Museum of the Bible
The Museum of the Bible opened on November 17, 2017, after years of planning by museum founder Steve Green, the president of Hobby Lobby. The museum was completed at a cost of approximately five million dollars. Green originally stated that the mission of the museum was to "inspire confidence on the absolute authority and reliability of the Bible." The museum later changed its mission to emphasize a desire for attendees to investigate and "engage with" the Bible. However, critics of the museum argue that Green's original mission statement has driven much of the museum's creation and rather than offering an objective and scholarly museum of the historical significance of the Bible, the museum is an extension of the Green family's effort to spread their personal view of Christianity.
Backstory and Context
Steve Green, the president of Hobby Lobby solicited donations from other evangelical Christians who shared his interpretation of the Bible. Mr. Green’s vision finally became a reality on November 17, 2017. Steve Green’s craft company, Hobby Lobby had illegally smuggled approximately 5,500 ancient artifacts to the U.S. from Iraq. Due to this newly found evidence, some critics speculate and question the provenance of the museum's artifacts. After a Civil Action was filed, Hobby Lobby forfeited the artifacts. According to the museum, no artifacts within the museum were a part of the illegally smuggled Iraqi artifacts. However, there are still some questions about the authenticity of the dead sea scroll fragments.
The Museum of the Bible has over 4,400 exhibits out of which some that are related to the influence of the Bible throughout history. The artifacts found in the museum are partially from the Green family collection of biblical artifacts. Exhibits also include several historic Bibles that were owned by U.S. Presidents and the original “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
Cochrane, Emily. Years in the making, bible museum opens in Washington. The New York Times. Politics. November 17, 2017. Accessed December 15, 2017.
Pointer, Jack. Inside DC's new museum of the bible. Washington's Top News, wtop. November 15, 2017. Accessed December 15, 2017. https://wtop.com/dc/2017/11/bible-museum/slide/1/.
Zoll, Rachel. Museum of the bible, built by Hobby Lobby owner, opens in DC. Fox News. Christianity. November 16, 2017. Accessed December 15, 2017. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/11/16/museum-bible-built-by-hobby-lobby-owner-opens-in-dc.html.
Zauzmer, Julie. Hobby Lobby's $3 Million smuggling case casts a cloud over the Museum of the Bible. The Washington Post Democracy dies in darkness, Acts of Faith. Accessed December 15, 2017. Other author of this article is: Sarah Pulliam Bailey. Michelle Boorstein contributed to this as well as it was updated
Burton, Tara Isabella. A Bible Museum is a good idea. The one that's opening is not. The controversial Hobby Lobby-backed Museum of the Bible is not the Bible Museum we need.. Vox. November 17, 2017. Accessed December 15, 2017. https://www.vox.com/identities/2017/11/17/16658504/bible-museum-hobby-lobby-green-controversy-antiqu.... Museum of the Bible picture by: Alan Karchmer. Vox