This week my friend Sara and I went to the Museum of the Bible in The District. (Sara’s the church secretary, 5th Grade Sunday School teacher, Kids’ Worship songs leader, Good News Bible Club teacher in 2 schools, etc…) She has a big heart for sharing the good news of the gospel to kids, especially. You’ll have to excuse my pictures from the trip because they weren’t that good. But, you’ll get the idea of the museum.
We decided to take the Metro, and it was an extremely easy trip, since the Federal Center stop is pretty much connected to the museum. Bonus!
Admission is free, double bonus. Here’s a little write-up about the museum: I will say something about this and then no more: If you bring a non-Christian friend to the Museum of the Bible, it is a great conversation starter, but there isn’t much said about Jesus, sin, and salvation. There were a couple of times that Sara and I wondered about why certain things were said in a certain way. For example, in the Old Testament, the Kingdom of Israel is split into two kingdoms, Israel and Judah, and eventually are captured by Babylon and Assyria. The museum said that they were captured because they became weakened by the split. Yes, they were weakened, but the whole reason why they split and were eventually captured is because of their sin. They abandoned God.
We were also expecting Jesus to be the main focus of the New Testament area, but he was not. But, it’s a museum, and the main focus is to invite all people to engage with the Bible. It’ll pique curiosity, be a conversation starter, but you and the Holy Spirit will do the evangelizing. But isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be?
This is the layout of the place, minus floors 5 and 6. Floor 6 has a very yummy restaurant. We had lunch. (Thanks for the cookie, Sara!) Floor 5 has artwork and artifacts. It’s amazing that there were clay pots from 1200 or so BC in the museum.
We were told by someone that it’s one of those museums that you start at the top and work your way down. I would advise against that. Actually, I would do Floor 3 first. Floor 3 has amazing movie “experiences” about the Bible. The Old Testament was my favorite, but it was a little intense. I think my younger two would be afraid.
The second movie (which I would have watched last), is told by the disciple John. My favorite quote came from this movie. It was when the centurion exclaims, “Surely this man is the Son of God” after Jesus prays to God to forgive those who crucified and mocked him.
The third movie was focused on John the Baptist and King Herod. I was thinking, from the title, that it was going to be about Jesus’ life. But hey, John the Baptist is an important person in the New Testament. I wish that they would have linked his ministry of preparing people’s hearts for Jesus a lot better. I think it was more politically focused.
Let’s skip down to Floor 1. The children’s play area. It’s awesome. Like Sara said, this would be a great place to have a free playtime with the kids. Based on my experience with DC, fall and winter is, by far, the best time to visit. It’s empty.
Sara playing the arcade games…
Yep. The kids’ play area is pretty fantastic. At 10:30 on a Monday morning in January, we had the place to ourselves. I didn’t try the playground, though…
I wish I had more time for Floor 2, which highlighted the impact of the Bible on the world. Some of the things mentioned were hospitals, prison ministry and reform, common sayings, abolition of slavery, etc… I could have spent another hour there.
The last thing that we did was Washington Revelations. It was a motion movie ride that made you feel like you were flying around DC. (I was glad that I was in row 6 with the least amount of motion…) Sara saw from the brochure that the wind was blowing the girls’ hair around and she was not disappointed! The point of the 8 minute movie was to fly you around DC and highlight Scripture on buildings. I think the coolest hidden Scripture is the one on the tippity top of the Washington Monument.
So there you have it! I highly recommend the Museum of the Bible.