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The Museum of the Bible was the highlight of our trip so I am going to review it separately from the other things that we did in Washington, DC. As I review this museum, please note that I will also review the accessibility at the end of this post.
Museum of the Bible Overview:
When we first entered the Museum of the Bible, there is a security checkpoint. You are allowed to bring water into the museum but no other beverages. Your bags will be scanned and you will be required to walk through a scanner. Photography is allowed but make sure to turn off your flash. Some video is allowed at some exhibits so listen to the instructions and read the signs to find out when it is not.
We asked a museum guide where we should start and we were advised to go to the 3rd floor first and we were so glad that we did. The review will go in the same order as we toured the museum.
Floor 3 – The Stories of the Bible:
This floor takes you through the entire Bible, in fact, it immerses you in it!
The Hebrew Bible Experience
This is supposedly a 30 minute experience that includes the Hebrew Bible, including the stories of Noah’s ark, the burning bush, and the Passover. The visualizations and graphics were mesmerizing and since we were the only ones going through it at that moment, we took our time and just enjoyed the journey through the Old Testament. The journey to the Promised Land was amazing and covered many of the hard times that the Jews faced during the journey. Because we took our time, this took us about 50 minutes to finish.
World of Jesus of Nazareth
This was our favorite part of the Museum of the Bible! There were interactive characters that were well educated about the Bible and were very willing to answer questions and talk with you. This made it fun because they never stepped out of character. This exhibit shows your 1st century Nazareth and you learn about the environment that Jesus grew up in and what He would have been taught growing up.
There is a replica of a 1st Century Temple, a home, a Olive Press and a replica of Mikveh (a bath used for the purpose of ritual immersion to achieve ritual purity). A Nazarene named Judah told us about the Temple and about how the Olives were pressed to get oil for cooking and for burning. He also talked about the traditions in the families of the day and how property was distributed when the elders passes away. At this point, he showed us The Sea of Galilee and where the places were that Jesus performed miracles.
We also met Rebecca and she told us all about the food they would eat and about the work required to feed the family. She talked about getting water everyday and about how it takes 3 hours to have enough ground meal to make bread for one day. It made me realize just how hard life was back then and just how good we have it now.
We spent well over an hour in this exhibit since it was one that you could easily go at your own pace. We spent a lot of time in conversation with Rebecca and Judah and it was time well spent.
The New Testament Theater
This theater wraps you in the story of the New Testament and how Jesus’ Disciples spread the Gospel after Jesus was Crucified and then was Resurrected. The website states that the screen in 270 degrees so it is very close to surrounding you! The quality of the film was amazing and it was the perfect way to wrap up our adventure into the Bible.
Floor 4 – The History of the Bible
The exhibits on this floor are all about the history of the most printed book of all time, the Bible.
The History of the Bible Artifacts
This exhibit has hundreds of artifacts that have been found during excavations as well as actual pages from the Gutenburg Bible, fragments from the oldest copy of The Gospel of John and many other amazing treasures. This exhibit has hundreds of Bible translations and the collection is almost overwhelming in scope.
Throughout the exhibit there are videos playing from the show, Drive Thru History. I advise you to sit and watch all of them because they are very informative about the displays that are surrounded by and how they were found or the history behind them.
Take your time in this exhibit and enjoy seeing the priceless history of the Bible. I wasn’t timing it but I think we spent about 1 1/2 hours in this exhibit.
Drive Thru History of the Bible Theater
This show is in addition to the shows you watched in the exhibit. It is a more in depth look at the History of the Bible. This could also be seen before you tour the exhibit.
Floor 2 – The Impact of the Bible
This floor shows the Impact the Bible has had in the United States as well as the world.
Bible in America
Although this exhibit is rather small, I was impressed with the types of things were presented. There is a replica of the Liberty Bell, a real copy of Thomas Paine’s, “Common Sense” (which I went absolutely crazy about! LOL). There were copies of letters between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams in which they were discussing the important of God and how the Bible should influence the establishment of our Government.
As a history enthusiast, I was absolutely in my element in this part of the museum and I only took about 3 pictures because I was too busy reading each item on display.
Bible in the World
This exhibit shows how the Bible has influenced things around our world such as literature, film and fashion. It shows how we often don’t even know that these influences exist. We did not spend a lot of time in this exhibit mainly because my body was starting to tire and we had other things to see.
We actually did this earlier in the day because it requires a timed ticket. The ticket is $5 and it is absolutely worth it! This is a ride that is similar to “Soarin’ at Epcot. You “fly” over Washington to see the amazing ways that God’s Word is represented in our Nation’s Capital. It was a 6 minute “flight” that used sight, smell, touch and it was a lot of fun!
Billy Graham Special Exhibit
This is a special exhibit that is only at the Museum of the Bible for a limited time. There were plenty of items from the Billy Graham Library and videos of his crusades. If you are there while this exhibit is there, it was interesting although I have to say that the exhibit did lack that something special that the other exhibits in the museum had.
Milk & Honey Cafe – This is a coffee shop that features fresh brewed coffee and quick pastries and sandwiches and other snacks. (we did not visit here so it is really not a part of the review)
Manna Restaurant – The food offerings are Mediterranean and we were excited to try some distinct, new flavors. They also have chicken fingers for less adventuresome eaters.
My husband ordered The King David which was Tahini grits, Moroccan spiced roasted chicken with Manna salsa verde, zucchini succotash, curried pickled vegetables, marinated chickpeas and roasted tomatoes. He also ordered the Creamy Mediterranean clam chowder. (See the picture in the slide show above). I ordered The Revelation which was Saffron rice with summer sweet peas, Moroccan spiced roasted chicken with Manna salsa verde, marinated chickpeas &
roasted tomatoes, curried pickled vegetables & greek olive tapenade.
WE tased each other’s food and we were really happy that we had tried the different food here. I learned that I love Zucchini Succotash which was a cold salad of zucchini and red bell peppers and that I do not like pickled vegetables or olives! My husband liked it all except the Chickpeas.
Definitely try the Manna Restaurant when you go!
The Museum of the Bible does a great job with the exhibits to make them accessible to everyone. There are captions for the hearing impaired, automatic doors for wheelchair users and large handicap bathrooms on every floor.
The staff seriously bent over backwards to accommodate my wheelchair at the Washington Revelation ride and showed great concern over making sure that I would enjoy it.
There is just one accessibility issue that I saw that day. The front wheelchair accessible door button did not work and we found this issue in several of the accessible doors that led to several of the exhibits. It wasn’t a problem because the staff were so incredibly attentive but in a museum that is so new I was surprised to find this type of issue.
Below, you will also find some items that I used during this trip that made staying in a museum all day much easier for me.
To Sum it Up:
The Museum of the Bible was absolutely amazing and I could honestly go back and just hang out all day on Floor 3. If we do go back to Washington, DC we will absolutely have this on our agenda again.
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Things I used on the Trip: