Why Is the New ‘Museum of the Bible’ Controversial?
The Museum of Bible located in the heart of Washington D.C. has opened, but not without drawing criticism from Christians and non-Christians.
The $500 million museum which fills in a 430,000 square-foot building spanning several floors is filled with thousands of artifacts from biblical times and the latest museum technology. It is impressive and cutting edge
One would think that almost all Christians would love the museum, but several articles have criticized it.
CBN News reported recently that Jesus isn’t a prominent focus of the museum.
This is a big oversight since the key to everything in the Bible is: Jesus himself.
Museum Director of Content Seth Pollinger has said, “The Bible has a lot of characters and one of those characters is Jesus so Jesus is an important character throughout the museum. I think the focus is more of historical spread of the Bible.”
This tone of Jesus being one of many “characters” in the Bible is concerning to say the least. Jesus isn’t simply a “character” in the Bible, He’s the center of the entire Bible, and the very author of it since Jesus is God.
The museum, which has been in the works for several years, at one point did have a more evangelistic mission. Billionaire President of the store Hobby Lobby Steve Green, and the primary financier of the Museum of the Bible, at one point wanted to have tracts handed out at the museum that encouraged people into a personal relationship with Jesus. Other people involved in the museum persuaded him otherwise, however, so now the primary mission statement is “Inviting all people to engage with the Bible through its history, narrative and impact.”
Even so, how can you have a museum about a book when the central character is hardly present?
According to CBN, there’s a 12-minute video in the museum about the New Testament, but Jesus Christ’s birth and teachings are absent, and there’s no area in the building dedicated to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus! How is that even possible?
Historian Marshall Foster told WND in an article published on Nov. 20, 2017:
“They are trying to appeal to people with the idea that the Bible is for all people, and ‘take a look at it.’ It has advantages in Washington, D.C., which is very anti-fundamentalist and very secularized, so I can see what they’re doing. I don’t want to offend them by just saying that they’re being politically correct out of compromise – they are doing it for good motives because they want to reach people and they think this is reaching people with a subtler approach.
But, when the historical facts are there, they need to be dealt with in a very real way. The great story of the Bible is the Messiah coming, is his death, his resurrection and his ascension in heaven. It led to the building of civilization and freedom and liberty – everything that is good in the world has come because people of turned to God and the Bible.”
One scholarly source interviewed by MOVIEGUIDE® reported that they left the group of experts advising the project leaders because too many of the “experts” clearly had a liberal and sometimes Anti-Christian bias regarding the Bible and its depiction of faith in its Author, Jesus Christ.
The spread of Christianity wasn’t because of a book with cool teachings. The transformation of nations, peoples and hearts wasn’t because of certain unique dogmas. The impact of the Bible on the world was only because of Jesus, because the book from Genesis to Revelation is all about Jesus. In fact, one group of scholars has calculated that Jesus and His life, ministry, death, and resurrection fulfilled 355 Old Testament prophecies! Another scholar, Alfred Edersheim, lists 456 messianic passages in the Old Testament that refer to Jesus and what the Jewish rabbis said about these passages (see Appendix IX of THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JESUS THE MESSIAH, http://biblehub.com/library/edersheim/the_life_and_times_of_jesus_the_messiah/appendix_ix_list_of_old.htm).
The Bible is a Christocentric, or Christ-centered, book filled with historical records from many sources. A museum about the Bible that doesn’t focus much on Jesus Christ, and doesn’t mention His Gospel and His death and resurrection, ignores the Truth.
That said, the good news is that The Museum of Bible has great resources and a wonderful group of people behind it who can fix the glaring problems and make it a shining museum on a hill.