FLOOR 2: Impact of the Bible
Bible in the World
Floor 2 of the museum addresses the Impact of the Bible, demonstrating the enormous influence the Bible has on nearly every aspect of life. There are four major exhibit areas:
- Bible in the World, which gives guests an unprecedented look at the Bible’s impact on culture worldwide
- Bible in the World is divided into 23 exhibits that demonstrate the depth and breadth of the Bible’s impact across the world. Each exhibit discusses the Bible’s impact on a different subject, with unique and interactive experiences and even some personal testimonials to engage guests.
- Bible in America, which shows guests that the Bible became a powerful influence in America, from the arrivals of the first Christian and Jewish settlers to today
- Bible Now, in which guests experience the Bible in real-time media feeds, showing its current influence and impact as people around the world continue to interact with and discuss the Bible.
- Washington Revelations, which takes guests on an amazing flight through Washington, D.C., revealing the Bible’s presence in inscriptions and monuments
Size and Content
The second floor of the museum has 27,000 square feet of exhibit space; 14,232 square feet is dedicated to Bible in the World. Each of the following Bible in the World exhibits is approximately 300 square feet.
- Architecture: An enormous projection immerses guests into biblical architectural interiors around the world. Three-dimensional architectural models illustrate the Bible’s influence on the aesthetics, symbolism and imagery of architectural design.
- Art: Two gallery spaces display art curated by biblical themes. A video projection presents the Madonna and Child iconography over time and across art history.
- Banned and Burned: Guests learn the presence of the Bible has led to debate and conflict throughout history. This exhibit displays how the Bible has motivated social change in many cultures and in response, the Bible has been seen as a threat, leading to people going to great lengths to ban or destroy the Bible.
- Biblical Names: Guests see how thousands of names can trace their origins to the Bible.
- Compassion: Immersive tableaus reveal how the works of today’s charitable organizations are inspired by the Bible.
- Education: A schoolroom setting lets guests experience firsthand how the Bible has inspired educational efforts around the world. Media traces many biblically founded universities and colleges around the globe and guests compete against each other in a Bible quiz.
- Everyday Life: A curtain of images displays the hundreds of ways the Bible is infused in everyday life—from idioms to advertising.
- Family: Guests join families from around the world as they say grace, do a family Bible reading and participate in a Seder around a table.
- Fashion: Mannequins on a runway feature biblically inspired designs. A “magic mirror” allows guests to design their own biblically-inspired t-shirt pattern.
- Government: A dome enshrines four large artifact cases and an interactive map discussing the impact of the Bible on the formation of and resistance to governments throughout history.
- Gutenberg Press: A replica of the Gutenberg press prints pages of the Bible in an exhibit about the fascinating story of the Bible in the history of printing.
- Health: Guests learn how many hospitals and healthcare centers can trace their existence to dedicated people inspired by the biblical principles of caring for the sick.
- Human Rights: Minidocumentaries on several luminaries show how the Bible has been a touchstone in the foundation and enforcement of fundamental human rights.
- Justice: Western concepts of both retributive and restorative justice are strongly rooted in the Bible. Here, a prison cell encapsulates stories of people in the prison system who are being impacted positively by the Bible.
- Languages: Guests explore how Bible translation across the globe mobilizes literacy and has preserved endangered indigenous languages, as seen on a three-dimensional globe. The story of the revival of the Hebrew language in Israel through the Bible is told here as well.
- Literature: Guests explore the presence of the Bible throughout literature by connecting titles, excerpts and idioms to their biblical sources.
- Music: Playlists of songs with biblical lyrics stream into a sound shell, where guests feel like they are in a music studio.
- Personal Stories: People tell their own experiences of biblical impact in a forest of testimonials.
- Science: The stories of famous scientists show how modern science owes a great deal to biblical views of the world that see the universe as created and operating in a way that is orderly, rational and susceptible to precise description and explanation. Testimonials from contemporary scientists on a full-length pane of glass bring to life the view that the Bible isn’t necessarily incompatible with the methods and conclusions of modern natural science.
- Stage and Screen: A film festival of cinematic and theatrical performances demonstrates the influence of the Bible on film and theater throughout modern history.
- Time and Calendar: A display of time-keeping tools highlight how the Bible is present in the way we tell time and mark years.
- Work: People tell stories about how the Bible has influenced their careers and the ethic that shapes their work.
Galleries on the Impact of the Bible floor were designed by C&G Partners, the New York-based multi-specialty creative studio that is dedicated to design for culture—from cultural organizations to organizational culture. The galleries’ content was developed by C&G Partners, in consultation with an international team of scholars led by Gordon Campbell, Ph.D., and Byron Johnson, Ph.D.