A museum housing more than 400 Bibles in 300-plus languages is scheduled to open to the public on Sunday, the Pingtung Presbyterian Church said.
The display presents a close-up look at unique Bibles, ranging from a handwritten one weighing 15kg to a pocket-sized version that helped its owner ride out a military conflict.
The church is dedicating the entire fourth floor of its four-story, 200 ping (661m2) educational building to the exhibition, which requires visitors to make reservations. The educational building was constructed two years ago and won the National Golden Award for Architecture last year
The church was founded 142 years ago and moved to Pingtung more than 90 years ago. It is housed in a church building with Gothic features.
Minister Hsu Kuang-chuan (徐光川) said the Bible has been reproduced in more than 4,000 languages and that the more than 400 Bibles in the museum’s collection span more than 300 languages.
“Of the Bibles in the collection, the largest is a handwritten one weighing 15kg that took more than 100 church members about half a year to complete, with each person being responsible for transcribing five pages,” Hsu said. “It has great commemorative significance.”
Hsu said another highlight of the collection was a pocket-sized Bible 10cm long and 5cm wide that was donated by a Taiwanese military veteran.
“The veteran said he carried the Bible in his shirt pocket during the 823 Artillery Bombardment and believes that it helped protect him throughout the conflict,” Hsu said, adding that although the Bible’s cover was worn, it came with a great story attached to it.
The 823 Artillery Bombardment was an intense attack launched by the People’s Republic of China on Aug. 23, 1958, against Kinmen, in which the outlying island was hit by 470,000 shells in 44 days.