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Bible museum to let Bible 'speak for itself'

When the Museum of the Bible opens its doors to the public about a year from now, it will feature eight floors of exhibits and resources documenting the narrative, history and impact of the Bible that would take nine eight-hour days to view one-by-one.

A brief overview shows it will be world-class in every way:

David Trobisch, who oversees the museum’s collection, says his biggest hope is that the evidence being assembled will convince people to look deeper into the Bible and its message.

“In the Sunday School approach kids hear what is right,” he said. “With teens it’s different. We think we can only create credibility when we show them the facts.”

The facts are the goal of the $400 million project launched by the Green family of Hobby Lobby fame. Steve Green is the company’s founder and chairman of the board, which includes many well-known Christian leaders.

The museum’s 430,000 square feet on eight floors includes two underground floors and two being added to the existing building, which is only a couple of blocks from the U.S. Capitol.

The $400 million project will have three themes: the narrative, history and impact of the Bible.

It will feature everything from original fragments of the Dead Sea scrolls to the illuminated Bibles of the medieval times to the stories of Russian Orthodox Christians, who have had little contact with the rest of the Christian world.

In an age when Christianity is openly under attack, one book that champions the Bible as absolute truth is surprising even longtime Christians with amazing facts many people simply don’t know are included in the pages of Holy Scripture. Get your copy of “Shocked by the Bible: The Most Astonishing Facts You’ve Never Been Told” at the WND Superstore!

The museum will examine the impact of Christianity on slavery in England and in America, showing there were believers on both sides of the issue and explaining the basis of their views.

The museum will be designed to let visitors “find their own voice,” Trobisch told WND, much like a university professor.

It will be “trying to provide a learning experience without controlling the outcome.”

It already has weathered criticism, including concerns from Mathew Staver of Liberty Counsel that billionaire Paul Singer is partnering with the museum to create a program called Passages Israel, which takes Christian college students to Israel.

Singer is a leading activist regarding promotions of same-sex “marriage” and the LGTB agenda, and has focused on reaching young leaders to build support for that movement in the law and the GOP.

But such agendas are a byproduct, contends Trobisch, who told WND the objective is to assemble a world-class collection of biblical artifacts and evidence.

The museum already has, he said, for example, the largest collection of Torah scrolls (3,500), Bible fragments from Qumran and pieces of the New Testament in Greek. There are sermons from Charles Spurgeon, and letters by Martin Luther King Jr. and by John Calvin to show how the Bible influenced such greats.

He noted the museum will not whitewash conflicts in Christian history but will explain the arguments that were made at the time.

But he said it also will provide a means to spreading the story of the Bible.

“Many people nowadays don’t know who Isaac was, or that Paul was one of the disciples,” he explained. In some parts of the world, “people never have heard the crucifixion story.”

The museum, he explained, is not merely a building in Washington, it’s a “global concept.” And it’s partnering with the Louvre and interests in Germany, Australia (which happens to have Shakespeare’s personal Bible) and Italy.

Trobisch said he recently was in India looking at the archives of famed pioneer missionary William Carey to see “how to tell the story of the Bible in India.”

He wants, he said, “people to engage with the Bible.

“We trust that the Bible will speak for itself.”

The museum was established as a nonprofit in 2010, and its collection debuted at the Vatican Embassy in Washington in 2011. The Washington Design Center was purchased for $50 million in 2012 and in 2014 approval was obtained for the remodeling work.

Major construction began in 2015, when a long-term alliance was reached with Israel Antiquities for displays, with the anticipated opening date of 2017.

As the work goes on, various milestones are being reached.

Just this month, Brill, a leading international academic publisher, released the first in a series of volumes based on research sponsored by the museum.

The volume continues findings on 13 previously unpublished Dead Sea Scrolls fragments. It was edited by Emanuel Tov of Hebrew University, Kipp Davis of Trinity Western University and Robert Duke of Azusa Pacific University.

“It is the culmination of four years of research that involved some 50 scholars comprised of a core editorial team, 11 chapter authors and 35 co-authors,” the museum said.

It is part of the “Scholars Initiative,” which “facilitates a global network of scholars to pursue research and provide students with an opportunity to develop as scholars under the guidance of scholar-mentors. Key to this research model is the involvement of leading international scholars who provide supervision and oversight.”

“The team of emerging scholars working on this Museum of the Bible Scholars Initiative research project, many of whom had never delved into the Dead Sea Scrolls, operated in an incredibly professional way,” said Tov. “With supervisory guidance, they produced strong results and, in my opinion, this mentoring system of the Scholars Initiative was a great success.”

The 236-page Brill volume, containing five tables and 41 photographs, is titled “Dead Sea Scrolls Fragments in the Museum Collection.”

In an age when Christianity is openly under attack, one book that champions the Bible as absolute truth is surprising even longtime Christians with amazing facts many people simply don’t know are included in the pages of Holy Scripture. Get your copy of “Shocked by the Bible: The Most Astonishing Facts You’ve Never Been Told” at the WND Superstore!