VATICAN CITY, March 12 — Ancient Torahs and Bibles have gone on show in the Vatican in an “inter-religious exhibition” aimed at exploring the common heritage of two of the world’s main monotheistic religions.

The show “Verbum Domini” (“The Word of God”) in St. Peter’s Square puts on display for the first time outside the United States the contents of the Green Collection — the world’s biggest archive of ancient biblical texts.

The exhibition, which runs until April 15, is organised with the support of Pope Benedict XVI who wants “a renewed passion for the word of God,” organisers said, adding that it “shows the common roots of Christianity and Judaism.”

Among the most precious texts is the “Codex Climaci Rescriptus” — one of the oldest Bibles written in Aramaic, the language of Jesus Christ.

There is also the first-century Jeselsohn Stone tablet which contains 90 lines of Hebrew text and a rare Byzantine manuscript from the 11th century.

Visitors are also shown fragments of Torahs that were destroyed or damaged under the Nazi and Communist regimes in the 20th century.

The exhibits include shoe insoles made from a Torah during the Nazi occupation of France and a soldier’s sack made from the binding of a Torah.