A Visit to the Museum of the Bible

On a Sunday in February, four of my family (Ed, Jeffrey, Julio and I) went to Washington, D.C., to tour the Museum of the Bible.

The entrance, on the right, has two 40-foot tall bronze doors depicting text from Genesis 1 from an early edition of the Gutenberg Bible, in Latin. So as you enter the museum, you actually walk into the Bible.

From the observation area on the top floor you can see much of the city.

There are seven floors of all kinds of displays. I will introduce you to only a few items.

A reproduction of the Memeptah Stele (stone monument), 1208 BC. In cuneiform writing, this stele recounts the military conquests of the pharaoh Memeptah of Egypt. Near the bottom, he mentions that he “wiped out” a people called Israel. This is one of the earliest extra-Biblical references to Israel, confirming the historical accuracy of the Bible.

A closer view of the same stele. The photo has a distracting glare because of the overhead lighting.

The above two photos are of a replica of the Lachish Mural, created in Nineveh about 681 BC.

King Sennacherib of Assyria came to the nation of Judah in 701 BC to destroy its fortified cities. Lachish, southwest of Jerusalem, was the second to last of the cities he attacked. The mural is from Sennacherib’s palace in Nineveh and depicts the battle of Lachish, which is narrated in 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles, and the book of Isaiah. The record of the Lachich Mural again proves that the Bible gets it right.

A model of Jerusalem in the time of the kings of Judah. The temple complex is in the upper right section.

A large hall contains dozens of Bibles and descriptions of early persons who translated the Bible from Latin into vernacular languages.

In another area there is an impressive display of a circular library with over 6,000 volumes, one volume for each language of the world. The majority of the volumes represents languages that do not yet have any portion of the Scriptures at all.

A scene representing Nazareth as it was in Jesus’ day.

Another scene in Nazareth.

A portion of the Hebrew Bible in a scroll, similar to what was used in Jesus’ day. Note that the sections of the scroll are laced together so that if a mistake is made in hand lettering one section, the scribe does not need to discard the entire scroll. He can simply rewrite that one sheet.

For the first time in my life I learned about the Wiedmann Bible, which depicts the complete OT and NT in pictures. This Bible is on display at the museum. As you will have guessed, the above scene shows Joseph and Mary arriving in Bethlehem before the birth of Jesus.

The Bible was created by Willy Wiedmann (1929-2013) in Stuttgart, Germany, over a period of 16 years and consists of 3,333 hand painted images.

A portion of the Wiedmann Bible.

The entire work, “the world’s longest painted Bible.”

This is an exact replica of the portable pulpit used by George Whitefield (1714-1770) for outdoor preaching. Whitefield was an English Anglican minister and evangelist who was one of the founders of Methodism and the evangelical movement. He had several preaching tours in America and was part of the Great Awakening here.

The display mentions that “The Marks of the New Birth” was one of his greatest and most successful sermons, which he preached on many occasions.

With that, I close this blog post. Obviously, the Museum of the Bible contains so much more than I can narrate. I urge you to visit it for yourself.

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