The Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. is drawing growing interest for the museum based around the most read book in the world.
Since its opening in November 2017, the high-tech museum with thousands of artifacts and displays has since welcomed thousands to its doors. Founders of the museum say displays and exhibits are sparking
more conversations about the Bible and Jesus.
Here are 10 things you need to know about the Museum of the Bible.
1. IT’S 430,000 SQUARE FEET.
The museum is one of the largest in Washington, D.C. There are eight levels in total and because of the 22-foot-high ceilings, the museum stands to the height of a 17-story building. Collections include biblical artifacts, printed bibles, manuscripts and other books and art. The museum also has both long-term and special exhibits.
2. IT’S PRIVATELY FUNDED.
According to CBS News, some 51,000 donors contributed to the museum’s construction. The total cost was about $500 million and construction started in 2015. The museum opened in 2017.
3. THE BIGGEST DONOR IS HOBBY LOBBY. According to CBS News, some 51,000 donors contributed to the museum’s construction. The total cost was about $500 million and construction started in 2015. The museum opened in 2017.
Photo courtesy: Religion News Service
Hobby Lobby president Steve Green also co-founded the museum. “It’s not about espousing our faith,”
Green told Reuters. “We just want to present the facts and let visitors decide.”
“This is a dream of millions all over the world that love this book, that use it as a guide for their life, and we just want to take some time and celebrate and dedicate this space to our God,” Green also said at the Museum’s opening ceremony on November 7, 2017.
4. IT’S DRAWN SOME CONTROVERSY.
In July 2017, Hobby Lobby agreed to pay $3 million in fines to settle a lawsuit with the Department of Justice. The DOJ’s investigation had found that the company had “smuggled” artifacts into the U.S. Thousands of Iraqi artifacts were forfeited.
Many supporters of the museum attributed this controversy to the polarizing subject of the Bible itself.
“It’s the most controversial topic in the world. It’s the biggest-selling book; most banned, destroyed, influential book … We will irritate everybody,” said museum president Cary Summers, according to ChristianHeadlines.com contributor Meg Bucher.
5. Green said this month that response to the museum has been “phenomenal.” About 350,000 people have visited the museum since it opened in November 2017. He said the museum has been impactful for people “whether the love the book or not.” Whether out of true interest or simply curiosity, people are flocking to the new museum
6. YOU CAN DINE AT TWO RESTAURANTS INSIDE THE MUSEUM.
There are two places to grab a bite to eat while visiting the museum. The Milk + Honey Café, on the Mezzanine, offers Churchill coffee from Springfield, Miss. Menu items also include sandwiches, salads, ice cream and house backed desserts. The other restaurant, Manna, comes from Chef Todd Gray’s fast-casual concept. Mediterranean spices and fresh seasonal vegetables influence Gray’s food. It’s on the sixth floor.
7. THERE ARE BIBLES FROM PRESIDENTS ON DISPLAY.
The latest bible to earn a spot on display at the museum is President Donald Trump’s childhood bible— the same bible he used during his swearing-in ceremony. At the “Bible in the World” exhibit, other bibles from past presidents include President Harry Truman, President Dwight Eisenhower, President George H.W. Bush and President George W. Bush.
8. THERE’S A RIDE.
For $8, you can take a virtual flight around D.C. in the museum’s Washington Revelations attraction. During the ride, you’ll be able to see scriptural references carved in stone throughout the city. Special effects, such as scents and mist, add to the “flight.” The Museum of the Bible’s website also says, “This revolutionary ride highlights the Bible’s presence permanently etched into some of our national monuments and landmarks.”
9. YOU CAN WALK THROUGH A REPLICA OF WHAT A VILLAGE LOOKED LIKE IN JESUS’ TIME. For $8, you can take a virtual flight around D.C. in the museum’s Washington Revelations attraction. During the ride, you’ll be able to see scriptural references carved in stone throughout the city. Special effects, such as scents and mist, add to the “flight.” The Museum of the Bible’s website also says, “This revolutionary ride highlights the Bible’s presence permanently etched into some of our national monuments and landmarks.”
One of the more popular exhibits is the “World of Jesus of Nazareth” where visitors can walk through first century Nazareth. In this “world,” you’ll see an animal courtyard, olive trees, a synagogue and a look inside a Nazareth home. This reconstructed version of Nazareth allows visiteors to truly immerse themselves in the time and place where Jesus lived while on Earth.
10. IT’S FREE.
Admission to the museum is free, but the suggested donation is $15 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. Some special attractions are also available at a nominal cost. Walk-up admission is available, but you can also preorder your tickets online.
Have you visited the Museum of the Bible yet? What do you most want to see/do there?