Bible Museum Chooses Nation’s Capital for its New Facility

New museum to house thousands of biblical antiquities.

bible museum

After an 18-month search, The Museum of the Bible, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, purchased D.C.’s Washington Design Center as the future home for a yet-to-be-named museum to house The Green Collection, the world’s largest private collection of rare biblical texts and artifacts.
(Photo credit: Jim Oesch)

The word of God is very much alive, sharper than any two-edged sword and able to divide soul and spirit, joints and marrow; and it judges our thoughts and heart attitudes (Hebrews 4:12). The Bible you and I read is based upon ancient writings, copies that have been preserved through the centuries. In just a few years a collection of biblical artifacts will be on display for public review, in a city well-known for its many museums.

The Green Collection

The Green Collection, the world’s largest private collection of rare biblical texts and artifacts, will one day be placed on public display at a yet-to-be-named museum in our nation’s capital. The Museum of the Bible, a nonprofit organization, announced late last month that it had purchased the Washington Design Center at 300 D Street SW in Washington, D.C., for $50 million and will convert the center into a museum.

The new museum will be non-sectarian and scholarly-focused, representing a national museum that will exemplify the Bible’s origins, its impact on the world down through the ages and illustrate why it is the best-selling book ever.

metrical translation

A 1631 metrical translation of the Book of Psalms that is believed to have been done by King James with the assistance of his clerical advisors. (Photo credit: Judy G. Rolfe)

Hobby Lobby Chain

The Green Collection is named for the Green Family, owners of the Hobby Lobby arts and craft retail chain, with more than 500 stores in 41 states. Steve Green, president of Hobby Lobby, currently divides his time between his business and managing a collection that he started in 2009. Today, that collection includes more than 40,000 biblical antiquities and what will soon become the foundational part of the new museum.

The collection features the largest private library of Dead Sea Scrolls as well as the earliest-surviving New Testament texts in Jesus’ household language. Also included are biblical antiquities dating from the first century BC and Torah scrolls that survived the Holocaust. Besides its core archive the museum will feature items borrowed from other noteworthy collections in the world.

Esther Scroll

The decorative cover of an early Esther or Megillah Scroll, dating to the 16c, indicating its use in the synagogue for the Feast of Purim and surviving the Nazi Holocaust.

Under Development

There is no need to put the new museum on your DC itinerary immediately, at least not for the next few years. The building has been purchased, but there are no design plans in place nor has the Museum of the Bible established construction deadlines or set a completion date. Those details will unfold once the organization has determined what artifacts will be put on display and when its programmatic elements have been finalized.

Mark DeMoss, a spokesperson and board member for the Museum of the Bible, noted that the museum will “showcase both the Old and New Testaments” and make it accessible to everyone. Items from The Green Collection have been exhibited at museums around the world including in Atlanta and Vatican City.

You can learn more about Passages, the traveling biblical text and artifact collection, by visiting the Explore Passages website.

Passages

Media courtesy of The Green Collection.

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  1. I am excited to visit this museum when it finally opens!

  2. Road trip! I share your desire to visit this museum too, Joseph. It may not be before 2015, but I am sure that when it opens it will be a first-rate and God-honoring facility — a rarity these days.

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