The highly anticipated Museum of the Bible is slated to open next year in Washington, D.C., with its organizers promising that it will be unlike any other institution of its kind.
The 430,000-square foot facility that is being spearheaded by the Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby, will house rare biblical texts and artifacts, leading visitors to embark and "engage in a lifetime of learning," according to Cary Summers, president of the the Museum of the Bible.
"I think people are going to grasp a much deeper understanding of how we got the Bible, how did it survive, how did it get transmitted — Is it correct? Can I rely upon it?" Summers told TheBlaze in a recent sit-down interview. "We don’t draw those conclusions for you. All we do is show you the evidence."
He believes that the public will truly be "shocked at the impact of the Bible," which will be on full display.
Listen to Summers explain the Bible museum in detail below:
"The Bible has been impacting the world since day one," Summers said, explaining that visitors will learn about the history, impact and narratives of the Bible as presented in an entirely innovative and fresh way.
He also discussed the roots of the massive undertaking, which started with a much smaller goal in mind.
"What's amazing to us, if you think about it — this is the most widely distributed book of any book ever," Summers said. "It’s the most debated book, the most banned book, it’s been burned more than any single literature piece ever."
But despite its widespread influence, Summers said that no one has, to date, erected a Bible museum — a fact that has left the team behind the Museum of the Bible "quite amazed."
"We had this amazing sense of urgency to get it done," Summers said of energy behind the museum project. "It wasn’t just, 'Let's kick this around a little bit.' We’re only 5 years old. We formed the 501(c)(3) in September of 2010."
Explaining a bit of the history behind the project, Summers said that it came about after two guys from Dallas approached the Green family and asked for assistance with buying a building for the creation of a Bible museum.
Take a quick look through the museum below:
Over time, the family started collecting Bibles and, after amassing quite a large number of texts (the "largest private collection in the world of ancient manuscripts," according to Summers), they decided to embark on placing the Museum of the Bible in the center of the nation's capitol.
The project, which Summers said has moved smoothly and swiftly, brings together Catholics, Jews and Protestants in not only creating a high-tech museum to house books and artifacts, but in crafting Bible curriculum and working on Bible-themed research around the globe.
"This is a world project," Summers told TheBlaze. "It happens to be housed in Washington, but the Bible is global."
Summers said that he wakes up every day and thanks God for all of the blessings that will unfold through the Museum of the Bible, explaining that he's been blown away by the fascinating events and happenings that he's seen come to fruition.
"Every day of the week since we started this something miraculously happens that we didn’t see coming," he said. "An item that’s available or somebody calls and says, 'Let me jump in with you guys.'"
The Museum of the Bible will be so massive upon completion that it would take nine eight-hour days to go though the entire museum and to watch all 54 video vignettes, Summers said.
So, the museum will rely on personalized tablets and specialized tours that will take guests through the facility based on their interests and the timeframe that they have to explore. The tools will even include GPS to help family members find and keep track of one another.
Here's a more in-depth look:
The experience doesn't just end when one leaves the museum's doors, either, as guests can have information emailed to them from the tablet and can also take virtual tours from home.
In the end, Summers said that the museum is hoping to see its public school curriculum go global, to have a Bible museum on every continent and to have eight to 10 traveling exhibits going on five years from now — bold goals for a project that is still in its infancy.
Find out more about the Museum of the Bible here.
Follow the author of this story on Twitter and Facebook: