When the enormous new Museum of the Bible opens in November, DC area residents and visitors will have lots to see and explore.
Washington D.C. will soon be home to yet another museum. The privately funded Museum of the Bible is set to open in November. The location, still under construction, is only three blocks from the US Capitol Building and near many of the well-known D.C. museums such as the Air and Space Museum and Museum of American History. The Museum of the Bible will house religious and historical artifacts as well as interactive exhibits.
The main purpose of the Museum is educating and showing visitors how the Bible has impacted the United States and the country’s history with regard to social justice, civil rights and fashion. The Museum’s founders and marketers are attempting to attract people of all religious faiths, as well as those who have never picked up or read the Bible. The Bible, as we all know, is a staple and fixture in American Culture from swearing in ceremonies of officials to the book’s presence in hotels nationwide and in the homes of citizens.
The six-story museum has been privately financed, and upwards of $500 million has gone into building and construction. The museum will consist of six exhibit floors which will be home to over 40,000 religious and biblical artifacts, items such as the Bibles of Elvis Presley and Babe Ruth; the Lunar Bible and portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls will also be on display. The Museum will also feature a 3,200 pound replica of the Liberty Bell. Most of the items have been donated by the museum’s founder, Steve Green, and his father David Green. The Greens’ collection is the largest collection of biblical artifacts and text in the world.
The museum will be equipped with a digital guide which will enable patrons to custom design their tour on their smartphones, as well as take a virtual tour of places in Washington D.C. that have biblical passages. The Museum has already put together traveling units; a 400 item collection has made stops in US cities as well as abroad. Items such as the original manuscript of the Battle Hymn of The Republic have already been shown to audiences outside of D.C.
The Museum’s six floors will each be home to separate exhibits which focus on different aspects of the impact and history of the Bible. Three 55,000 square foot permanent exhibit floors will make up half of the Museum space. On the first level will be a combination of ancient artifacts and modern technology designed to engross visitors in the Bible. The 4th
Street Southwest front entrance will feature two 40-foot bronze front doors that weigh 2.5 tons decorated with glass art that depicts creation as described in Genesis. Within there is a grand lobby which contains a 200 foot LED ceiling which can create visual effects and messages. The second floor will emphasize the impact of the Bible on world history and culture, while the third floor will provide a narrative of the Bible starting from Abraham right up until Jesus’ ministry and the early church. On the third floor will also be a section dedicated to the Jewish Bible.
Archeology and biblical history will be presented on the fourth floor. The Museum’s curators are aiming to present facts and allow the viewer to form his or her own decision, rather than twisting archeology in a way that would support the Bible’s passages. A 500-person amphitheater and performing arts theatre will be housed on the fifth floor and will host Bible-related multimedia performances and scholarly lectures. The Israel Antiques Authority will have an exhibit space on the fifth level as well. The sixth floor will be home to viewing areas on the rooftop with views of the US Capitol and National Mall, there also will be a 1000 seat ballroom and stained glass exhibits.
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