Priest, who delivered Jesus to the Romans, and an inscription bearing the name of Pontius Pilate—both artifacts are the only known physical evidence testifying to the presence of these important historical figures.
“Seeing these artifacts spurs the imagination to conjure up and piece together a large sweep of both Jewish and Christian history,” said Greene. “The exhibit is beautifully executed; objects, written text and aural presentation connect in such a way as to dramatically bring alive the Jewish inheritance of Jesus and the life of the early Christian community.”
The traveling exhibit comes to Atlanta courtesy of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, and through funding from Emory University, the CF Foundation, Inc., a friend of the Michael C. Carlos Museum, an anonymous donor and Ferdinand and Monique Seefried. Its presence exemplifies the university’s commitment “to build bridges of understanding that make a difference in the world.”
Emory University’s esteemed Candler School of Theology, Department of Religion and Institute of Jewish Studies have worked together to provide special programming surrounding the exhibit and a free audio guide.
“I hope many will see this beautiful and provocative exhibit,” said Greene. “It affirms the connective links between Judaism and early Christianity and makes those first centuries of Christian history vibrant and accessible for us.”
The exhibit will remain at the Carlos Museum until Oct. 14. Museum hours are Monday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tickets are $15. The museum will be closed Sept. 3.
For more information on the exhibit or the Carlos Museum, call (404) 727-4282.