Have you heard of the Museum of the Bible? What is it and what can you see inside?
In this article, let’s take a look at 7 of its exciting exhibits:
- The Impact of the Bible
- The Stories of the Bible
- The History of the Bible
- The People of the Land
- The Shroud of Turin
- Personal Stories
- Heroes: The Bible Trivia Game
But first, let’s have an overview of this museun.
Let’s begin the tour!
What is the Museum of the Bible?
Located 3 blocks from the US Capitol in Washington, DC, the Museum of the Bible, measuring 430,000 square feet, opened in November 2017.
Currently headed by Harry Hargrave, it showcases historical artifacts spanning 4,000 years and offers visitors an immersive experience with the Bible, encouraging them to engage in its transformative power.
With this, the institution aims to be among the world’s most technologically advanced museums.
A Glimpse of the 7 Must-see Exhibits in the Museum
1) Experience the impact of the Bible in the world.
Located at Floor 2, “The Impact of the Bible” features the influence of the Bible in various places in the world.
Here, you will:
- Trace the history of the Bible in America from the time of its first settlement to the 21st century.
- Discover its impact in areas like film, music, literature, fashion, and government.
- See its dynamic presence in a live global data feed.
- Take a multi-sensory tour past biblical references in and around Washington, DC.
Isn’t it exciting?
2) Recall some Bible stories.
“The Stories of the Bible” at Floor 3 lets you walk through the stories of the Hebrew Bible.
Here, you can:
- Explore the biblical narratives and stories of the Noah’s ark, burning bush, Passover, and many more in a 30-minute Thea award-winning experience.
- Walk the streets, see the sights, and chat with the villagers of the 1st-century Nazareth.
- Experience the New Testament Theater, a 270-degree theater featuring the story of how Jesus’ followers grew into a thriving community.
How would you like to try these?
3) Review the history of the Bible.
At Floor 4, “The History of the Bible” lets you journey through biblical antiquity from handwritten scrolls to mobile devices.
In this exhibit, you will:
- See more than 600 fascinating artifacts such as New Testament manuscripts, ancient coins, Torah scrolls, illuminated manuscripts, and printed Bibles.
- Drive through the places and events of the Bible with Dave Stotts.
- Listen to the words of the Bible and engage in its rich heritage in the Bible Reading Room.
Interesting, isn’t it?
4) Study about the people of Israel.
Floor 5 takes you to “The People of the Land,” a long-term exhibit from the Israel Antiquities Authority.
Here, you will have the chance to:
- See archaeological discoveries, and learn about the life and culture of ancient Israel.
- Witness daily presentations of biblical narratives and performances in the World Stage Theater, a beautifully and technologically designed 472-seat theater.
Don’t miss this exhibit!
5) Examine a replica of the Shroud of Turin.
What is the Shroud of Turin?
The Shroud of Turin, also called the Holy Shroud, is a linen cloth believed for centuries to be Jesus’ burial garment.
Measuring 4.3 meters long and 1.1 meters wide, it portrays 2 faint brownish images of the back and front of a 5-foot, 7-inch man. It also contains markings corresponding to Jesus’ crucifixion wounds.
Preserved since 1578, the original shroud is kept in the cathedral of San Giovanni Battista in Turin, Italy.
How does the Museum of the Bible exhibit this?
With respect to the cathedral’s right to keep the original shroud, the Museum of the Bible only exhibits a replica of it.
It is in the form of an “extremely precise photographic negative image that’s on a non-photographic sensitive linen cloth,” according to Jesuit Priest Robert Spitzer.
The exhibit “[highlights] the gospel stories and [shows] how the shroud reflects that and how it’s depicted in the cloth,” giving you a “surface knowledge” to dig deeper into the Bible, Chief Curatorial Officer Jeffrey Kloha adds.
And the fun part of the exhibit, according to Curator Brian Hyland, are the interactives.
For instance, in an area focusing on the shroud as the mirror of the Gospels, there is an interactive table displaying a frontal image from the shroud.
There are sensors embedded by where Jesus’ wounds are. By waving your hand over these, a beam of light activates a voice reading a passage from the Gospels corresponding to the examined spot on the shroud.
Interesting, isn’t it?
Learn more about this exhibit by watching this video:
6) Be inspired by the life and martyrdom of Watchman Nee.
Opening last March 6, 2023, the “Personal Stories” exhibit explores the life and martyrdom of Watchman Nee.
Recognized as one of the most influential Christians of the 20th century, Nee was the founder of the Local Church Movement in China, the country’s first native Christian movement.
“When the Lord called me to serve Him, the prime object was not for me to hold revival meetings so that people might hear more scriptural doctrines, nor for me to become a great evangelist,” Nee described his focus on October 20, 1936.
Instead, “the Lord revealed to me that He wanted to build up local churches in other localities to manifest Himself, to bear testimony of unity on the ground of locality so that each saint might perform his duty in the church and live the church life.”
7) Play Heroes.
Yes, you’ve read it right!
Our very own game has been set up on the 4th floor of the museum in June and July of 2022.
And it is still available to be played with your whole family as part of the museum’s educational effort to help visitors become familiar with the stories of the Bible.
An overview of Heroes
What is it?
Developed by Hope Channel, Heroes: The Bible Trivia Game, as the name implies, is a Bible trivia game featuring Bible characters.
It aims to educate people on the biblical narratives and stories, teaching them lessons from the Word of God and drawing them closer to Jesus, the ultimate Superhero.
As Sam Neves, the creator of the game, puts it, Heroes was born for people “to familiarize themselves with the fascinating stories of the Bible, and to discover [that] they are called to be God’s heroes today [and] become Christ’s witnesses.”
The dictionary defines hero as “a person who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.”
It doesn’t say anything about superpowers. But because of pop culture, we associate the word hero with “someone who can yield superpowers.”
We commonly witness these superpowers in movies about heroes such as Superman and Spider-Man. And the world has been fascinated by this theme and artistic style.
But going back to the basic definition of hero, which implies someone who has done something remarkable, we are reminded of biblical heroes.
They have done amazing things because of the power that came from God. For instance, Joseph saved Egypt from famine by interpreting Pharaoh’s dream not by his own ability but by God’s divine wisdom.
Like the heroes from the Bible, you too can be a hero in your own way if you let God use you for His purpose.
How do you play this game?
After setting up your profile, begin your journey with Adam and Eve.
Answer a set of 12 multiple-choice questions. For every correct answer, you get manna, which serves as your coin to purchase power effects that boost your game.
As you keep playing, your manna increases until you unlock more heroes to play.
Sounds simple and easy, right?
Well, yes. But you need to nail each question to level up, which compels you to study and know your Bible well.
Such a worthwhile and meaningful game to not only enjoy adrenaline rush but also learn about the Bible and enhance your knowledge about it!
Where can you get this app?
If your device is run by Android, you can download Heroes from Google Play. It is compatible with Android 7 and above.
If your device is operated by Apple, download the game from the App Store.
Can you play it in your native language?
As of September 2022 this article was written, Heroes has been translated in these languages:
- Bahasa Melayu
What if your language is not on the list?
Don’t worry! We’re working on bringing it to as many other languages as possible.
Now, the Heroes exhibit in the museum
How and when did it start?
Hope Channel, the developer and publisher of Heroes, established a relationship with the Museum of the Bible.
The museum showed support and enthusiasm until it became interested in partnering with the network on behalf of Heroes.
It paved the way for the game to have its first exhibit in early June.
It was “quite positive,” said Justin Woods, Hope Channel’s director of digital distribution. With this, “the Museum of the Bible asked us to return for another exhibition.”
Request granted! Heroes came back for its second exhibit last July 1, 2022. Since then, the game has been part of the museum.
What does the exhibit offer?
In the Heroes exhibit are promotional posters and desks with staff to guide visitors through the gameplay. In the future, we hope to have more opportunities to make the game available.
The staff will orient you about the game—what it is all about, how to download it, how to play it, and so on. They will also give you some educational resources to take home and read.
And the most exciting part will always be that you can play the game on the provided tablets on the desks with the assistance of the staff.
What should you expect in the exhibit soon?
At the time of this writing (September 2022), Heroes was in conversation with the Museum of the Bible to design a children’s book and host a competition in the museum in 2023.
Don’t miss these projects. Stay tuned for updates.
Visit the Museum of the Bible Now!
Did you enjoy the tour? How would you like to have it in person soon?
Well, plan your visit to the Museum of the Bible now with your family and friends.
See you there!