Ancient biblical manuscripts. Expert professors. Eager undergraduate and grad students. That recipe makes sense at Baylor, and was exactly the scene at Armstrong Browning Library last month during the first-ever Logos Institute, a week-long summer event for students ready to analyze papyrus fragments, worship, pray, ponder universal questions such as God’s existence and learn how to logically defend their faith in a sometimes hostile secular world.
Hosted by Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR), 31 international students were chosen to attend Logos, where they joined other humanities students doing hands-on research with leading scholar-mentors in the fields of textual studies, biblical studies, classics, Christian philosophy and apologetics.
The institute is the vision of Christian businessman Steve Green, president of Hobby Lobby, the world’s largest privately owned arts and crafts retailer, who has made available for study items from the Green Collection. Since November 2009, the Greens have amassed a priceless collection of more than 40,000 rare texts and artifacts, including clay tablets, Dead Sea Scrolls, Scripture on papyrus and animal parchment, rare printed Bibles and manuscripts of Latin and Greek classics.
He envisions Logos as expanding over time into a humanities counterpart of the Alliance Defense Fund’s Blackstone Legal Fellowship, a world-class summer program that trains Christian students at the nation’s top law schools to use their convictions as they rise to positions of influence as legal scholars, litigators, policy makers and judges.
The institute is part of the Green Scholars Initiative, a program of Baylor’s ISR. Baylor is the primary research partner in the initiative, expected to eventually include more than 100 universities. Besides making materials available, Green provided scholarships and stipends for students so they could travel to Baylor from universities in the U.S., the United Kingdom and Canada.
Sic ’em, Logos and ISR!
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* Easter exhibit at Vatican features rare biblical manuscripts assembled by Baylor prof (April 2012)
* Exhibit of rare Bibles displayed at Baylor before heading to Vatican, permanent museum (April 2011)