Museum of the Bible visitors top half a million in first six months

"The Museum of the Bible, the newest tourist attraction near the National Mall, has drawn 565,000 visitors since it opened six months ago, according to museum figures released Thursday (May 17). While that’s less than half as many as visited the National Museum of African American History and Culture in its first six months, it’s enough to assure organizers that a robust audience is hungry for Bible-related exhibits." RNS

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John E.'s picture

While overall I'm not a fan of the museum, I was impressed that the museum's gift shop sold commentaries by men like Douglas Moo. It made me wonder where their book-buyer goes to church. 

DLCreed's picture

John E. wrote:

While overall I'm not a fan of the museum, I was impressed that the museum's gift shop sold commentaries by men like Douglas Moo. It made me wonder where their book-buyer goes to church. 

I'm curious as to what about the museum would inspire you to say that you are "not a fan".  I haven't been yet, but have planned on going.

David R. Brumbelow's picture

I’ve read and heard great things about the Museum of the Bible. 

I’m grateful the Museum is run by those who actually believe the Bible. 

David R. Brumbelow

John E.'s picture

For starters, no one should allow my opinions about the museum to dissuade them from going. It is free, after all. In fact, the first thing I thought when I saw the link was, "Oh, I still need to take my kids."

For me, the museum lacks any transcendence. It feels like the Bible had been reduced to little more than a pop-cultural artifact to be pawed over. The worst part was the Bible in Popular Culture section. In case you were wondering, Elvis' personal Bible looked like it had never been opened. There's even an exhibit for the Bible and high fashion (why?). And the exhibit playing snippets of pop songs that mention the Bible was head-scratchingly inappropriate. Even the sections about the history of the Bible felt a little *icky* to me. Not to mention that the vast majority of the "artifacts" are nothing more than facsimiles.  

The worst part about it, though, was the noticeable absence of Jesus. Prior to the opening, there was a minor controversy about the absence of Jesus, and I wrote an article defending the museum. So, I wasn't prepared for how bothered I was by the absence of Jesus. It's a shame that all of these millions of visitors aren't being presented with the gospel of Jesus Christ. They do get a Jewish Rabbi's perspective on the Old Testament, though, which turned out to be quite a depressing exhibit - zero hope offered.Although, that exhibit (the OT) felt like you were walking through a Stanley Kubrick movie.

Look, it's really well done. Half a billion dollars can buy a lot of technology. But the longer I was there, the dirtier I felt. My senior pastor and I were part of a group of area pastors that got to tour the museum a few days before it officially opened. While walking back to the car, we both commented on how many churches could've been planted and how many missionaries funded with half a billion dollars. I know that it's a bad practice to spend other people's money, but the whole thing is a wasted opportunity, I believe.

(For what it's worth, I've discovered that my opinions about the museum are not unique. Most of the people I know who've gone say similar things.)

One last thing - the food is way better than the food at the Smithsonian's.  

DLCreed's picture

Thanks for that.  It was quite helpful.  I have a very critical eye and struggle with any commercialization of the things of God.  I thought I'd have an aneurysm at "The Ark".  Yet...I have a profound love of history and seeing how God has unfolded the Gospel through creation and time, so I'll definitely go to see it.  I feel better prepared now.

Joeb's picture

If you consider the guy behind this museum it might makes one consider stepping foot in Museum of the Bible  I guess the Lord can use a highly questionable person for his glory.  

Let us remember that Mr Green AKA: Mr Hobby Lobby was the one who brought this Museum into existence.  Let us also remember the Mr Green was the BIGGEST bankroller  and promoter of Serial Sex Predator and CULT Leader Bill Gothard.  

Mr Green also almost  single handily created the stolen antiquities market in Syria and Iraq by very knowingly purchasing millions of dollars stolen antiquities for his Muesem. This same market was used ISIS to fund their operations in which 16000 of our brothers in Christ were martyred in 2016 alone.    

I have a real hard time stepping into a museum founded by a man who did the above and supported gross  Gothard teachings like don’t report sex perps in the church to the Police if they repent and teaching that an underage female victim of a rape shared in the sin ie the Tramp tempted the the fine Godly man.  

Correct me if I’m wrong I have never heard once of Mr Green asking public forgiveness for doing his thing with Gothard or denouncing him.  I have never heard once of Mr Green publically asking for people’s forgiveness for knowingly  buying stolen merchandise and for the results of his actions.

 Again someone correct me if I’m wrong here or does money talk louder than justice and doing the obvious right thing.   Throw enough money at Fundy/Evangelical Community in the US and all sins are forgiven.  I sure hope not considering our tribe has been very judgmental in the past of Billy Graham the Main Line Denominations and the Catholic Church.