Check Out Some New Renderings for the Museum of the Bible Coming to SW in 2017

4th and D Streets – revised to include “open” loading doors and open framed canopy
Renderings courtesy of Museum of the Bible and SMITHGROUPJJR

Thanks to ANC Rep Rachel Reilly Carroll for sharing a presentation with these new renderings. Museum of the Bible‘s website says:

“Museum of the Bible is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that exists to invite people to engage with the Bible through four primary activities: traveling exhibits of biblical artifacts from The Green Collection, academic research conducted through the Green Scholars Initiative, a yet-to-be-named international museum opening in 2017 in Washington, D.C., and an elective Bible curriculum for high school students.”

and from Wikipedia:

“In July 2012, The Green Collection announced the purchase of the Washington Design Center in D.C. for a reported $50 million to house the as-yet-unnamed national Bible museum. To be located two blocks from the National Mall at 300 D Street SW, near the Federal Center SW Metro station. The museum will reportedly charge admission, as do other private museums in Washington, such as the National Building Museum, the International Spy Museum, and the Newseum.”

4th and D Street, SW


More renderings after the jump.


D Street looking west

4th Street looking southeast

4th Street looking north
“4th Street looking north”

137 Comment

  • Assembled by the Green family, founders of national retail chain Hobby Lobby. From the wonderful people who think birth control is “immoral.” I wonder if they will have some animation talking donkeys, zombies, and a depiction of bears killing children.

  • This building is… not beautiful

  • mid city guy

    1. This is currently the Washington Design Center.
    2. Is that Noah’s Ark in the Lobby?!
    3. This is srsly a very weird building.

    • If this Bible Museum is charging admission, how will it ever compete with the city’s many other Bible museums that offer free programming? You know which ones I mean — churches.

      • Church isn’t free,. You must have left before they passed the collection plate.

        • And the sign said, “Everybody welcome. Come in, kneel down and pray”
          But when they passed around the plate at the end of it all, I didn’t have a
          penny to pay

          So I got me a pen and a paper and I made up my own little sign
          I said, “Thank you, Lord, for thinkin’ ’bout me. I’m alive and doin’ fine.”

          Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
          Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind
          Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?

        • The only truly free thing in life is Free Cone Day at Ben and Jerry’s.

      • Isn’t asking for money the one thing all religions have in common.

  • I’m pretty sure everyone should buy a couple Annoy-a-tron’s from Think Geek and spread them around. It should ensure that the museum is as successful as it should be.

  • What do these people have against windows? Don’t they want to see the light?

    • It’s designed so that the light only comes from above.

    • msmaryedith

      In a museum, you have to restrict light levels in galleries as it can damage artwork. If there are windows, they generally needs UV protection, etc. And if they are showing mostly bibles, then you’re dealing with works on paper that are EXTREMELY vulnerable to light exposure.

      • to say nothing of fact exposure.

      • Thank you for not simply bashing the museum and offering an actual explanation! I can see how light and the heat generated by lots of windows could damage the artifacts.

  • Why is everyone against a Bible museum. Are you all atheists? This is not the reaction I was expecting as I read these comments.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Not necessarily all atheist, there are religions that don’t use the Bible.

    • Then you haven’t met too many educated people. Welcome to DC!

    • justinbc

      Funny, I actually expected far worse.

    • Perhaps its because they believe the earth to be 6000 years old?

    • Even if one believes in God, accepts Christ as God on earth, and worships regularly, it does not mean one needs to embrace what will likely be a cheesy museum preying on tourists and advocating intolerant and intellectually questionable agendas. But remains to be seen; maybe it will be a very interesting museum with ancient artifacts, thoughtful exhibits, and real scholarly work being done.

      • I totally agree. I’m atheist but I find religion fascinating. If this were going to be an unbiased approach to Christianity, or the Bible, or any religion, I would consider visiting. It would be interesting to see a comparison of different sects of Christianity and how versions of the Bible are different, and I would also expect to see accounts of how Christianity has affected history and cultures (stories from villages visited by Mormon missionaries, life before Christianity in Central and South America, etc). And seeing old handwritten hand-illustrated bibles would probably be pretty cool.
        But, I fear that because this is run by the Hobby Lobby people it will not be that, and it will be just another way to make money off of people who blindly follow whatever their priest/pastors/reverends tells them without ever questioning the message. And anyone who says anything neutral or negative about this museum will add fuel to the “War on Christianity” mission that they love so much.

        • I’m with you. I think that if this museum focuses on historical examination of the Bible and its influence, this could be a really interesting museum. You don’t have to be a Christian to appreciate the role that Christianity and the Bible play in our world.

      • binpetworth

        Yeah–like tmj says below, I would visit this place if it were filled with Bibles from different parts of the world, produced on different materials, with different illustrations and really showcased the Bible as both literature and inspiration. Alas, I fear it is going to be a museum based on politics and interpretation rather than a bibliophile/historian’s dream.

        • Yes, I’d be very interested in a historic and scientific explanation of events depicted in the Bible (so what about that flood? that star? those customs?) but not at all interested in paying someone who attempts to deny evidence based science (evolution etc).

        • That does exist–the Guttenberg Museum in Mainz, Germany, has an extensive collection of exactly what you’re describing on display.

          • The Jewish Museum in NYC is excellent for that sort of thing, if somewhat limited for fans of the “new” testament.

        • These are just renderings of the building, which honestly—who cares. The exhibits are what make a museum worth visiting or not. I happen to be working on the design for one of the larger exhibits in this museum, and it will be filled with actual Bibles from all over the world and from different Christian traditions. [Jewish too.]

      • Agreed with TMJ and BinPetworth.
        A museum of the Bible _could_ be a really interesting and cool thing. However, I don’t think this particular one is likely to be.

    • Can’t speak for everyone, but my problem with it is that it won’t teach the bible for what it is – a historical (by that I mean written many centuries ago) document on which SOME religions are based. It will probably teach creationism, pro-life politics… and we don’t need any more people who deny basic facts of science.

      • If people want to see a museum devoted to denying basic scientific evidence (creationism, pro-life, etc.), then they can walk a few blocks and try to spot some Republicans in the House.

    • Because some people are offended by anything that’s against their beliefs. The very existence of this museum hurts them. I guess they will be forced to go there when it opens.

      • I can’t speak for all snarky comments on here, but I am certainly not offended, just amused and appreciate the perfect topic to set up amusing commentary. So thanks bible museum for bringing a smile to my face this morning!

    • Nope. We’re Christians — unlike the Greens, who worship money and ignorance.

      • Scriptures, n. The sacred books of our holy religion, as distinguished from the false and profane writings on which all other faiths are based. —Ambrose Bierce, writer (1842-1914), from The Devil’s Dictionary

    • Another atheist.

      I’d be interested in a scholarly Bible museum that takes into accord the various translations and iterations. It wouldn’t be from Christianity is under Attack in America! point of view.

  • Finally the Bible will be where it belongs — a museum.

  • Good Lord, DC’s tourists are about to get so much more annoying.

  • I think the penultimate photo with the guy scratching his head pretty much sums it up.

  • Currently the property tax records say it say this property is a Store-Shopping Mall. My question is will this “museum” get a property tax break for being a religious thing-a-ma-jig? If so, I’m going to be angry. Everyone should pay their fair share of taxes, especially when they are a drain on society.

  • As someone who goes to church regularly, I probably won’t go to this museum, just because there really isn’t anything in the description that appeals to me. I would not be surprised to see it do well, as a lot of church-going folks from out of town will probably go and check it out. Knowing DC, it is not being built for the locals anyways.

  • Ugly building for sure.

  • would this employer be required to be compliant with DC’s non-discrimination laws (including sexual orientation)?

    I too think it would be interesting to have a museum devoted to biblical scholarship and serious discussion. however, since that’s a money-losing proposition, it won’t be long before we see dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden (such as the Creation Museum in Kentucky has).

    • Yes, nonprofit organizations are required to follow local labor and nondiscrimination laws, which in DC includes LGBT and religious protections.

  • Just a few blocks from NASA headquarters!

    Maybe they can have an exciting joint exhibit about the history of Christians in astronomy. Yay, Copernicus!

  • It’s going to make a killing during the annual roe vs wade protests in February I’m sure…

  • The amount of bile in these comments is quite astounding. Way to go guys!

    • justinbc

      It hasn’t quite reached Westboro levels yet.

    • I think the vitriol is not anti-religion, atheist, or intolerant – rather, it’s based on perhaps and unspoken/unwritten knowledge that, given the views of the museum’s sponsors, this will likely NOT be a place for unbiased education about various versions of historical religious texts, but rather a building dedicated to proselytizing masquerading as teaching.

      • + 1 million.

      • Nobody is forcing anyone to go there.

        • No, I agree. They raised the money; they can build a building and fill it with almost anything they choose to fill it with. This will not affect me one bit, and will probably minimally impact the average commenter, if at all. But, people are still entitled to their opinions about what they would have rather seen that property become.

          • agreed. although calling it the bible museum, to me, is offensive. i guess “Singular View of Christianity’s New and Old Testament Museum” doesn’t have the same ring to it. perhaps im pre-judging, but given the Green family ties, i wouldn’t be surprised if this museum had an exhibit on why sexuality diversity is forbidden and has no place in our society. as a person that adhere’s to a different faith than the one we are likely to find preached through the halls of this museum, im tired of proselytizing groups hijacking concepts like the bible and family values to benefit of their agenda and force it down our throats. i may have just contradicted myself but whatever thats how i feel

        • uhhhh…. jesus?

    • Eh, these comments are pretty tame.

    • These comments are about the furthest thing from “bile”. “Bile” would be personal attacks against Christians and Christianity. Of which I see not one.

      I hate that they’re calling it a museum. Museums are about education and information. This appears to be the opposite of that. Why can’t the family just build a church, since that’s what they really want? Same tax free status.

    • Bile? Someone’s a little defensive today. Honestly, the comments are — as someone already pointed out — pretty tame. You can’t put yourself out there like the Hobby Lobby people did and not expect a few potshots. And that goes for both sides, so let us have our fun with these intolerant gasbags (and, yeah, I see the irony) and you can have your fun with TENAC or someone like that.

    • It looks like “bile” is missing a “b” in there…

  • And why not a Museum of Religions and Philosophies instead?
    Where the different religions, throughout time and continents, would be compared to each other, analyzed objectively?
    How Christians, Jews and Muslims share the same roots of Values… How they evolved from previous polytheists religions in the middle east? etc…
    That would be an amazing place to bring people and peoples together…

    A Museum of Bible (Not Christianity, just Bible, a book wrote by human beings, based on their own interpretation of God’s message) can only be sectarian and proselyte.

    • justinbc

      It’s paid for by a family with private funds, so I imagine they could put up whatever they want to in this space. If they want to depict Jesus landing on the moon and battling Thor they can. I would love to see your hypothetical museum, once you raise the millions of dollars necessary to build it.

      • +1 on the creative writing–the moon is more believable than Kolob. You should change your handle to JosephSmith and start looking for gold plates in your row house treebox.

      • I’d rather see J.C. and Thor team up and defeat communism

    • Because……it is to display a private collection of bibles?

  • Those renderings are awful and that is saying something.

    Can’t imagine I will ever go to this but then it is being build for the tourists.

  • Oh goodness. A whole museum dedicated to a work of FICTION. I’ll bet someone will be trying to relocate the remains of Charleton Heston to a place of honor in the new museum.

    • As I mention below, a “fiction” that is the most influential work in Western civilization. You don’t have to believe in it, but to deny its impact is just ignorant, in the truest sense of the word.

      (and I agree it is fiction)

    • See, dismissing the Bible as “fiction” is just as ignorant as claiming it to be all rock-solid truth straight from the mouth of god. It contains valuable historical information, and as Beata said, has been more influential than any other writing in human history, bar none.
      You do your fellow non-Christians NO favors with that attitude.

      • It contains valuable historical information? Hmm, such as what?

        But yes, it is more influential than any other writing in western history, for better or worse.

      • No favors? Wow. That might be the most unintentionally arrogant posts I’ve ever seen. See, we non-Christians don’t need anyone doing us favors to validate our position. Your approval doesn’t mean anything, so why exactly would o2bncdg’s post help or hurt us either way?
        And you mistakenly conflate influence and truthfulness. One has absolutely nothing to do with the other. Also, your first sentence is complete and utter hogwash. Believing that the bible is the rock-solid, literal truth is not a universal belief among Christians, so I think it’s safe to say that it’s not a 50/50 tossup as to which is the more grounded position.

      • Speaking as somebody with an actual history background, there is not anything “historic” in the bible. It is primarily a work of fiction.

  • I’m religiously ambiguous and I think this is great. The bible is the most influential work in western civilization. Exhibits over how it evolved, it’s impact, the battles over it, etc. would be fascinating.

    • Do you really think the “museum” will provide unbiased information regarding the evolution of the Bible? After all, according to the people funding the place, the Bible was written by god, right? So from the first moment it existed, it was perfect and complete, by definition, as are all works of god. And by definition, no creation of god can cause harm. Only the influence of Satan can do that. I agree with you that a historical and cultural treatment of the Bible could be really cool. I think if you’re expecting that, you will be disappointed.

      • No Christian who has any understanding of his/her religion thinks the Bible was written by God. The book itself makes no such claim to divine authorship.

      • According to the site, it will include dead sea scrolls, artifacts of the protestant reformation, King James version, etc., which negates your assumption. In fact, you should probably go and learn something. I’ve never met ANYONE who thinks the bible was written by God.

        • Haven’t been to Kansas or Texas, have you?

        • As far as you know. I doubt you’ve discussed it with everyone you’ve met.

        • Get out more, Beata. Half my extended family believe that the Bible is the literal word of god. And they all belong to megachurches with thousands of members who believe the same. Whether or not one credits them with “any understanding of their religion” it’s what they believe. Statements that “no on believes that” are just kinda… well… ignorant.

  • With the exception of the strange configuration they plan to add, the building itself is actually beautiful …otherwise the Design Center would not have chosen it. The museum itself I have issues with based on its backers and they’re blind faith. I was taught (by a religious institution) to look at the Old Testament as fiction – examples to live by and NOT to be taken literally . My hope is that “freedom of religion” is minded and it doesn’t follow a Westboro Baptist path.

  • Serious question..if it was a museum on the Koran, would the comments be the same?

    • To make your analogy analogous, IF the US had a strong tradition of Islam as it does Christianity, and IF such a Koran Museum was funded by people viewed by most to have fringe views, then… Yes, the comments would likely be very much the same.

    • I suspect they would be equally or more offensive.

    • Not in the least. I’ve come to understand that one of the worst things you can be in Popville (other than a Maryland driver, young black male or someone who doesn’t like pets) is a Bible-reading Christian, you are obviously misguided and deserve to be trounced by the readership. The vitriol reserved for Christians – without an equal amount tossed at other religions – is really amazing.

      • I’ll speak for myself here, but I think the failure on the part of those “anti-Christians” is in not identifying the particular subset of Christians/Christian Beliefs that they object to. I may be wrong here, but I think most of these commentators are not, generally speaking, anti-Christian.

      • Yes, because Christians are so persecuted and have never persecuted any other group or religion ever in the history of the world…

        • actually worldwide, christians are currently the most persecuted religious group.

          • Strictly by numbers? Well it IS the biggest religion in the world so not a big surprise that it also has the most people persecuted.

      • There certainly seems to be a fashion in hipster/more-clever-than-thou circles of belittling Christianity and all of its adherents.
        I’m pretty low-key about religion, and a strong proponent of “live and let live,” letting other people do their thing, etc. And there is a lot to be criticized in how various churches have conducted themselves in the past, and how they conduct themselves in the present — not to mention the disproportionate influence that right-wing evangelicals have had in American politics.
        But there are some things that cross the line into being offensive and just plain unnecessary, like Facebook friends mocking Easter as a “zombie Jesus” ritual.

        • jim_ed

          Well said. Christianity falls into the same box as Walmart, the Redskins name, and chain restaurants like Applebee’s, in that you can feel safe in making a lazy or cliche argument and meet with general approval. Its the urban liberal equivalent to attending a tea part rally and screaming “socialism” or “benghazi” repeatedly.

        • Well, there is actually a fashion in 21st century circles of belittling any religion, based on the fact that they are antiquated fairy tales that adherents parade as proven fact. But I guess this sort of comment is what someone above considered “bile”?

          • Yeah. If someone’s not pushing their (deeply held) beliefs on you, calling them “antiquated fairy tales” is unnecessary and inflammatory — and just as offensive as when certain religious proselytizers insist that theirs is the One True Way and that you’re going to hell if you don’t follow it.

          • These two are not equal. One is evidenced based one is belief based. Proselytizing unproven fairy tales is very different then proselytizing scientific facts.

          • It doesn’t matter what either is based on; they’re both annoying and intrusive. Just leave people the hell alone.
            As long as people keep their beliefs to themselves and don’t try to impose them on you, it doesn’t matter whether you think those beliefs are invalid, delusional, etc.
            Obnoxious militant atheists give other atheists a bad reputation, just like obnoxious militant believers give believers a bad reputation.

          • Faith-and this urge that athiests should respect the concept of faith-has a huge effect on society. It allows the evangelicals to flourish–as long as some people consider faith and religion when voting and making political decisions in public office (e.g. creationism in textbooks) people will proselytize science for the good of society. Labeling us militant will not stop it.

        • I like your comment. I simply don’t understand why some have to belittle beliefs they don’t share. You put it better than I have though; I just wonder why people are dicks.

      • Whatever. The last thing that Christians anywhere in the US can claim to be is marginalized or persecuted. Claims to the contrary are just silly.

    • what is your expectation?
      my guess is it would be worse.

  • Here’s a good read on some of the other “projects” being bankrolled out of the same funds being used to build this

  • this isn’t a joke?

  • I really wish this were closer to Waterfront Metro so that the audience would be faced with the conundrum of riding the evil green line to visit the “museum”

  • Shouldn’t this place just be one wing of the future Science Fiction Museum we’re getting in DC?

  • If I was photographed by the “Museum” of the Bible, I would want my face blurred out too.

  • im going to open another museum across the street also called “the bible museum.” my bible museum will exhibit beliefs/concepts/teachings/whatever that will likely run contrary to those of the original bible museum. then the original bible museum will sue my bible museum for stealing its name and i’ll claim religious discrimination and then things will really get interesting.

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