David Green founded Hobby Lobby and built it into a nationwide arts-and-crafts chain. From its Sunday closures to its debt-free policy, Hobby Lobby runs on consciously Biblical principles. This fascination with the Bible extends to the Green family’s philanthropy. Starting in 2009, the family began collecting what quickly became the world’s largest private collection of Biblical artifacts. The more than 40,000 items acquired by the Greens include an unpublished fragment of Genesis from the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Codex Climaci Rescriptus (which contains the earliest known manuscript of the New Testament in Palestinian Aramaic), many rare cuneiform tablets, the Roseberry Rolle (a translation of Psalms into Middle English that predates John Wycliffe’s famous English Bible by 40 years), and more than 1,000 different versions of the Jewish Torah.
At the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible in 2011, the Greens launched their collection on a world tour, sending the artifacts to the Vatican, New York, and other cities until they settle into a permanent home at the new Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. That facility is being constructed by the Green family—see nearby 2015 entry.
- Philanthropy article, philanthropyroundtable.org/topic/excellence_in_philanthropy/illuminated_giving
- New York Times report, nytimes.com/2010/06/12/business/12bibles.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all