Construction on the Museum of the Bible will begin by Dec. 1 as the final tenants leave the Washington D.C. site that will house the building just three blocks from the U.S. Capitol, museum board Chairman Steve Green said.
Presenting the archeological evidence of the people, places and events of the Bible in a non-evangelistic way will hopefully prove the truth of the book, but leave people to decide for themselves whether to accept Jesus as Lord, Green told Baptist Press.
“Evangelism would not be a direct result. The museum would be nonsectarian,” Green said. “Our role is just to present the information. But I think that, and our hope is that, it would change peoples’ lives, that they would realize that this book is something for them to consider and would embrace its principles and live accordingly.”
General contractor Clark Construction is already demolishing the interior of the former Washington Design Center that will house the museum, but will begin construction in earnest as the final tenants’ leases expire. The eight-story, 430,000-square-foot museum is slated to open in 2017 with $800 million in assets.
“We want to invite all people to engage with this book,” Green said. “We think education is the first goal, for people to realize how this book has impacted their lives, and then consider the principles and apply them to their own lives because of the benefits that it brings.”
The museum will house the Green Collection, the world’s largest private collection of rare biblical texts and artifacts, but will also feature additional exhibits designed to immerse visitors of all ages into interactive, biblically-based settings. The Green family, owners of the Hobby Lobby retail chain, amassed the collection over the past five years and has presented it to the public in a travelling exhibit that Green said has changed the lives of its viewers.
“We’ve had many that have indicated — and they’ve gone through our travelling exhibit — it has strengthened their faith for example,” Green said of his collection. “They are encouraged by the fact that they can actually see the evidence that shows that what they have been taught is accurate. We believe that many will be encouraged and their faith will be strengthened because of the evidence that is presented.”
“There have been many atheists, for example, when they are willing to just let the evidence lead to its natural conclusion” Green said, “I think it leads them to realize that this book is accurate in what it claims to be.”
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SOURCE: Baptist Press