The Bittersweet Thought of a Museum of the Bible

The Museum of the Bible in Washington D. C. is scheduled to open its doors about a year from now.  Until then, construction continues on the 430,000 square-foot building that sits just three blocks south of the U.S. Capitol building.  It is going to be very impressive facility.

The project was initially funded by the Green family (Hobby Lobby), and since then donations have come from a variety of sources.  I’m grateful to them all.

If I were near Washington, I would definitely want to see the place.  It sounds like a first-class operation, with respected scholars involved in every phase of the exhibits being produced.  It sounds as if a visit there would be a thoroughly engaging and richly rewarding investment of time – at least that’s the hope I and many others have.

What is there to be down about?  That it’s a sign of the times in our country that the Bible is deemed to be something that belongs in a museum.  You know, a place where they keep old, dusty stuff.

According to American society today, the Bible does not belong in the classroom.  Neither does it belong on television or radio unless someone can collect enough money to purchase time for it.  Even then, you won’t see many television commercials for it on the Super Bowl because that would be deemed too controversial.  The Bible can be used to swear in our nation’s president, but the caterwauling would never stop if he or she were to open it up in the Oval Office and consult it for wisdom on policy decisions.  The same goes for Congress and the Supreme Court.  I cannot easily imagine a museum for the Bible being opened in 1776 – back then, people were using their Bibles much too frequently and ubiquitously for it to have been considered something appropriate for a museum exhibit.

The Washington Post “welcomed” news of the Museum of the Bible in 2015 with an opinion piece titled “Critics call it evangelical propaganda. Can the Museum of the Bible convert them?”  Alas, in Washington D.C. about the only kind of facility that its power brokers would consider allowing to house the holy book would be a museum – in their minds it’s a mausoleum for something dead.

However, since the Bible testifies of a God who raises the dead, who knows?

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