Museum of the Bible
We are museum go-ers, history lovers, and knowledge gather-ers. So, it was no surprise that on our recent trip to Washington, D.C., we took a day to visit the Museum of the Bible. Our group included international evangelists with Louis Palou Ministries, a Pastor of 40+ years, a Rabbi, an author and podcaster from Israel, a Psychologist, college student, high school student, and a few wives- all of whom are very involved in ministry, education, and travel. We arrived at 10 a.m and stayed until closing and could easily have come back for another day or two or three.
Visually the Museum is stunning and state of the art. It is also impeccably clean with a staff that is pleasant, welcoming, and helpful. Our group started on the main floor, checking out the Vatican Museums and Library; as we waited for everyone to gather; these are quite beautiful.
Starting at the Top
We quickly decided to start on the top floor and make our way down. Did I mention that this museum was visually stunning? Full of light and windows, wide hallways and elevators that were full of pictures of the gallery. The very ambiance of the museum was delightful!
We found ourselves in an exhibit called, “The People of the Land: History and Archology of Ancient Israel.” We watched two short movies, one on the Land of the Bible and one on the Coinage of the Ancient World. These movies were very interesting. Following the movies, we made our way through the collection, which was amazing! Ancient artifacts, clear descriptions, and clever displays held our interest for quite a while.
We went from there to the Hall of Bible Artifacts- a stunningly beautiful hall- the pictures I tried to take did not do it justice! The hall was chock full of information, videos, collections, and stories about the Bible. From there we went to one of our favorite funny historians, Drive Through History. Here we found excellent visuals, great graphics, and information-packed surroundings!
Time for Lunch!
From there, our group detoured to lunch where everyone found more than enough delicious food, including Kosher selections, to fill our bellies, and keep us going.
Stories of the Bible
Next stop, Floor 3 and Stories of the Bible. This floor included a Judean village, carefully crafted and constructed to give you a feel of what it might have been like to live in a small Judean village in the Ancient World. Again, gorgeous craftsmanship, attention to so many details, videos, plaques and a sense of peaceful serenity filled us as we wandered through houses and rooms. While the entire museum has a sense of gentle calm throughout, this particular section was particularly serene.
We watched more short, extremely well done, videos on the lives of those who lived near or with Jesus and then moved on to The Hebrew Bible Experience.
The Hebrew Bible Experience
This is a 30-minute encounter with the Hebrew Bible. You actually walk from theater to room, and down hallways, pausing midway as you find yourself surrounded or surrounding a part of the display. The Bible Experience includes engaging vignettes from the Bible, including Noah’s Ark, the Burning Bush, the Passover and more! The stories are familiar ones, but the display was ingenious, cleverly designed and included movement, audio-visual and graphics. It is one of the most inventive and ingenious museum displays I’ve ever seen.
If there hadn’t been so much more to take in, I would have gone back through a second time! It was definitely one of my favorite parts of the museum and our Rabbi friend loved it too! He’s been in education for years and his idea at the end of The Hebrew Bible Experience was to do a yearly field trip with True North Homeschool Academy students through the Museum- it is that inspiring!
The Bible in America
We left what I thought was going to be my absolute favorite part of the museum to encounter a part of the Museum that rivaled for first place- and that was The Bible in America. Keep in mind, we were a group of Bible-loving history nerds with a few languages and pet areas of study between us. This section captured our imaginations, caused us to stop and talk and even debate a bit. Again, the displays were engaging and used a little bit of video, plaques, graphics, and displays, including interactive displays that asked your opinion, caused you to question or wonder and piqued your curiosity.
From there, on to the Bible in the World and the Bible Now, including a docent-led display on Gutenberg’s printing press, alongside which was a provocative art display, including one of my personal favorite, lesser-known Bible characters, Simon of Cyrene.
From there, the group dispersed as some had evening engagements, while my husband, who has a Master’s Degree in Theology and years of serious, intellectual Bible study under his belt, went back up to the History of Bible to soak in every last minute of the outstanding displays.
It’s no wonder that the Museum of the Bible is one of the Top 10 Museums in a city full of world-class museums. There is absolutely everything to love about this Museum, that presents the most important Book of all time in ways that will cause you to consider it anew, with wonder and joy.
If you haven’t put the Museum of the Bible on your Bucket List, do it now! This is a Museum that is not to be missed, by anyone who values culture, Judeo-Culture and all things good, true and beautiful!
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