If you know people going to Washington DC for a trip, share this video with them and tell them NOT to miss the new Museum of the Bible. Enjoy this sneak peak from this virtual tour, from my recent visit. You will be wowed by what you learn about the Jewish Bible.
Bringing the Bible to Life
The museum really brings the Bible to life, in various ways, using the latest in technology.
As an Orthodox religious Jew, the exhibit that wowed me the most, was the Torah scribe. He sits there every day writing a Torah scroll. Right near where he sits is this:
The museum showcases a variety of biblical artifacts, including fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls. A whole section of artifacts from the Israel Antiquities Authority is right there. This is the sole exhibit of such artifacts outside of Israel. That makes it really mind blowing to see – right there in Washington, DC.
You also will see a Bible brought on the Mayflower. This exhibits the Bible’s influence on all of society, including media, fashion and events in American and world history.
The Museum’s Purpose
The goal of the museum, as stated by the Chairman of the Board, Steve Green, is to present the Bible in a way that is not particular to any perspective or faith tradition.”
“We think Congress ought to know the foundation of the nation that they are running today,” Green told TIME in an interview Tuesday.
“.. hope the White House, whether it is the current president, former presidents, or future presidents, (would visit). We would invite all people to come and know about this book,” he said.
In response to criticism, in a NY Times article on the opening of the Museum, Tony Zeiss, the museum’s executive director, said that concerns about favoring certain interpretations of the text had not daunted the museum’s aim to educate people about the Bible. It reveals the history and influence of what he called the world’s most influential text.
“Things are divisive, but we will not get into any of the cultural or social debates if possible,” Mr. Zeiss said. “We just want to present the Bible as it is. (We’ll) let people make up their own minds.” Furthermore, he explained that more than 100 Biblical scholars helped advise the museum in order to steer clear of favoring any religion or appearing partisan.
In a society that is slowly distancing itself from the Bible, our Biblical values, and religion in general, this museum serves a critical purpose. The hope is that this Museum will help people connect to the Bible, each in his/her own way.
As Mr Green stated back in 2015 in a speech to the National Bible Association. “It [the Bible] tells us how we should live,” he said, “and if we can encourage a skeptical world to reconsider a book that can change our world, that’s an exciting journey that we’re on.”
Watch my full interview with Ryan Smith, from the Office of the President at the Museum of the Bible, and Danielle Smith, Director of Social Media at the Museum.
Live stream when I walked through the section in the Museum called “Nazareth Village”, which is a recreation of what a Biblical town in ancient Israel looked like. It is unbelievable that this is in Washington DC!