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Explore biblical artifacts in downtown Sandy

Minister opens personal historic collection to community

Ever wondered what life was like during the era the Bible was written?

Oregon City resident Bob Stancell has opened a portion of his historical collection for public viewing in Sandy, just east of the Sandy Historical Museum on Highway 26.

“I just wanted to share it with the community,” Stancell said. “For me, it brings the events in the Bible to life. I just think it’s interesting to visually see it.”POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - Bob Stancell, Oregon City resident and minister at the Church of Christ in Sandy, has arranged his personal collection of bible history into an exhibit in Sandy.

Stancell, who is a minister at the Church of Christ in Sandy, 39640 Highway 26, where the exhibit can be seen, started displaying pieces from his collection in the basement of the church this summer and decided to keep it going.

Stancell, who has a certificate in Roman architecture from Yale University, Greek and Roman mythology from the University of Pennsylvania and the fall and rise of Jerusalem from Tel Aviv University, is an enthusiastic collector of artifacts from biblical times.

“Or maybe I just like junk,” he admitted with a laugh.

One of the first exhibits of his collection was a set of Roman legion nails, unearthed in the United Kingdom and dating back to between 83 and 87 A.D., which became the basis for his Roman Crucifixion display.

Stancell’s Bible Lands Museum also includes replicas of pottery, weaponry, clothing and art created before the end of the first century A.D.POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - Stancell has printed images of historic art on alternative surfaces such as metal and tile to help enhance the atmosphere of the museum.

In addition, the exhibit features ancient Roman artifacts, a 400-year-old Yemen scroll fragment of the book of Exodus 16:26-17:13, and, Stancell’s personal favorite, three Persian and Greek Bronze arrows from the collection of Axel Guttmann dating back to 1000 B.C.

“Archeology has confirmed again and again the accounts recorded in the Bible are actual places and events,” Stancell noted. “My collection highlights some of these events and hopefully will bring the Bible to life for those who go through the exhibit.”POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - One of Stancells first peices was his grouping of ancient Roman legion nails, displayed in his Roman crucifixion exhibit.

Stancell plans to continue adding to the collection as he finishes creating new models and maps. He also hopes to eventually add an activity station where children can learn to write cuneiform (one of the earliest systems of writing) and Egyptian hieroglyphs.

While the museum has had only a few visitors since it began, Stancell said each of them enjoyed the experience. He added that the collection takes about 45 minutes to explore if you read each of his educational postings next to the artifacts.

The Bible Lands Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. School groups, church groups, professional organizations and anyone else who wants to drop by is welcome.