A Museum of Biblical Proportions
When I was eleven, my parents took me on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Washington D.C. My family absolutely loves American history and politics. Every vacation inevitably turns into some sort of history class, so the United States Capitol was certainly our land flowing with milk and honey. We did it all. We toured the White House, spent some time with President Lincoln at his monument (we forgave him for being so stone-faced), and took an embarrassing number of pictures outside the Washington Monument until we created the perfect illusion that I was holding it up with my totally legitimate super-strength. Then there were the museums. We found ourselves wandering in and out of the Space and Air Museum, the American History Museum, the Natural History Museum, the National Zoo—seriously, we were a walking advertisement for Smithsonian. Those experiences are some of my most treasured. Namely because gawking at the ruby red slippers that Dorothy wore in The Wizard of Oz is an unparalleled experience for a 11-year-old future theatre major.
There’s no arguing that our government, the Smithsonian, and countless other organizations and non-profits have done an unbelievable job in preserving this country’s history and culture. I am so grateful for the men and women who have worked hard to accomplish that. There’s just one glaring omission: What about the creation of this world and everybody in it? For what purpose are we here on earth? Who has made it possible for us to experience places like Washington D.C. in the first place?
Despite all the museums and artifacts and recounted history, in many ways our country—and it’s capital—has failed to point people to Christ.
Enter, Stage Right: The Museum of the Bible.
Right now, in the heart of Washington D.C., just two blocks from the National Mall, a 430,000 square-foot structure is being built that is entirely dedicated to our ultimate source of Truth. According to their website, the museum will “provide guests with an immersive and personalized experience as they explore the history, narrative, and impact of the Bible.”
The Museum of the Bible, to be opened in Fall 2017, will be a place to dive into the most important book ever written. Not only will there be artifacts and history proving its existence and importance, but there will also be interactive features that point to how God is still working in our lives today. The most notable features of the museum will be divided into three floors:
This floor will make the Bible come to life through riveting presentations of stories of the Bible. Narratives will captivate visitors—from Genesis to 2 Chronicles, through first-century Nazareth, culminating with the Gospel found in the New Testament.
This floor will showcase archaeological discoveries, featuring more than 500 world-class artifacts. These artifacts include writings dating back to the time of Abraham, fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and early New Testament writings.
This floor will explore how the Bible has impacted cultures and daily life through its influence on arts, government, and science.
Other features of the museum include research labs, libraries, a lecture hall, restaurants featuring traditional Biblical cuisine, and a rooftop Biblical garden. Temporary exhibits that rotate will give guests the opportunity to learn something new with each visit.
The Museum of the Bible isn’t your average stop on your family’s way-too-packed-but-probably-doable itinerary. It’s important to understand that it’s not just a bunch of rooms full of rare relics that make us “ooh” and “ah” and ignore the plaques that read “no pictures please.” Through this project, people from all over the world—believers and non-believers alike—will be given the chance to engage with the Bible. For many, the events and people in the Bible will finally become real, so they are no longer bedtime stories, but testaments to the Truth that is just as applicable in our lives as it was in Abraham’s and Paul’s. For those that have never heard the Gospel, it will be presented to them in immersive and interactive ways. The Museum of the Bible has the power to transform lives for Christ. This possibility is a huge deal!
There’s no refuting that this venture is going to require a ton of support given its size and anticipated impact. Here’s where it gets cool. Pay attention, because this is the point in which you and I as believers enter stage left.
The Museum of the Bible is hosting a campaign called One Million Names. This campaign is an effort to raise support from one million people who believe that the Bible is important and relevant and legitimate. For someone willing to donate a gift of any amount, her name will be permanently displayed inside the Museum of the Bible to honor her support. Here’s what the museum’s website has to say:
“By joining our One Million campaign, you become an influential voice in our united movement to honor the Bible, creating experiences for this great book to be discovered and rediscovered by people for generations come. “
If someone says I have the chance to have an influential voice, I can’t help but scream “YEP. I’M SO THERE. SIGN ME UP.” My generation—arguably more than any other—has a fascination with leaving a personal legacy. We want our story to be told when our time is up on earth. We want to make a difference. At first glance, this campaign might appear to be just another way to make sure your name isn’t forgotten.
But here’s the thing: This campaign is not about us at all. This museum is not about us. The Bible is not about us and it never has been and it never will be. It is about the unbelievably faithful and loving God who shows up and provides for His people every single time. Everything about our lives is for the purpose of knowing Him and making Him known—and our names are no exception.
I have chosen to have my name placed on the wall, not for my own glory, but for His. I believe in the strides the Museum of the Bible is taking for the Kingdom by giving thousands of people access to the Bible. If our commission is to make disciples of all nations, then providing a comprehensive experience that establishes the validity of the Bible is a pretty alright place to start.
I wholeheartedly support the statement that is made when a museum dedicated to the Bible is placed three blocks from the United States Capitol, just a stones throw away from protests regarding abortion, same-sex marriage, and religious freedom. We have returned to the times of the judges, doing everything that’s right in our own eyes. More than ever, our nation’s capital needs to recognize the presence of the Bible and the presence God. By putting my name on the wall, I’m able to help ensure that this presence will be known in a big way.
I’m standing in solidarity with 999,999 others to say the Bible matters—even more than NASA and pandas and, yes, even the hat from Indiana Jones. It’s an extraordinary book that needs to be celebrated, honored, and regarded as Truth. This opportunity is a testament to the remarkable things the Lord has done in my life and centuries before it. My name on the wall doesn’t have anything to do with myself or my ability to fork over $5 for something I care about. It has everything to do with the One who has given me the ability to put my name on the wall in the first place.
For more information on the Museum of the Bible, or If you’re interested in using your name as a testament to the things the Lord has done for you through His Word, visit the One Million Names campaign here.
Megan Richardson is a graduate of Belmont University and staff writer for Kingdom Tribe Press.