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Celebrity Bibles on Display in Springfield

Bailey Wiles

Since coming to Springfield in April, the Passages Bible Exhibit located near Sunshine and 65 has offered visitors an interactive, living-history display of the story behind the Bible. KSMU’s Bailey Wiles reports on the current Celebrity Bibles Exhibit.

One of those Bibles was owned by Elvis Presley.

“It was a Christmas present that he was given by his uncle.”

That’s Jon Peterson, community relations specialist for the exhibit.

“It was the Christmas of 1957. And you can see that it is opened to the book of Psalms which was probably his favorite book. He did make a lot of notes written in the bible. It says ‘Trust in the Lord, not man’ and then another one says ‘You and I are one,’” Peterson says.

Peterson’s favorite Bible on display, however, is a small, pocket-sized one signed by none other than baseball great Babe Ruth.

“This bible here was a gift from Babe Ruth, the Great Bambino. And if you’re a baseball fan, you might enjoy looking at his signature here on the cover. In 1942 he was involved in ministries to World War II soldiers and so here he signs this Bible and gives it to a soldier.”

Other bibles include those of Theodore Roosevelt and John D. Rockefeller.

The Celebrity Bible display will be replaced by another display at the end of the month. Come October, one new display will showcase Tiffany stained glass and will explain how stain glass was used to convey the message of the Bible before the common person knew how to read.

Additionally, the Passages Exhibit includes a speaker series which takes place three or four times a month until mid-December. This series brings in speakers from all over the world to talk about their specialties within their field of Biblical studies.

“These guys are some of the elite and they are dedicated to a scholarly approach to the Bible. They’re going to be objective, nonbiased, and just true to history,” Says Peterson.

The next speaker will be Dr. Karen Jobes, who will be speaking on “The Septuagint and Its Role in Early Christianity” on September 30. On October 7th, Dr. Adolfo Roitman, curator for the Shrine of the Book museum in Jerusalem, will discuss the Isaiah manuscripts from Qumran.

These lectures are free to the public, but there is limited seating. More information is available at

Springfield is the fifth city in the U.S. to host Passages, which continue here until January.

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