Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Chester Beattie Collection

I took a trip to Dublin yesterday. It was a great day. Not just in terms of the weather but the whole day was fantastic. I left home at 0430 (groan) and headed for Manchester Airport (with some friends). Ryan Air, despite its very basic approach to budget flying, got us to Dublin on time and in one piece.

Next, into a taxi to be updated by a good Irish taxi driver who was up to date in everything from British politics, Irish news, tourist advice and the movements of the British Royal family. I do love the way taxi drivers know everything. There must a course Taxi drivers are sent on to train them how to absorb information like a sponge, process it and have an idea about most things. Fascinating. 

My main aim

One of our aims was visit the Chester Beattie Collection. I have been once before but I was happy to revisit. Chester Beattie was a incredibly wealthy American (of Irish Stock). Here is official blurb from Wikipedia - Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (7 February 1875 – 19 January 1968), who always signed his name A. Chester Beatty, was an American mining magnate, philanthropist and one of the most successful businessmen of his generation, who was given the epithet the "King of Copper" as a reference to his fortune. 

He became a naturalised British citizen in 1933, knighted in 1954 and made an honorary citizen of Ireland in 1957. 

He was a collector of African, Asian, European and Middle Eastern manuscripts, rare printed books, prints and objects d'art. 

Upon his move to Dublin in 1950 he established the Chester Beatty Library on Shrewsbury Road to house his collection; it opened to the public in 1954. 

The Collections were bequeathed to the Irish people and entrusted to the care of the State in his Irish will. He donated a number of papyrus documents to the British Museum, his second wife's (Edith Dunn Beatty) collection of Marie Antoinette's personal furniture to the Louvre and a number of his personal paintings that once hung in the Picture Gallery of his London home to the National Gallery of Ireland. 

He also founded the Chester Beatty Institute in London which was later renamed the Institute of Cancer Research.

An impressive and generous guy

So why did I want to visit the Chester Beattie Collection twice?

My main interest was to look at the Bible manuscripts. I find it fascinating that all over the world there are manuscripts which verify what was originally written in scripture. We can be confident that we have today (despite the proliferation of versions - some of which are quite unnecessary) is the same as what was written originally. I am not a scholar but serious research shows that Bible scholars are convinced that the Bible we have today accurately reflects what was originally written.


So what is the value of scripture?

I am going to let the word of God speak for itself. This a direct quote from Psalm 19: 7-14.
The instruction of the Lord is perfect,

renewing one’s life;
the testimony of the Lord is trustworthy,
making the inexperienced wise.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
making the heart glad;
the command of the Lord is radiant,
making the eyes light up.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
enduring forever;
the ordinances of the Lord are reliable
and altogether righteous.
They are more desirable than gold—
than an abundance of pure gold;
and sweeter than honey
dripping from a honeycomb.
In addition, your servant is warned by them,
and in keeping them there is an abundant reward.
Who perceives his unintentional sins?

Cleanse me from my hidden faults.
Moreover, keep your servant from willful sins;
do not let them rule me.
Then I will be blameless
and cleansed from blatant rebellion.
May the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable to you,
Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.

So, if you are searching for the truth - read the Bible. 

It can be trusted!

The scriptures say about Timothy's childhood -  'And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus', 2 Timothy 3. 15.

'Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near', Isaiah 55. 6


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