The world’s third oldest Bible, transcribed in the late fourth or early fifth century, and an ancient parchment volume of Deuteronomy and Joshua, are on public display at the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

The Codex Washingtonianus, also called the Washington Manuscript of the Gospels and The Freer Gospel and which contains the four biblical gospels, and the Old Testament gospels transcribed during the same period are on display in the Freer Gallery’s Victorian Peacock Room until Feb. 16, 2014.

The two rare antique biblical manuscripts are being displayed around 100 years after they were first on view to the public in museum-founder Charles Lang Freer’s Detroit home, according to a statement by the art gallery.

The Washingtonianus was written in Greek on parchment in the 4th or 5th century. Freer purchased the manuscripts in 1906 in Giza, Egypt, and later organized and underwrote significant early biblical scholarship, the gallery said.

“While researching their cultural context and physical structure, it was discovered that the Washington Codex contains a passage not found in any other biblical text – a segment at the end of the Gospel of Mark known as the Freer logion (a logion is a saying attributed to Jesus).”

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