Seven Centuries of Bible History on Display in Washington, D.C.
For travelers, few cities on earth offer the variety of attractions that greet visitors to Washington D.C. Political aficionados flock to the stately halls of government, enjoying proximity to some of the most influential decision-makers in the world. History buffs choose from among countless museums, including the eleven Smithsonian museums and galleries along the National Mall. Architecture-lovers marvel at the neoclassical buildings and, when the timing is right, nature lovers are greeted by the undeniable beauty of the city’s annual flush of cherry blossoms.
And beginning in the fall of 2017, a new attraction allows travelers to see this captivating city from an even more extraordinary perspective. The November opening of the much-anticipated Museum of the Bible promises to put D.C. on the map for a new category of travelers: students of the Bible and faith-based travelers.
A Nation Built upon Scripture
Located only three blocks from the National Mall, this $500 million, multi-story, privately funded museum opens in November 2017. It has been designed not only to tell the story of the Bible, but to educate visitors about the impact of God’s Word on our history and culture. (In fact, the second-floor of the Museum—known as the “Impact Floor”—has been dedicated to just that purpose, exploring the Bible’s influence on everything from language to popular music.)
It’s hard to understate that impact. The earliest Americans were devout pilgrims seeking a place to practice their faith in freedom. Drawing upon that heritage, the Founding Fathers relied on the principles of Christianity in drafting the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. John Adams, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and the second President of the United States, described the Bible as “the best book in the world.”
Since then, Washington and the Bible have been forever linked. The staircase walls of the Washington Monument are lined with verses from the Old and New Testaments. The powerful speeches carved into the walls of the Lincoln Memorial liberally quote Scripture. The Bible still plays a central role in presidential inaugurations.
But the opening of the Museum of the Bible gives even more attention to the impact of the Bible on our heritage. The world’s most influential city now hosts a museum dedicated to the most influential book in the world.
Vast Biblical Treasures
The state-of-the-art Museum of the Bible welcomes Believers into 430,000 square feet of biblical history, painstakingly curated by some of the world’s top historians and theologians. Spread across six floors—with three dedicated to permanent exhibits—the Museum’s collections include valuable artifacts and centuries of archaeological discoveries designed to immerse guests in the Word.
Instead of merely reading Scripture, visitors to the Museum will have the opportunity to walk through it. Its founders have partnered with the Israel Antiquities Authority to create one of the world’s largest compilations of biblical artifacts. A vast quantity of Dead Sea Scroll fragments, ancient Torah scrolls, biblical papyri, early texts, first-edition Bibles and other rare biblical manuscripts highlight the collection.
The sheer number of artifacts (over 40,000!) is staggering. Seeing them, you’ll marvel at how so many ancient psalms, histories, prophetic writings and letters were compiled and translated so long ago into the Scriptures that inform our lives today.
Still more treasures abound, including a life-size replica of first-century Nazareth that guests can walk through, handle replicas of ancient tools and talk with actors in period garb. Visitors will also be able to peruse the world’s largest single experience of apologetic materials and sources. Adding to the experience is some of the most innovative technology appearing in any museum on earth—including groundbreaking, laptop-based visitor navigation systems.
An Unmatched Spiritual Experience
But for Christians, it’s not the technology or antiquities that will open eyes; it’s the entire experience itself. The Museum of the Bible pulls back the curtain on the most important Book in history. Regardless of your understanding of God’s Word, your highly personalized experience at the Museum will leave you viewing it with fresh eyes.
Through ancient scrolls and fragments, you’ll come face-to-face with the Bible’s past. Through high-tech displays, you’ll better understand its overall narrative. Through carefully curated exhibits, you’ll see the countless ways Scripture touches your life every day.
The opening of this highly anticipated museum cements Washington—along with Israel, the Mediterranean and Reformation Europe—as a new kind of pilgrimage site where travelers can rediscover the history, narrative and impact of the Bible in an unforgettable way.
That’s why Washington and the Museum have become a top travel destination for Inspiration and the focus of upcoming tours. Since American heritage is so intrinsically tied to the eternal truth of Scripture, the Museum of the Bible now tops our list of must-visit museums in the capital. Is it time to add it to your list of must-see destinations?
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”—Matthew 24:35