(Thanks to Carol L. for today’s post!)
Nestled in the center of Washington D.C. just two blocks from the National Mall, near the Air and Space Museum and not far from the U.S. Capitol Building is the Museum of the Bible. Since it’s opening on November 17th, 2017, a number of Christadelphians have made the journey to visit. Some have come across the country, some from overseas and in at least one case, a whole busload of brothers and sisters made the trip from Canada.
So, what is the big attraction? Well, it is a world class museum dedicated to the scholarly recognition of the Bible as the word of God influencing the course of world history. When I visited with my family in the Spring of 2018, we shook our heads and said, “the world around us is without excuse” (Romans 1:20). Here we were within walking distance of the great halls of global political power and the testimony of scripture is being solemnly affirmed.
The insignia of the museum was carefully chosen. It is the capital letter B turned counter-clockwise onto its back so as to look like the double stones of the Ten Commandments. With its nonsectarian, nonpolitical and non-proselytizing claim, the museum is set on educating visitors, which it does tastefully.
Our first tour was of the fourth floor’s permanent exhibit about “The Story of the Bible.” The sight and sound walk through the life of Moses was riveting. It was the enactment of the experience of Moses seeing the burning bush and hearing the voice of the Almighty, followed by the passover drama before the escape through the Red Sea. To hear the proclamation, “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel” was enough to give us chills. This would be not only suitable for children of Sunday School age but a meaningful experience for them.
As impressive as is the Grand Hall, the fourth floor’s History of the Bible exceeds all this grandeur for those who love the book. Handwritten scrolls, hundreds of precious artifacts such as one of the oldest papyrus fragments of the Gospel of John as well as pages from the Gutenberg Bible. It is a stunning testimony to the need to know the book and its message. There are exhibits which may be of less interest to the Christadelphian visitor, but there is nothing off doctrinally.
If you need to pick up the pace – try the Archeology section with a frenzied ride in an antique jeep through the land to archeological proof places.
Admission when we visited was a $15 donation. I see now that it is a entrance fee of $20 online and $25 at the door. Children, ages 7-17 are $10 or $15. Kids 6 and under are free.
There are additional paid attractions such as a virtual reality tour – touted as a shoestring tour of the lands of the Bible. We found that for our first visit there was not enough time to see and experience the permanent exhibits so we didn’t go to the additional attractions. Don’t miss the Manna Restaurant on the sixth floor! A sample of an entree might be Exodus which includes “saffron rice pilaf, Mediterranean-spiced roasted chicken with Manna salsa verde, marinated chickpeas & roasted tomatoes, curried pickled vegetables & a Greek olive tapenade.” Hey? Where are the leeks and garlic?
One thing that I can say overall is that the museum is state-of-the-art, high tech and grand. It is full of good information on a lofty subject. Definitely worth a trip to D.C.
The one great perks of travel is visiting local ecclesias at your destination. The Washington D.C. area has four meetings. Hope to see you there!
9240 Riggs Road, Adelphi, Maryland 20783
Contact: David and Lis Perry
Northern Virginia Ecclesia
Contact: Mike and Melissa Kemp
Lyon Village Community Center
Contact: Jonathan and Corina Midgett
6311 Loudon Avenue, Elkridge, Maryland
Contact: Bill and Carol Link