Museum of the Bible Scholars Initiative Honors Biblical Language Students from Baylor University and Durham University UK

Friday, March 31, 2017

Young Scholars Receive Annual Edwin M. Yamauchi Award

for Excellence in Textual Studies

WASHINGTON, March 31, 2017—Today, the Museum of the Bible Scholars Initiative announced the recipients of the 2017 Edwin M. Yamauchi Award for Excellence in Textual Studies, which is the third annual award to honor young scholars who have demonstrated exceptional understanding of biblical language studies and are pursuing terminal degrees. The award is named after renowned scholar and professor emeritus at Miami University (Ohio), Edwin Maseo Yamauchi, Ph.D.

This year’s award recipients are:

  • Gregory M. Barnhill, doctoral student in the program for religion with an emphasis on the New Testament at Baylor University in Texas
  • Meron Tekleberhan Gebreananaye, doctoral student in the program for theology and religion at Durham University in the United Kingdom


Award recipients receive a graduate stipend renewable for up to three years, are given access to research artifacts in the Museum of the Bible Collections, and may be invited to present research at the Scholars Initiative’s summer workshop in Oxford, England.

“Gregory Barnhill brings an eagerness and capacity to learn that characterizes the best of scholarly life,” said Beverly Gaventa, Ph.D., who is a distinguished professor of New Testament at Baylor University. “His research interest puts him at the center of important scholarly conventions, and I look forward to learning from him in the years to come.”

“Meron Gebreananaye already impresses us with the breadth of her knowledge and her intellectual energy and enthusiasm,” said Francis Watson, Ph.D., who is Gebreananaye’s dissertation supervisor and holds the research chair in biblical interpretation at Durham University. “She is a student of quite remarkable ability who has a great future ahead of her as a teacher and scholar in her native Ethiopia.”

The Scholars Initiative pairs students with senior research scholars from academic institutions around the world to conduct primary research on items from the Museum of the Bible Collection. Students are mentored by highly qualified professor-scholars as they engage together in primary research, while the scholars are supported and mentored by a world-class expert in their field. Leading experts in the fields of papyri; Aramaic, Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Egyptian and Ethiopic texts; Coptic, medieval, Middle Eastern, early Jewish and early American artifacts; illuminated manuscripts; and Christian tradition and spirituality participate in the research. Students who have participated in a Scholars Initiative project may apply or be nominated for a Yamauchi Award.

About Museum of the Bible
Museum of the Bible is an innovative, global, educational institution whose purpose is to invite all people to engage with the Bible. In 2017, Museum of the Bible, which aims to be the most technologically advanced museum in the world, will open its 430,000-square-foot nonprofit museum just three blocks from the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. A digital fly-through of the Museum is viewable here. A 360-degree hardhat tour of the museum is available here.

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