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“Museum of the Bible has inked a major new long-term alliance with the Israel Antiquities Authority to display a selection from the two million ancient artifacts”

by Prince Of Petworth August 18, 2015 at 4:10 pm 35 Comments

rendering of 4th and D Street, SW courtesy Museum of the Bible and SMITHGROUPJJR

From a press release:

Museum of the Bible has inked a major new long-term alliance with the Israel Antiquities Authority to display a selection from the two million ancient artifacts in Israel’s National Treasures in a dedicated top-floor gallery, set to open with the rest of the Museum of the Bible in the fall of 2017. Through this multi-year agreement, archeological objects from the Israel Antiquities Authority, the government mandated organization in charge of all matters of archaeology in Israel, will be exhibited at the Museum of the Bible. Because the Israel Antiquities Authority currently has 39 active archeological digs around Israel, some of the artifacts that might be displayed in Museum of the Bible may not even have been discovered yet. Museum of the Bible is also dedicated to the excavation of archaeological sites in Israel and is currently beginning an archeological dig at Tel-Shimron, one of the largest and most historically significant sites in Israel.

The Museum of the Bible’s assets already include the Green Collection, approximately 40,000 objects that include some of the rarest and most significant biblical texts and artifacts ever assembled under one roof. Highlights include cuneiform tablets dating from the time of Abraham, biblical papyri and manuscripts, Torah scrolls, and rare printed Bibles. The Museum is set to be one of the most modern and technologically advanced museums in the world when it opens its doors in the fall of 2017.

“The Israel Antiquities Authority is thrilled and proud to partner with the Museum of the Bible on this landmark project. Making the archaeological heritage of the Land of Israel and the vital archaeological work conducted by the IAA available and accessible to people around the world is our mission. The rare opportunity to have a long-term exhibition in the U.S. Capital of a large selection of archaeological treasures that were excavated in Israel and illuminate the story of the Bible is remarkable. We hope that the many expected visitors will enjoy the archaeological exhibits and learn about the periods and descriptions of the Bible and the rich and diverse history and the archaeology of the Holy Land,” said Israel Hasson, Director of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

“When we set out to build the best new museum in the world, we knew the museum would be even better if we joined forces with some of the greatest collections anywhere. The Israel Antiquity Authority’s unparalleled two million artifacts, along with the 40,000 objects in Museum of the Bible’s Green Collection, will combine for a new standard of museum experience, unlike any ever seen before,” said Cary L. Summers, Museum of the Bible’s President.

The Israel Antiquities Authority exhibit space of approximately 4,000 square feet will be built out by Museum of the Bible’s state of the art teams that have been bringing the museum to life since before its February 2015 groundbreaking. The Museum of the Bible architectural plans have allotted approximately 20,000 square feet to visiting museums and libraries and partners like the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The Israel Antiquities Authority previously exhibited the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Library of Congress in Washington, DC in 1993 in an exhibition entitled: “Scrolls From the Dead Sea: The Ancient Library of Qumran and Modern Scholarship.”

  • Anon

    Really? What’s next “Museum of Harry Potter”? “Museum of Lord of the Rings”?

    • vannessie

      At least those museums would, I assume, treat the subject matter as what they are, works of fiction. I doubt the Hobby lobby Museum will do so.

      • blahblahblah

        I would go to those museums. a) because they would be way more interesting than this one and b) because they would not be trying to proselytize or guilt trip me about anything.

        • LittleBluePenguin


    • neighbor

      “Museum of Harry Potter” – Already exists. It’s in Orlando. And it, like everything else in Orlando, is a travesty.

    • You are why atheists can’t have nice things. It could be (though admittedly probably isn’t) more like “the Museum of Shakespeare” or “the Museum of Plato.” One need not be a holy roller to respect the Bible’s contribution to literature and ethical thought. The KJV is quite possibly the best thing ever written by a committee.

      • Anonymous

        Dan Harris is why athiests can’t have nice things. The above poster is mild.

      • anon

        Quoting from the Bible Museums’ newsletter posted on their webpage:

        “Bible curriculum that could reach high school students, to be introduced into the wider U.S. educational market (public, private, and charter schools)….That was the goal. And now it’s becoming reality!”

        It’s not unreasonable to push back against such zealotry. And the best thing ever written by a committee, I’ll take the Apollo mission, or any one of the the many scientific endeavors we have embarked upon.

        • textdoc

          It’s not unreasonable to push back against proselytizers and zealotry, no. But that doesn’t mean it’s necessary to be so dismissive, or to tar all believers with the same brush.
          I’m mostly with PDMtP on this. I’m deeply suspicious of the Hobby Lobby people bringing out a “Museum of the Bible,” but that doesn’t mean that the _idea_ of a Museum of the Bible is itself flawed, or that the Bible itself needs to be dissed.
          Whether you’re religious or not, the Bible has tremendous historical significance. Read or seen “Wolf Hall”? People used to be put to death for translating the Bible into English (and other languages).

      • Lack of real separation between church and state is why atheists can’t have nice things.

  • vannessie

    Can’t at all get excited about this; this museum is the project of the scummy Hobby Lobby people. On top of that, I work in this area, and the construction is an absolute nightmare.

  • Truxton Thomas

    Is this going to be like one of those museums with dinosaur displays that say they lived approximately 5,000 years ago? Because I’ve always wanted to ride a dinosaur on a saddle.

    • JJ


      • Adam

        +5,000, more like it.

  • Anon

    This place would actually be pretty cool you could trust them to base it on serious historical knowledge and artifacts, but you just know that someone involved is going to take this opportunity to play preacher.

  • KenyonDweller

    I can’t wait to see Adam and Eve playing with T. Rex in the Garden of Eden.

  • Good illustrations are still gold for all fictions – the bible , Litte House on the Prarie ( wow – those pencil drawings by -Garth Williams) Aesop, Arabian nights, etc. Even Islam if you can get past the whole Islamic stuff.

    I wish everyone would just get past the religious s**t and just do the art.

  • anon

    The saddest part is tourists from the Bible belt are going to come to DC and then pay to go to this museum when they could be going to an actual museum with actual educational value.

    • I’m happy to take money from the bible belt tourists!

      • JohnH

        Are you the owner of:

        -Fuddrucker’s Gallery Place
        -One of the “chain” concession trucks parked all over the Mall
        -A Best Western in Beltsville?

        • No. It was a generic appreciation of increased tourist dollars.

  • JohnH

    That building, with the fewest amount of windows possible, looks like a prison.

  • I am thinking this Museum of the Bible will not compare with the one in Amsterdam, which is genuinely fascinating.

  • Roberto

    Revealing comments. I wouldn’t expect the same tone on a post announcing a Museum of the Torah or the Museum of the Koran. And no, I am not a Christian.

    • Since both the Torah and the Koran – along with the bible and just about all other “religious” books promote divisiveness, insularity, self righteousness and intolerance – yes, you should expect the same tone.

      • d


      • Roberto

        I guess I was taught to respect others’ religious beliefs, not to mock them.

        • Did someone teach you how the Internet works, though?

        • anon

          There is a difference between mocking a person’s beliefs and mocking a multimillion dollar evangelical enterprise.

          • Brendan

            Yeah and it seems many of the comments in this section can’t grasp how to mock the latter without disrespecting the former

          • dcd

            @Brendan – which comments, specifically, “can’t grasp how to mock the latter without disrespecting the former.” I don’t see any, though I’m pretty hardened and cynical. What’s got you upset?

          • textdoc

            Referring to a religious text — any religious text — as “fiction” is a bit inflammatory. Just because something isn’t literally true doesn’t mean it should be categorized the same way as works intended to be fiction.

          • Truxton Thomas

            I have no problem mocking either, especially when Bronze Age belief systems domestically are rewarded with tax breaks while inhibiting social progress and globally destabilize entire regions of the world, all while adherents completely ignore the fundamental lesson of the founders of these religions: to value the humanity of others as much as you do your own.

          • @textdoc I completely disagree. Refusing to call these things what they are, fables, stories, fiction, whatever, is what allows them to retain so much power over society. If we collectively called them on their bullshit then perhaps we could help move past ridiculous beliefs that inhibit the aspirations this country had upon founding.

    • HobbyLobby

      If those museums were funded by backwards extremists of those religions then yes I think they would get the same tone.


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