Curators recently put the priceless document on display in the Freer Gallery's Victorian Peacock Room, along with a second of four ancient manuscripts purchased by Detroit businessman Charles Lang Freer, the museum's founder. The two remaining manuscripts are too delicate or damaged to be put on display. The public can view the rare Bible and manuscript at the gallery until February 16, 2014, without charge.
The codex was transcribed in Egypt during the era of the Eastern Roman Empire, likely in the late fourth or early fifth century. It is written in Greek on parchment—processed leather scraped thin to form pages. The pages are sensitive to light and humidity, which is why the codex never leaves the museum and isn't