Museum of the Bible opened its eight-story, 430,000-square-foot museum in Washington, D.C., to the public last week after years of anticipation.
“We created this museum to help our guests understand and appreciate the role of the Bible – not only in America, but globally,” said President Cary Summers during the dedication of the museum on November 17, which was attended by faith and civic leaders including Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington; Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt, President of the Rabbinic Cabinet of the Jewish Federations of North America; U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black; Ron Dermer, Israel's ambassador to the U.S.; and Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser.
“Our purpose is this: to invite all people to engage in this wonderful book we call the Bible,” added Museum of the Bible Executive Director Dr. Tony Zeiss. “Its history, its narrative, and its impact. In fact, those are the three themes you will see throughout this museum.”
Using cutting-edge technology, Museum of the Bible illustrates how the Bible came to be, its impact on the world throughout the ages, and the story that is told in this best-selling book of all time.
The nonsectarian, scholarly focused, international museum has eight floors, including expansive exhibit and gallery space, visiting libraries and temporary exhibit space, a restaurant and biblical garden, a grand ballroom, and event space. It houses the Green Collection, which boasts some 40,000 ancient biblical texts and artifacts — including one of the world’s largest private collections of Dead Sea Scrolls, the earliest surviving New Testament texts in Jesus' household language, and other antiquities dating from the first century B.C. to Torah scrolls that survived the Holocaust. The museum also displays items borrowed from other prominent collections from around the world.
In addition, the museum features a 472-seat, technologically advanced performing arts theater, which is currently showing the inspirational Broadway musical “Amazing Grace.” The production, directed by the Broadway director Gabrielle Barre and Tony Award winner Christopher Gatelli, is slated for an eight-week run that concludes January 7, 2018.
To date, Museum of the Bible has been recognized by CNN as one of the most anticipated and beautifully designed museums opening in 2017; by Smithsonian.com as one of the “must-see” museums opening this year; and by Forbes as one of the top 100 nonprofits in the U.S. Other national media attention around the opening of the museum has come from TIME, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Fox News, and many other media organizations.
Similar to the admission policies of museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History, Museum of the Bible does not charge a fee for general admission. Instead, it suggests a $15 donation. The museum also offers guests the ability to reserve timed-entry tickets. Reservations for timed entry are limited and are available to the public and to members of the museum at museumoftheBible.org. In addition, the museum offers annual membership packages, starting with the Basic Membership at $60 for an individual or $150 for families. The options continue up to the $1,000 Founding Champion level and beyond.
For the past two years, Museum of the Bible has been the Platinum Sponsor for the NRB International Christian Media Convention and offered exclusive glimpses of its now-open facility in D.C. through a special exhibit on the floor of the Convention’s award-winning Exposition. Museum of the Bible will return as the Platinum Sponsor once more at the next Convention, Proclaim 18 in Nashville, Tennessee.
By NRB Staff
Published: November 22, 2017