March 8 – April 18, 2018
An exhibit of original artwork from within the Columbia Bible College Community, exploring “New Creation” and other themes. The exhibit features 3 commissioned pieces by students Talya Walde, Jillian Thompson, and Jessica Toews. Artwork by other students, alumni, and staff/faculty are also on display.
Gareth Brandt, one of Columbia’s faculty, has submitted over 20 watercolour pieces on the themes of “Home” and “The Sacred and the Profane.” These pieces are also for sale, and one of them will be given away as a prize draw.
The exhibit launched with a Thursday evening (March 8th, 7:30-9:00pm) reception in the Metzger Collection. Admission was Free. There were snacks, a chance to meet some of the artists, and opportunity to enter in a draw for one of Gareth’s watercolours.
Reformation or Reformations?
Oct. 14, 2017 – Feb. 10, 2018
500 years ago, on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther, a young Augustinian monk and lecturer at the recently established University of Wittenberg nailed a list of ninety-five theses to the door of the castle church. These theses primarily called into question the sale of indulgences as a corruption of the penitential system and Christian faith. In the ensuing years, this single act snowballed into what has been popularly called, The Reformation.
But is that really the whole story? Did Martin Luther start the Reformation when he posted the Ninety-five Theses (and some would even call into question whether he nailed them at all)? Can we properly speak about the 16th century as The Reformation – a singular movement – or do we better understand it as Reformations, plural? Certainly, Martin Luther was a prominent and famous (or infamous) figure of the 16th century, but can he – or would he even have wanted to – take credit for all that follows, as various movements of reform get picked up, often in conflict with one another?
This exhibit, Reformation or Reformations?, partly traces through the life of Martin Luther and partly focuses on the various movements that spring out of the 16th century, leaving visitors to determine for themselves how best to answer the exhibit question. The posters flowing through the exhibit are the cooperative work of several German organizations, giving it the title, #HereIstand. Martin Luther, the Reformation and its Consequences. It is arranged as seven chapters, including Martin Luther’s ORIGINS , which are seen against the backdrop of the SPHERES OF LIFE , the context of the reforming AWAKENING.The initial SUCCESSES of the spread of reformation ideas and changes also paved the way for CRISIS as religious and political differences erupted in conflict and violence. Alongside religious changes were also significant social changes, including a CHANGE OF PERSPECTIVE in gender roles. The exhibit concludes with a view to POSTERITY in recognition that the 16th century Reformation(s) permanently altered the landscape of Europe, Western civilization, and the world.
Today we live in a world both different from and shaped by the Reformation(s). In what ways do the voices of Martin Luther and the 16th century reformers inspire, challenge, and speak to us in our own context today?
Getting Our Hands on the Bible
April 8 – Sept 15, 2017
The past exhibit traces the textual history of the Bible to help us understand how the Bible came into our hands. It features replicas of our earliest ancient texts of the Old and New Testament, medieval illuminated manuscripts from the reaches of Christendom, and Reformation translations printed on Gutenberg’s printing press.
The Bible has a long and rich textual story. Today, with accessibility to the Bible like never before – whether with Bible apps on smart phones, translations into the majority of the world’s languages, or the fact that many households have numerous hard copies of various versions – we can take the Bible for granted. Through most of Christian history, however, the vast majority of Christians did not have access to the Bible.
During ancient times, particularly because of the huge costs to produce books and limited technologies in book-making, a single, bound copy of the whole Bible was unfathomable.
Rather, churches (and synagogues) possessed copies of sections of the Bible, like an Isaiah scroll or a codex (book-form) of the letters of Paul. Our very earliest extant Scriptural texts are the Dead Sea Scrolls, dating as early as 250 BC. For the New Testament, we have assortments of early papyri – the earliest of which is P52, a small fragment from the Gospel of John, dating to c. 90-120 AD. Otherwise, our New Testament is largely based on 4th-century codices including the Codex Sinaiticus, Codex Vaticanus, and Codex Alexandrinus. Thanks to a generous loan by Dr. Kent Clarke, professor at Trinity Western University, we are able to display rare, high-quality facsimiles of these codices and additional texts for this feature exhibit.
During the Middle Ages, illiteracy proved the greatest obstacle to accessibility to the Bible. Through these times it was largely monks who held the libraries, read the Bible for themselves, and copied the texts. The tradition of illuminated manuscripts developed where pictures and images were placed alongside the written text, and often intertwined with the letters themselves. Thanks to a generous donation from the Thiessen Foundation, the Metzger Collection is now also in possession of the Thiessen Manuscripts Collection, and is able to display beautiful and ornate texts from the far reaches of medieval Christendom. You can see the Book of Kells and Lindisfarne Gospels from the far corner of the known world in Celtic Ireland and then compare it with the Ethiopian Gospels from the complete opposite corner of Christendom.
These texts are open and accessible for you to page through yourself and witness both the continuity and diversity of artistic expression and scripts themselves as these various cultures received and engaged with the Gospel.
Finally, the exhibit ends in the context of the Reformation, when thanks to the Gutenberg printing press and the technology to mass produce books, many of the earlier challenges of accessibility to the Bible were removed. With literacy on the rise and the increasing affordability of books, in addition to the Gutenberg Bible, Reformers also sought to translate the Bible into vernacular languages that people could understand (rather than Latin), whether the Luther Bible in German or the Geneva Bible in English. The Bible could finally get into peoples’ hands like never before and they could read and interpret it for themselves.
Today, we live into the heritage of the rich textual history of the Bible. Enjoy the feature exhibit as you experience it for yourself, and make sure you take advantage of the opportunity to get your hands on the Bible.
Maps & the Age of Exploration
Sept 2 2016 – Mar 11 2017
This past exhibit featured maps from the Middle Ages through the 17th Century and explores themes of cartography, navigation, colonialism, missions, and the Doctrine of Discovery.
A map offers incredible insights into a worldview far beyond the fact that it literally depicts how people view the world. Maps depict values; they are not neutral representations of land mass. Moving from the Middle Ages into the Age of Exploration, the exhibit allows the visitor to witness the shifts and developments in maps, and in turn, developments in worldview. Visitors will also see the different navigational and cartographical tools used to mark out coastlines around the world. See it culminate in the stunning three-panel, 9×6 ft.map of the world from 1651.
Part and parcel with European exploration are issues of colonialism and the Doctrine of Discovery. Christopher Columbus did not discover the “New World” when he set sail westward in 1492. He stumbled upon inhabited land, and what was new to Europeans had been inhabited by indigenous people for millennia. Yet, through the Age of Exploration, Europeans approached indigenous peoples and their lands with a mindset of superiority, a mission of domination, and a moral and legal justification for the seizure of lands and subjugation of peoples in the Doctrine of Discovery. The Doctrine of Discovery, as first articulated by Pope Nicholas V in the mid-15th Century, called Christian European monarchs “to invade, search out, capture, vanquish, and subdue” all Muslim and pagan people and their lands, reducing the people “to perpetual slavery” and their property to the sovereignty of the monarch (Romanus Pontifex, January 8, 1455). The story of global Christian missions, while nuanced, is inextricably tied to European colonialism. A visit to this feature exhibit will hopefully work toward repudiating oppressions past and present and journeying toward reconciliation with our indigenous neighbours.
Come see our current exhibit. We would love to have you for a visit.