In the land where laws are made and policies are shaped, the Bible is often a topic of much controversy especially as it relates to matters of “separation of church and state.” Scriptures can be found silently etched in the buildings throughout Capitol Hill but in November of 2017, the most banned, burned and debated book in history will make D.C. it’s home. The highly anticipated 430K-sqaure-foot museum boasts in having over 40,000 ancient biblical texts, antiquities and rare artifacts, “We didn’t buy them because we were collectors, we bought them because we wanted to tell their stories,” says Steve Green Chairman and President of Hobby Lobby. “We just want to let the Bible speak for itself and let people make their own decisions on this timeless and amazing history.” The Green’s have done just that in this biblical literacy undertaking that marries the old with the new. Their collection includes: writings dating to the time of Abraham, early New Testament manuscripts, fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the oldest prayer book known, the Siddur.
“When you come in, it will be like you’re literally walking into God’s Word,” described Museum of the Bible president Cary Summers at the launch event. The vast entrance will be dressed with two golden doors with biblical text written as far as one can see 40 feet up. Walking in will be like stepping out of time into an eternity of treasured history. It will span the depth of space and cultures, creating an inclusive experience for everyone from all walks of life and beliefs.
GPS Guidance Via Tablet
Once inside, visitors will receive a tablet that will map out a personal exploration course specific to the exhibits they want to see and the amount of time they have. Parents and children can communicate digitally and keep track of one another every step of the way. It would take nine days to see and read everything in the museum, so this helps visitors zero-in on what they care about most. At the end of each visit, participants have the option to receive emails on future updates, research and information based on their interests. Your course will also be recorded so that you can pick up where you left off on your next trip.
Engaging All The Senses: Holograms and Talking Saints
The Narrative Floor is designed by BRC Imagination Arts of Burbank California, the group responsible for the Magic of Disney Animation and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. This exhibit will immerse visitors into the life of pivotal biblical moments. Museum-goers will feel the waves crashing around them as passengers on Noah’s Ark, sit around the fire as a guest in Abraham’s tent and learn from Jesus’ parables as an on-looker at the synagogue. Saints will come back to life and tell their stories first-hand through hologram technology.
Going Up…Impact Floor
Even the elevator ride will leave a mark. From one floor to the next the elevator walls will surround Bible travelers with the Dead Sea or drop them into the Garden of Gethsemane. Should you choose to take the stairs, the stained glass artistry will guide you to the next destination. Upon arriving on the Impact Floor, this exhibit will tell stories of the Bible’s impact on every area of life outside of religion: literature, fine arts, architecture, science, government, law, music, family and social justice. "It will be like Time Square meets the Bible, but on steroids,” said Summers about this exhibit of cultural and biblical convergence. Here, parents will have the unique opportunity to store their testimony about how the Bible “impacted” their life for future generations to listen to for years to come.
“Flying Into The Good Book
What’s a museum without a theme park ride? Visitors can take a digital ride flying over Washington to learn about the Bible’s influence in America’s founding and history. A study shows that Americans are hungry to know more about the Bible, yet many say they’re “too busy” to read it. Some 90% of people say they believe the Bible applies in practical ways to today’s problems. Even more say America needs the Bible more today than ever before. The Museum of the Bible intends to respond to this data by making it easy to engage, immerse and interact with the best-selling book of all time in all the world.
Though the Bible may change shape and take on new forms throughout the narrative of time…the prophet Isaiah’s words continue to ring true, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.”