Hobby Lobby President Steve Green has revealed that the intent behind the soon-to-open Museum of the Bible is to "present evidence" that the Bible is true - and to make it accessible and engaging for all people, regardless of their religious beliefs.
In an exclusive interview with The Gospel Herald, Green, who is behind the Washington, D.C. museum slated to open November 17, said that the "bottom line goal" is to "invite all people to engage with this book."
"Because we are more ignorant of this book in this nation than we ever have been - simply because we don't teach it as we once did in our schools - there is a lot of knowledge we need to impart on the average person walking down the street," he shared. "As a visitor comes to this museum, we hope they'll be inspired to engage with it [and] once they've left here, say, 'I want learn more about this book that has, in essence, changed our world.'"
He added that the goal of the Museum of the Bible isn't to espouse Christianity, but rather to educate individuals about the Bible - presented as a historical document - and its impact throughout history.
"Whatever faith a person is, we think that there would be an interest in them understanding the world they live in and how this book impacted their world," he said. "This is the best-selling book every year and of all time, there is no close second."
Located just blocks away from the Air and Space Museum and the Capitol, Green pointed out that the Museum of the Bible is in a prime spot to attract such visitors.
"There hasn't been another building this close to the National Mall that has become available since we acquired it in 2012," he said. "The location would be hard to beat. We just think God has gone before us and helped this building become available when He was ready for it...we just see God's hand in this whole process."
The 430,000 square feet museum includes three floors focused on Bible's history, narrative, and impact on the world. Some of the exhibits include a replica of the Gutenberg Press, 400 historical artifacts that show how the Bible has changed over time, first editions of the King James Bible, fragments of the Dead Sea Scroll, and an interactive Nazareth village.
Additionally, the museum includes a garden, a restaurant that will serve "foods of the Bible", and a 470-seat theater that will open with the Broadway play "Amazing Grace."
"There is no building that can contain this book story," Green said. "We scratched the surface. We think there will be something for everybody once they get here."
The museum will also offer visitors an unparalleled Bible experience with a $42 million investment in state-of-the art technology. In fact, Green told GH the $509 million museum "aims to be the most technologically advanced museum in the world."
"This is not your grandma's museum," he said. "If we just put a Bible in a language that I can't read under a glass case, it only grabs our attention for so long. This book has the most incredible story to be told, and one of the ways to make it alive, to make it engaging, is to use some of the leading technology that is available."
The museum has been a long time coming: Green revealed that his family has been collecting biblical artifacts for years, and first purchased the location in 2012. Renovations on the building began in 2014, and it will finally open later this year.
"The idea of a Bible museum just fit with our family," he explained. "We have a love for God's word, the Scripture, we love distributing it, and have been a part of distributing it around the world, making it digital, translating it."
He added, "It's thrilling to know that this project that has been a dream for many years is just around the corner."