Art Display Created from Bible Fragments
A visitor walking into the Middle School Fardad Family Library would not think twice upon viewing a large art display that simply said READ. After all, that is a fitting and logical reminder for a literary center built on students reading and expanding their horizons.
But there is more than meets the eye about this particular display. The oversized letters - R. E. A. D - are pieces of the Holy Scripture bunched and glued together to form the word which is attached to the wall.
At first glance it might seem shocking that the word of God would be treated as simply material for wall art –particularly when Bibles are scarce in so many parts of the world and underground believers would treasure even the smallest scrap of Scripture.
But the display’s creator, Middle School Art History Teacher Tricia Hacker, feels the material is perfect for the message, and a call for student to pause and think about God’s word.
“READ was created from pages torn out of unwanted, tattered, discarded Bibles. I chose this controversial medium as a relevant reflection of the fallen world we live in. It symbolizes two great truths that we wrestle with– the disrespect of God’s word and the richness of God’s word,” she said.
Her goal is to encourage viewers to think deeply about those truths. First, by seeing the bold reminder that the most important thing to “READ” is the Bible. Secondly, the realization that “we often fall short of showing the proper reverence for God’s word.”
No one is required to own, buy, read or believe the Bible. Yet, without any universal marketing or advertising, it is the longest, ongoing bestseller of all time.
According to the Guinness Book of Records, over 5 billion Bibles have been printed between 1815 and now. The Economist estimates more than 100 million new Bibles are printed every year. The New Yorker has also pointed out that the number of Bibles sold in the United States alone was conservatively estimated at 25 million and The Barna Research Group indicates that 92% of all American households have at least one Bible and typically own three. It is also the most translated book of all time.
“The Bible is the most popular and most read book in the history of the world. It is full of truths and insight that can be studied in all scholarly subjects. Scientists learn about the creation of the world. Literature lovers can marvel at its poetry. Mathematicians can learn about how our Lord is a God of order, and not chaos, and in Him all things hold together. This piece shows us that we are invited to look closely into God’s word to see that He is the source of all knowledge,” said Middle School Librarian Amber Nungester.