WASHINGTON (RNS) Museum of the Bible.
The name of the museum under construction in Washington, D.C., is official.
“We don’t need more to tell people who and what we are,” the museum’s founder and funder, Steve Green, told Religion News Service.
But, as always with the Bible, nothing is ever simple.
The high-tech museum, set to open in fall 2017, is four blocks from the U.S. Capitol and three blocks from a global tourism mecca, the Air and Space Museum. The new museum will feature standing exhibits on the history and impact of the Bible as well as interactive features to bring viewers into Bible stories and characters.
It’s the passionate project of Green, the Hobby Lobby billionaire who would prefer to be known for his world-class Bible artifacts collection than for his victorious Supreme Court fight for exemption from the Affordable Care Act contraception mandate.
Religious freedom, he says, is a biblical concept. The Green family — generations of Pentecostals and Baptists — has long funded Bible scholarship, biblical archaeology and the drafting of a proposed public school curriculum on the Bible’s historic, cultural and artistic impact on the U.S. and the world.
All are controversial endeavors, particularly given Green’s personal commitment to spread the good word about the Good Book.
Yet, Green insists, this is not an $800 million monument to personal evangelism. Unlike Answers in Genesis, the ministry that launched the Creation Museum in Kentucky and an Ark Encounter park under construction, employees need not pass a Christians-only litmus test. Green said believers, skeptics and the “intellectually curious” alike can visit and learn, just as they might at a science museum.
“The Bible can speak for itself, explain itself.”
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