Museum of the Bible opens this month in Washington

Published 12:06 am Saturday, November 4, 2017

“Experience the book that shapes history.” That’s the invitation on the homepage of the Museum of the Bible.

Located three blocks south of the U.S. Capitol, the 430,000-square-foot Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. will open its doors to the public on Nov. 17. It’s grand entrance features a pair of 40 foot high bronze doors (described as the height of upended school buses).

The doors display gigantic replicas of the first page of Genesis on printing plates from the first book ever mass produced on a printing press – the Gutenberg Bible, published in 1455.

The eight floors of the amazing of this world-class museum include research labs and libraries, a 100-seat lecture hall, 500-seat theater, classrooms, offices, a roof-top garden and a restaurant, which will serve a menu of food mentioned in the Bible.

“Museum of the Bible will be an unparalleled experience, using cutting-edge technology to bring the Bible to life. It will span time, space, and cultures, inviting everyone to engage with the Bible. With three permanent sections and space for temporary exhibits, there will always be something new to explore. It will provide guests with an immersive and personalized experience as they explore the history, narrative, and impact of the Bible,” according to its website.

“The extraordinary artifacts in the Museum Collections offer viewers a fascinating glimpse into early Christianity. The extensive collection of rare tablets, scrolls, manuscripts and printed books brings history alive in an awe-inspiring way,” states Dr. Mark Roosa, Dean of Libraries, Pepperdine University.

On the first floor, children can tour “Courageous Pages.” “The area is geared to show kids the Bible is packed with stories and people who dug deep and did what they believed was right, even in the face of fear or opposition. Children read, hear, see and experience stories in which small, courageous choices resulted in big victories.”

On the second floor, ‘”The Bible in America Exhibit” tells of the Bible’s impact throughout the American story. The main design element guiding the narrative is a 254-foot-long tapestry illustrating key moments where the presence and impact of the Bible is found throughout American history. Key ideas, facts and quotes will be projected onto the tapestry, marked by central exhibit elements and artifact cases.”

On the fourth floor, the “In the Beginning” gallery “traces the history of the Bible as it emerges in the ancient Near East, including archaeological discoveries that shed light on biblical traditions rooted in the shared culture of the region.” “The King James Bible” gallery illustrates the story behind the English Bible, the most influential and widely read Bible for more than 350 years.”

As with most museums in our nation’s Capitol, there is no fee to tour the Museum of the Bible. However, there is a suggested donation of $15. “Our mission is to invite all people to engage with the Bible,” says Museum of the Bible President Cary Summers. The Museum of the Bible does not highlight a doctrine or theology, rather its focus is the Bible itself – the best-selling book of all time and Truth that we can know (John 8:32).



Jan White is an national award-winning religion columnist. She can be reached at