Museum of the Bible


When the Green family—best known as the Hobby Lobby owners who went to the Supreme Court to win their right not to offer abortifacient coverage to employees—decided to open a Museum of the Bible just off the National Mall in Washington, D.C., many observers worried the result would be soaked in an evangelical or even literalist understanding of Christianity.

Thankfully, that's not the case. The exhibits, which explore the content, history, and impact of "the most widely published book ever," have earned grudging accolades from some critics for acknowledging uncomfortable truths, such as how the texts were long used to justify slavery.

Indeed, the museum takes an expansive and largely nonsectarian view of its subject matter. "Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all recognize a common history," one sign reads. The day I visited, a rabbi was on hand to demonstrate his work as a Torah scribe.

An array of timeworn Bible specimens are also displayed, representing faith traditions from Samaritan and Catholic to Coptic and Romanian Orthodox. The grandest space, however, is reserved for the King James Version.

The founders are Protestants, after all.

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  1. As little use as I have for the Bible (or Koran, or Torah; I don’t need a book to know to not lie, cheat, or steal), I do like the language and style of the King James Bible. Not as good as Shakespeare, but it sounds great when read by the right voice.

    (When I read Shakespeare, the unknown words simply mess it up. When I hear it spoken by great actors, the unknown words are obvious in a general sense just from context and tone of voice. I know I miss some details that way, but it doesn’t affect my enjoyment.)

  2. Oh yeah, the Hobby Lobby hypocrites.

    No birth control for employees because “religious morals” but totally okay to pay money to ISIS controlled areas for ancient artifacts. Never mind ISIS using those payments to fund their murdering, raping, and pillaging across the Middle East.

    What would Jesus do? Apparently the answer is visit the museum.

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