Overview: International Advisory Council

Published: Oct 13, 2017

Posted In: Background

INTERNATIONAL ADVISORY COUNCIL: Providing Oversight and Insight to Exhibition Materials and Galleries  


A distinguished group of advisors comprised of archaeologists, professors, theologians and scholars that includes pastors, priests and rabbis is lending their formidable talents and expertise to ensure Museum of the Bible exhibits are of the highest quality. Members of this International Advisory Council hold advanced degrees from such distinguished institutions as Yale, Oxford, Cambridge, Wharton, University of London, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Yeshiva College, Catholic University of America, Claremont College, New York University and more.

Process Background and Refinement

The work of creating the concept and content of Museum of the Bible began with professional design firms and the museum’s own team of biblical experts and curators. Over the last three years,
Museum of the Bible’s internal staff and professional design firms have worked extensively with an expanded group of leading subject-matter experts to build creative and academically reliable galleries.

Along the way, expert consultants refined the coherence, accuracy and balance of the content in each gallery. With the steady completion of exhibit content, members of the advisory council have applied a final layer of scrutiny to all materials to advise about the cohesiveness, accuracy, fidelity and cultural sensitivity of the museum’s content. Exhibits and galleries are now assembled, populating the museum’s three main exhibit floors: the Impact floor, History floor and Narrative floor. 


Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, director of Interfaith Affairs for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, holds the Sydney M. Irmas adjunct chair in Jewish law and ethics at Loyola Law School. He is an extensive writer on Orthodox Judaism and issues of Jewish culture.

Rabbi David Baron, born in New York, graduated from Hunter College of the City University of New York with a double major in political science and Hebrew Literature. After his ordination, he served conservative pulpits in New Jersey and Florida before moving to Los Angeles. Founding Rabbi of Temple of the Arts in 1992, he is the rabbi of the largest arts and entertainment-industry synagogue in the United States: Temple of the Arts in Beverly Hills, which owns the 1,900-seat Saban Theatre.

Joshua Berman, Ph.D., is professor of Bible at Bar-Ilan University in Israel and serves as a research fellow at the Herzl Institute with primary areas of research in biblical law and narrative. He is a recipient of the Rotenstreich fellowship of the Israel Council for Higher Education.

His most recent book is Inconsistency in the Torah: Ancient Literary Convention and the Limits of Source Criticism (Oxford, 2017). His previous book, Created Equal: How the Bible Broke with Ancient Political Thought (Oxford, 2008), was a National Jewish Book Award finalist in scholarship. He has written on Bible and society in Mosaic magazine and The Wall Street Journal.

Michelle P. Brown is professor emerita of medieval manuscript studies at the School of Advanced Study University of London. She was curator of illuminated manuscripts at the British Library, and specializes in cultural and book history. She is a visiting professor at University College London and at Baylor University, and is a senior researcher at the University of Oslo. 

Gordon Campbell, D.Phil. and D.Litt., serves at University of Leicester as fellow in renaissance studies and university public orator. He is a specialist in the Renaissance, 17th century, John Milton, biblical studies, historical theology, the King James Bible, classical antiquity, architecture, and the Islamic world.

Robert Cooley, Ph.D., is vice chair of the board for Museum of the Bible and president emeritus of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. A biblical scholar and archaeologist, he has served as a professor and administrator, and as president of the Association of Theological Schools. He has overseen excavations in the U.S., Israel and Egypt, and was senior editor for Christianity Today.

Simon Crisp, D.Phil. (University of Oxford) and M.A. (University of Birmingham), is a Bible translation specialist, serving as coordinator for translation standards and scholarly editions with United Bible Societies. Honorary fellow of institute for textual scholarship and electronic editing at the University of Birmingham, he publishes on Bible translation, linguistics, hermeneutics, exegesis and New Testament textual criticism.

Michael Cromartie is vice president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and director of the Evangelicals in Civic Life and Faith Angle Forum programs. His area of expertise is the cross-section of religion and politics, and he is senior fellow with The Trinity Forum. He spent six years as a presidential appointee to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, where he was twice named chair of the commission.

Andrzej Gieniusz is the New Testament editor at Biblica, a professor of the New Testament at the theological faculty of the Pontificia Università Urbaniana and is director of its language department.  He has published on the book of Romans and Paul's theology.

Seymour (Sy) Gitin, Ph.D. in Syro-Palestinian Archaeology (Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion), is an archaeologist specializing in ancient Israel. He is also Dorot director and professor of archaeology emeritus at the W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem.

Christopher de Hamel, who holds doctorates from both Oxford and Cambridge, and two honorary D. Litts, is a fellow of Corpus Christi College at Cambridge and was formerly librarian of the Parker Library. He is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, a member of the Comité international de Paléographie latine, and on the council of the Association Internationale de Bibliophilie. He was formerly chairman of the Association for Manuscripts and Archives in research collections, and he has authored numerous books, including the prize-winning Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts (2016).

John Lennox, M.A., M.Math. and Ph.D. (Cambridge); M.A. and D.Phil. (Oxford);  D.Sc. (Wales); and M.A. in Bioethics (Surrey), is emeritus professor of mathematics at the University of Oxford, emeritus fellow in mathematics and the philosophy of science at Green Templeton College at Oxford, and associate fellow at the Said Business School at Oxford. He has published on mathematics and the interface between science, philosophy, theology and biblical studies.

Rev. James Martin, M.Div. and Th.M. (Weston Jesuit School of Theology) and B.S. (Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania), is a Jesuit priest, writer and editor at large of the Jesuit magazine America. He is the author of numerous books including the bestselling Jesus: A Pilgrimage and The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything. He was appointed in 2017 by Pope Francis as a consulter to the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communication. Additionally, he is resident of the America House Jesuit Community, and is frequently called for appearances in the national and international media for cultural and Catholic perspectives and opinions.

Alister McGrath, D.Phil, D.D. and D.Litt. (Oxford University), serves as Andreas Idreos professor of science and religion at the University of Oxford and as fellow of Harris Manchester College at Oxford. He has published on historical theology, the interface of science and religion, and the history of Christian thought.

Yossi Prager, graduate of Yeshiva College and J.D. (Yale Law School), is executive director for
North America of The AVI CHAI Foundation. He served on the Steering Committee for the
Orthodox Forum as an occasional dayan for the Beth Din of America and on The Governor’s Study Commission on New Jersey’s Nonpublic Schools. He writes and lectures on Judaism, Jewish education and philanthropy.

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Ph.D. from New York University, is the founding Rabbi of Lincoln
Square Synagogue and the founding Rabbi of the Israeli community of Efrat in the West Bank.
He served as associate professor of Tanakh and Talmud at Yeshiva University, is chancellor of the
Ohr Torah Stone Institutions, and is chancellor of The Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding
and Cooperation.

Stan Rosenberg, Ph.D. (Catholic University of America), serves as founder and executive director of SCIO: Scholarship and Christianity at Oxford, and as a member of the Wycliffe Hall academic staff, as well as on Oxford’s theology and religion faculty. He has written on late antiquity and Latin patristics, especially Augustine, exegesis, preaching, Christianization, late antique culture, early Christian cosmology, and neo-Platonism. He also runs science and religion projects funded by major award bodies and has written on these issues.

Emile Schrijver is general director of the Jewish Historical Museum and the Jewish Cultural Quarter in Amsterdam. He is also a professor of Jewish Book History at the University of Amsterdam’s Faculty of Humanities, the acting curator of the Braginsky Collection of Hebrew Manuscripts and Printed Books in Zurich, Switzerland, and the general editor of the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Jewish Book Cultures. He serves on the boards of various Jewish organizations in the Netherlands and abroad.

Marvin A. Sweeney, Ph.D. (Claremont Graduate University), serves as professor of the Hebrew Bible at Claremont School of Theology and the Academy for Jewish Religion California. Professor of Tanak at the Academy for Jewish Religion, he is also a specialist in biblical theology, literary-critical methodologies, exegesis of ancient biblical texts, and the interrelationship between religion and politics.

Emanuel Tov, Ph.D., is a professor emeritus at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a specialist of textual criticism of the Hebrew and Greek biblical texts. He served as the editor-in-chief of the International Dead Sea Scrolls Publication Project and is one of the editors of the Hebrew University Bible Project. He is a fellow of the national academics of Israel, Great Britain and the United States.

Rabbi David J. Wolpe is the Rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, California. He previously taught at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York, the American Jewish University in Los Angeles, Hunter College and UCLA. Rabbi Wolpe’s work has appeared in the New York Times, and he is a columnist for He has also written for The LA Times, Washington Post’s On Faith website, HuffPost and New York Jewish Week. He has appeared on the Today Show, Face the Nation, ABC this Morning, and CBS This Morning.


About Museum of the Bible
Museum of the Bible
 is an innovative, global, educational institution whose purpose is to invite all people to engage with the Bible. In 2017, Museum of the Bible, which aims to be the most technologically advanced museum in the world, opened its 430,000-square-foot nonprofit museum just three blocks from the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. A digital fly-through of the Museum is viewable here. A 360-degree hardhat tour of the museum is available here.