WASHINGTON – New details have emerged about an enormous Bible museum in Washington, D.C., that will feature thousands of biblical artifacts once it opens in early 2017.
Steve Green is the Christian president of the popular American craft chain Hobby Lobby. As previously reported, Green opened a temporary Bible exhibit in Israel last year to showcase a large collection of scriptural fragments and manuscripts.
Now, plans are underway for a permanent Bible museum in the nation’s capital that will feature an unprecedented collection of biblical manuscripts owned by the Green family. In a 2012 press release, the Greens revealed that the museum will be located on 300 D Street SW in Washington, D.C.—just two blocks away from the Capitol.
“Our intent is for this museum to showcase both the Old and New Testaments, arguably the world’s most significant pieces of literature, through a non-sectarian, scholarly approach that makes the history, scholarship and impact of the Bible on virtually every facet of society accessible to everyone,” said Museum of the Bible spokesperson Mark DeMoss in the release.
After months of speculation, additional details about the planned Bible museum have emerged, as reported this month by the Washington Post. In an interview with the Post, Green said the museum’s location near the National Mall will remind Washington legislators of the Bible’s role in shaping the United States.
“As many people as we can educate about this book, the better,” he stated. “I think seeing the biblical foundations of our nation—for our legislators to see that, that a lot of that was biblically based, that we have religious freedoms today, which are a biblical concept, it can’t hurt being there.”
Initially, Green had planned to build the museum in Dallas. However, he believes the location near the Mall will allow thousands of tourists in the nation’s capital to visit the conveniently-located museum and learn more about the Bible.
“One thing I learned in our real estate office is, sometimes being a block down the street can mean a lot in terms of sales,” he explained. “The Mall is where there are a lot of visitors. It’s not as visible to the Mall as we’d like, but it’s close.”
With eight stories and over 400,000 square feet, the Bible museum will be one of the largest museums in the city—comparable in size to nearby Smithsonian museums. Green says the museum will feature three distinct sections: the history of the Bible, the stories of the Bible, and the impact of the Bible.
According to reports, construction on the Bible museum will commence next month. Green believes the museum will be a much-needed resource for the increasingly biblically-illiterate American population.
“We have probably the most ignorant population we’ve ever had in our society [about the Bible] because it’s been taken out of our schools,” he told the Baptist Press. “We want to be able to, in a simple way, explain to them, ‘Here’s what the Bible is.’ Ultimately, it’s about the fact that we are sinners, we need a Savior and Christ was that. And He came to die for us that we might have life.”
Photo: Museum of the Bible