dc’s newest museum 2

Many manuscripts of various mediums, including scrolls and codices of leather, papyrus, vellum, and paperLast November, the Museum of the Bible opened (the books).  In April, I spent a weekend in Washington D.C., the city by chance crawling with 2nd Amendment protesters, including innocent tweens with tees emblazoned with “F— the NRA.”  How fortunate to have a much more edifying option!

For a nation founded by Puritans, it is long overdue to have a national museum dedicated to understanding the bible’s history and its foundational impact on Western Civilization.  The Reformation’s liberation, combined with technology such as the Gutenberg printing press, offered the Word of God at last in vernacular languages to every willing man, no longer under penalty of death for possessing such.

As, in practice, the only religious book currently banned in public school rooms, our societal ignorance of the magnum opus that also made America is astounding.  For much of our colonial history and after, along the frontier and elsewhere, this was the one-room schoolhouse’s main textbook, bursting with historical, poetic, theatrical, and didactic books, in Shakespearean English at its apex of clarity and beauty.

Such neglect makes this museum at the geographic and spiritual borderland of the country.  Turning our backs to the bible means turning our backs to our history.  [please hover over images for captions]

Here is a brief video of what Jordan Peterson learned by visiting the “very cool” Museum of the Bible: 

About Ben

Ben Batchelder has traveled some of the world's most remote roads. Nothing in his background, from a degree in Visual & Environmental Studies at Harvard to an MBA from Wharton, adequately prepared him for the experiences. Yet he persists, for through such journeys life unfolds. Having published four books that map the inner and exterior geographies of meaningful travel, he is a mountain man in Minas Gerais, Brazil who comes down to the sea at Miami Beach, Florida. His second travel yarn, To Belém & Back, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. For more, visit www.benbatchelder.com.

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2 thoughts on “dc’s newest museum

    • Ben

      Hi Andrea, I appreciate your gandering and questioning!

      As I wrote, “in practice” the bible is banned in schoolrooms. This is clearly in public schools, and results, unfortunately, from the misguided separation of Church & State polemic. (Jefferson’s letter, in which the phrase is found, was meant to keep State from influencing Church, and not the other way around.) So, while other “religious” books are welcomed and studied as historical documents, the bible rarely is, due, presumably, to Christianity’s once dominating force – making the bible’s study a breach of that fictitious wall. What a massive loss!

      I hope this clarifies my position, even if you disagree with it, and appreciate your question.