Columbia Bible College opens Metzger Historical Collection

The Abbotsford exhibit features replicas of significant archeological artifacts and works of art

Columbia Bible College student Jason Thomassen (with grey tie) leads a guided tour of the Egypt and Israel sections of the Metzger Historical Collection during a private preview on Feb. 13.

Columbia Bible College student Jason Thomassen (with grey tie) leads a guided tour of the Egypt and Israel sections of the Metzger Historical Collection during a private preview on Feb. 13.

Columbia Bible College (CBC) will open the Metzger Historical Collection to the public starting on Saturday, March 14.

The collection is housed in a newly designed space in the college’s resource centre.

The collection is aimed at connecting art and world history to the biblical story and contains more than 1,200 museum-quality replicas of significant archeological artifacts and works of art.

Items of note include a replica of the Rosetta Stone, displayed in the British Museum and famous for providing the key to unlock Egyptian hieroglyphs, and a copy of the Gutenberg Bible, the first mass-produced book in Europe.

“These replicas bring us as close as possible to the real thing,” said Hans Kouwenberg in an address he made on Feb. 13 at a private showing of the collection.

“You’d have to travel all over the world to see them in museums.”

Kouwenberg, board member of the Biblical Museum of Canada Foundation, was responsible for transferring the collection to its new setting at CBC and is enthusiastic about its potential for enhancing the knowledge and faith of the local community.

“It’s like a walk through a Bible encyclopedia,” said denominational leader Rob Thiessen after his tour of the display.

Rev. Dr. Frederick Metzger, a Christian minister and missionary, amassed and curated the collection over several decades.

Metzger has been honoured for his efforts to rescue Jews in Nazi-era Germany and later to assist more than 4,000 Hungarian refugees in immigrating to Canada.

Inspired by a 1967 trip to Israel, Metzger began to collect artifacts and artwork in the hopes of helping the Greater Vancouver community engage with the biblical past in a more meaningful way.

CBC inherited Metzger’s collection after his death in 2011, renaming it in his honour.

An open house celebration takes place Saturday, March 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at CBC, 2940 Clearbrook Rd.

For more information, visit columbiabc.edu/metzger or email metzgercollection@columbiabc.edu.