At the end of his Gospel, the Apostle John said, “Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” You could probably say much the same thing about the Bible—that no single place could adequately convey its impact, history, and unforgettable narratives. But that isn’t stopping an ambitious and expert team from trying.
I’m excited to tell you about the grand opening on this November 17 of the massive, 430,000-square foot, state-of-the-art Museum of the Bible in our nation’s capital. A project of an interfaith, international team of scholars, the museum is an innovative, global, educational institution with the aim of inviting all people, of whatever faith or no faith at all, to engage with the history, narrative, and impact of the Bible.
The museum cost $500 million to build, and when you visit, you’ll see why. Museum of the Bible has breath-taking exhibits, hi-tech LED screens, and tons of ancient artifacts and precious manuscripts. You’ll be amazed. But why so much, and why now?
“It was surprising to us that a book this influential didn’t yet have a major museum focused on it,” Steve Green, Hobby Lobby president and Museum of the Bible founder, told Christianity Today. “The Bible has influenced nearly every aspect of our world, from the arts and culture to business and entertainment to health care, education, and government. We hope to create the kind of museum that would share this book we love with as many people as possible.”
And Museum of the Bible—situated just three blocks from the U.S. Capitol and two blocks from the National Mall—comes not a moment too soon. As we’ve been telling you a lot recently here on BreakPoint, biblical illiteracy is running rampant in the culture. New Testament scholar David Nienhuis states, “Christian leaders have been lamenting the loss of general biblical literacy in America. … Much to our embarrassment, however, it has become increasingly clear that the situation is really no better among confessing Christians, even those who claim to hold the Bible in high regard.”
Indeed. Gallup and Castelli call us “a nation of biblical illiterates.”
But is biblical literacy really important? I’ll let a couple of American Founders answer. John Adams, our second president, noted, “The Bible contains the most profound philosophy, the most perfect morality, and the most refined policy that ever was conceived upon earth.”
And here’s what physician, social reformer, and signer of the Declaration of Independence Benjamin Rush said: “The Bible contains more truths than any other book in the world.”
Of course, many in our postmodern world don’t believe that and dismiss the Bible out of hand—but maybe that’s partly because they’ve never had the opportunity to engage with it. Museum of the Bible gives them that opportunity, not by cramming “religion” down someone’s throat, but by presenting the Bible as the best-selling, most debated, most influential book of all time. Back in the day, you weren’t considered educated if you didn’t know the Bible. It’s still true today, and Museum of the Bible will step in to fill that knowledge gap for Christians and non-Christians alike.
So kudos to Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., and for the thousands of people of many faiths who helped make it a reality. The Bible is the most influential, beloved, and profound book in the world, and I’m grateful for a gleaming new museum fit to tell its world-changing story today. I invite you to visit it, starting November 17, with your family and friends.
BreakPoint is a Christian worldview ministry that seeks to build and resource a movement of Christians committed to living and defending Christian worldview in all areas of life. Begun by Chuck Colson in 1991 as a daily radio broadcast, BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today’s news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print. Today BreakPoint commentaries, co-hosted by Eric Metaxas and John Stonestreet, air daily on more than 1,200 outlets with an estimated weekly listening audience of eight million people. Feel free to contact us at BreakPoint.org where you can read and search answers to common questions.
Eric Metaxas is a co-host of BreakPoint Radio and a best-selling author whose biographies, children's books, and popular apologetics have been translated into more than a dozen languages.
Publication date: November 15, 2017