The Bible Collection has a new introduction by His All Holiness Patiarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, head of the Eastern Christian Church, and supporter of Religions for Peace, an international network of 4.5 billion adherents from all religions. As well as reminding users of the Schøyen Collection website of the spiritual significance of the Bible in all its renditions, the Patriarch also alludes to the importance of the body of manuscripts as a historical resource.
He writes: "Through the centuries, the Scriptures have been meticulously copied and magnificently adorned in manuscripts. In the early Christian centuries, representatives of the monastic life would spend their lives preparing, copying and crafting these manuscripts in an artistic and respectful way, ensuring that the contents of the Bible would be preserved and transmitted for all time. Some of the most impressive manuscripts of Scripture have been kept in the libraries of monasteries to this day. Others have been acquired over time by libraries throughout the world. This present collection has gathered some of the finest and most valuable examples of the world of manuscripts."
He concludes: "The texts preserved in this phenomenal collection are symbolical of 'a bush that is burnt, yet no consumed' (Exodus 3.2) and of 'a leaf that shall never wither' (Psalm 1). They confirm our faith in the originality and authenticity of the written word. We are, all of us in diverse ways, profoundly indebted to these manuscripts. In a strange – perhaps even a mystical way – we are, all of us, people of the book!"