March 4-- The Ashland Theological Seminary will soon receive a fragment of the famous Dead Sea Scroll. The fragment is part of national touring exhibit called, “From the Dead Sea Scrolls to the Forbidden Book.” The tour promises to reveal to the public an unprecedented number of artifacts, manuscripts and Bibles representing the history of ancient Jewish and Christian scripture. The exhibit is scheduled to be held March 16 at the John S. Knight Center in downtown Akron.
"One of the goals of the exhibit is to leave something behind in the communities,”' art dealer Bruce Ferrini says. “This will be a wonderful addition to the teaching tools at Ashland because when you put a tangible piece of history in the hands of young students, they are able to make a real connection.”
The fragment was originally owned by Ferrini, a Bath Township art dealer, who later donated the artifact to Ashland Seminary in homage to his deceased son Matthew. When asked what he hoped Ashland would gain from this generous donation, Ferrini answered, Ferrini quickly added, “[The fragment] will also be a lightning rod for Ashland that will help other people realize what they have done in their own collection of antiquities and manuscripts from the early Christian years.” Ashland’s new acquisition will mark the first time that an American theological seminary has acquired a fragment from the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Ferrini is the current owner of the items that will be displayed in the upcoming exhibition tour. He is also an expert on mainly rare books and manuscripts dating back to the Medieval and Renaissance era.
The scroll fragment that Ashland will soon acquire will be selected by a panel of prominent Israel scholars affiliated with Ferrini and the exhibition tour.