Fans of history -- and theology -- will be delighted to know that a massive Bible museum is slated to open in the nation's capitol. Planners of the large-scale undertaking claim that the project will be complete and ready for Washington, D.C. residents and visitors, alike, within a four-year time frame.
The group behind the project, The Museum of the Bible, is a non-profit that represents the collection owned by the billionaire Green family, writes Religion News Service (RNS). The Greens, as we've previously reported, are well-known Christians who own a craft store chain called Hobby Lobby. While the location of the actual museum hasn't been leaked -- and an official name is yet to be released -- some details are known.
To begin, let's look at some of the elements that visitors can expect to encounter while at the museum. RNS has more:
A sampling of the Bible museum’s offerings -- from the collection of more than 40,000 artifacts -- have been displayed in the Passages Exhibit at the Vatican and in Oklahoma City and Atlanta and will soon appear in Charlotte, N.C.
Summers said the traveling exhibit recreates at 80 percent scale the chamber of London’s Westminster Abbey where the King James Version of the Bible was written. A full-scale recreation is planned for the museum.
Steve Green, president of the Hobby Lobby arts and crafts chain and a Southern Baptist, said the museum will feature the history, contents and influence of the Bible but will leave it up to visitors to decide whether to believe the holy book.
The museum's planners initially sought out other cities for its location as well, including Dallas and New York, but Washington was inevitably strategically chosen. Organizers conducted research and found that people with interest in the museum were more likely to travel to D.C. than to other cities.
"In reality, the population base within that eight-to-10 hour drive of D.C. represents half of the U.S. or two-thirds and there’s a lot of Christians in that group,” explained Cary Summers, chief operating officer of The Museum of the Bible.
Here's more about the family's collection:
While the experience will very clearly have Christian influence, it will be interesting to see how it facilitates an environment in which people make their own determinations about the holy book's authenticity. Once completed, the Bible museum will charge an admission.
(H/T: Religion News Service)