Washington D.C. is home to many of the world’s best museums and the Museum of the Bible is no exception. Read on to learn all about this remarkable museum, and how to plan the perfect visit here.
What is the Museum of the Bible?
Though a relatively new museum, the Museum of the Bible has quickly become one of the preeminent collections of Biblical artifacts worldwide. Its mission is simply “to invite all people to engage with the Bible”, through interactive exhibits, educational outreach, and ongoing scholarship.
The museum has a permanent collection of over a thousand antiquities, many of which come from the private collection of museum founder and Hobby Lobby CEO Steve Green and the Green family. They have another 2,000 on loan from other collections, like the Israel Antiquities Authority.
Does The Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C. represent a particular theological position vis-a-vis the Bible?
Many Jewish and Christian scholars of various denominations came together to compile the material and artifacts within the museum. So there’s not one dominant theological perspective represented. You can see scholarship from evangelical Christians to Orthodox Jews to Catholics and more!
Founder Steve Green says he wants the museum to be for “all people,” and has incorporated many exhibits explaining the Bible’s influence on American history and throughout the world. Visitors from all over the world and of different faith perspectives come to the museum daily.
What are the exhibitions and exhibits there?
The museum hosts several temporary and permanent exhibits. So there’s a little something for everyone from an enthusiastic biblical scholar to the casual tourist who wants an interactive tour of DC.
If you’re in a group that’s more interested in a fun tourist experience, you might want to start with a virtual reality 360-degree tour of the lands of the Bible. Swivel around wearing a Virtual Reality headset, and enjoy a virtual tour of history from all vantage points.
Those with more scholarly interests might prefer some of the artifacts and antiquities from the Green Family’s private collection. This includes various Bibles and Hebrew Bibles in different languages, bookbinding tools, and other significant artifacts that highlight the historic and cultural significance of the Bible worldwide.
The Dead Sea Scrolls provide one of the most popular exhibits. When they’re on display, visitors can see fragments of these ancient scrolls.
Current temporary exhibits include one with treasures from the Vatican, the Slave Bible, Israeli art and archaeology, and the 20th century illustrated Wiedmann Bible. So visitors can experience different facets of the Bible’s impact on different continents and throughout the centuries.
In the summer of 2020, the museum looks forward to featuring a year-long temporary exhibit on the relationship of science within the Bible. So stay tuned for that!
What else can you do at the museum?
Beyond the exhibits, the Museum of the Bible offers many other activities and events. During the evening, you can head to the rooftop to watch the Amazing Grace: The Broadway Musical. This inspiring story tells the story of John Newton and his dramatic journey from slave trader to author of Amazing Grace and other powerful hymns.
Ever wanted to fly through the nation’s Capitol? Now you can with the Museum of the Bible’s “Washington Revelations” simulation exhibit. (Editor’s note: the kids LOVED this, but it’s not the best choice for those with motion sickness! They have the warning signs for a reason.)
Can I bring my kids to the Museum of the Bible?
Little ones might not appreciate all of the artifacts and exhibits. But there are plenty of activities for the youngest museum-goers. It’s also a great way to inspire your children to appreciate the art and culture found in the Bible, as well as the way it continues to shape culture today.
Your kids might enjoy some of the video presentations or interactive exhibits, such as the Nazareth Village. Here they can see an example of what a town looked like while Jesus was growing up. Complete with villagers in costume!
Older children and teens will probably get more out of the experience than toddlers. But this Bible museum offers interactive exhibits for everyone!
What do you think about the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C.? How would you feel about planning a trip here?
Let us know in the comments section, or discuss it on your favorite family app!