Last month, I got the chance to visit the Museum of the Bible to write a review for my school newspaper. Having been before last January, I knew I wanted to go again. The technology and 4D innovations featured all throughout the exhibitions makes this museum my number one at the moment!
I had a really fun time hanging out with another friend who was working on the article with me and learning about the Bible’s history, what the books within the Bible are about, and quirky, D.C. things relating to the Museum, like discovering all of the Bible verses engrained in statues and federal buildings around the city. It’s a must-see for everyone!
The museum appeals to a secular audience, giving facts about the book and illustrating the history about the Bible. Once you finish reading this post, you’ll be eager to visit!
The address: 400 4th St SW, Washington, D.C. 20024
If you live in the DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virginia) area, then you can either drive or metro there. I metro-ed there on the blue line. Funny story! I actually took the metro on the day of the Marine Corps Marathon, thinking that by taking the metro I would avoid any traffic from the race, but I actually ended up getting off at the wrong metro stop that made me walk for thirty minutes, through the race as it was going on (yes! I speedily walked through the jogging crowd!), and do all of this in some chilly weather. Turns out that the Federal Triangle Metro station is totally different from the Federal Center SW station. Oops!
There is parking right around the museum and the closest metro stop is Federal Center SW. The museum is only a ten to fifteen minute walk from the National Mall, so you may even be able to see a few different museums in the area when you go!
The cost to enter is totally free! They have a suggested price to pay that contributes to the museum. The museum does not receive any government funding and is supported entirely on donations.
When I went, if you purchased a ticket, you would get access to the special exhibits offered. Those exhibits were amazing and the reason why I want to go back! One more thing to note: the museum is very accessible! There are elevators to get to each floor and there is a lot of space to move throughout the exhibitions. The elevators also have really cool videos showing in them; they’re videos of the modern-day places mentioned in the Bible. Make sure to ride on the elevator at least once!
Hungry? Eat something before or after!
I hadn’t eaten lunch when I arrived to the museum around one o’clock. On top of only having eaten a yogurt that morning and casually walking a few miles from the Federal Triangle station to the museum, jogging for a few moments, and freezing because I didn’t wear a heavier winter jacket, I was happy to see that the museum had a coffeeshop located right above the main entrance on the first floor.
Since I arrived a few minutes before my friend did, I ate a chicken salad sandwich on one of the tables that overlooks the main floor. It was a tasty sandwich and the perfect place to grab a pick-me-up before or after taking in all of the abundant information. There is also a restaurant located on the top floor of the museum in case you would like a more formal sit-down. I heard that the chefs cooking there are amazing!
First stop: A Virtual Reality Experience
Located on the first floor, the Virtual Reality exhibition gives you the chance to see modern-day views of locations in the Bible. When you enter the large room, you’ll see no artwork, images, or even wall art; however, you will see that around the room there are shelves of virtual reality goggles.
A museum employee will help you put them on and adjust them if necessary. You can wear glasses underneath them and be able to view the video perfectly. After everything has been adjusted, the short film will start to play!
I don’t want to spoil all the places and cool features the googles show but I do want to say that the virtual reality goggles let you look at all the places in 360 degrees and it feels like you are right there, running with the wind or walking on the sand. The video takes you to all of the momentous places mentioned in the Bible. It gives you an incredible look at these areas and it left me with the ambition to visit these places soon! I highly recommend this exhibit and it’s kid-friendly!
Second stop: The Vatican Exhibit
Right next to the Virtual Reality exhibit is the Vatican exhibit. We didn’t spend too much time here since we were on a bit of a time crunch but we did to get to see the artifacts on loan from the Vatican Museum.
From ancient scrolls to medieval paintings, this exhibit had a lot of interesting information along with a film that I think was about the Vatican’s librarians. We didn’t get to sit and stay for most of it, so the video might have talked about a few other topics as well. If you have a free moment, stop on by!
Third stop: The History of the Bible
This floor is one of my favorite floors! I believe that there are four floors that have the bulk of the information given by the museum. The history of the Bible is explained interactively, always making it a fun experience for both kids and adults.
There were a lot of short videos that elaborated on a specific elements of the Bible. For example, there was a film about Johannes Gutenberg and how his printing helped spread the Bible to different parts of the world. In this section of the exhibition, kids could practice writing their names using a special pen that people in the Renaissance would have used.
There are also an abundance of different Bibles you can see from history. Of course, it is the Museum of the Bible, but I think that seeing the way that the wording and language of the Bible has progressed was intriguing, and I felt super cool seeing the Bibles used by famous people we studied in history class, haha!
One of the last parts of this exhibit is a room surrounded by walls of just Bibles. The objective of this room is to show how many different languages have Bibles but also show many languages still don’t have it translated. This part of the exhibit opened my eyes to see how lucky I am that the Bible has been translated in English and even has different versions written. I remember seeing a remarkably large amount of languages where this book still hadn’t been translated and it made me appreciate the gift of being able to read the Bible in English.
Fourth Stop: The Old Testament 5D Tour!
I’m not sure what level of dimension this video and tour really is but I know that it’s probably the most enhanced, sophisticated, and coolest piece of informative technology that I’ve ever experienced. Yes, it’s amazing! I don’t want to give all the details away because I want you to walk into it without knowing what happens but here’s a brief description:
This exhibition is more like a compilation of videos and 4D sensations that you experience by walking through. The videos take you through a chronological order of the Old Testament. This exhibition takes about twenty minutes to experience and is kid-friendly. I think that this exhibition is intriguing for people of all ages, as it’s interactive and really feels alive!
The line is worth the wait! The first time I went with my family about a year ago, we saw that the wait was 30 minutes long and we decided to forgo it. I greatly insist that if you have the time, you should wait for this one!
Also, there is a New Testament exhibition that is on the same floor as the Old Testament one. The New Testament exhibition has one short video explaining this part of the Bible. This area mainly shows you the types of places where the New Testament happens and gives you a glimpse into the style of living at that time.
Final Stop: The 4D Tour of D.C.
This is another special exhibition that the tickets we bought gave us access to. In case you don’t buy the tickets the main entrance, you can also pay eight dollars to go on this ride. If you have not yet been on a 4D experience, this exhibition is based on a video that takes you through D.C. to see all of the places where Bible verses are located. You stand up, holding on securely to a platform in front of you and you get to feel the surface below you move with the video.
I loved this experience and I think everyone should try it, including all members of the family or the group you go with! The employees of the museum do warn that if you have motion sickness this ride might not be ideal for you but in case anything should arise throughout the ride, there is always someone working there who watches everyone throughout the experience, making sure everyone is okay and helping people out.
Thank you for reading!
Thank you for reading all about my experience at the Museum of the Bible and my recommendations. If you’re looking to check out a new museum, come and see this one! I also wanted to add that there were a lot more exhibitions and other sections. I know that there was one for children that was more interactive as well, so make sure to check those, too!
I hope you all have an incredible week and make sure to stay warm if you are currently experiencing some wintry weather. If it’s the opposite where you live, then stay cool! Thank you so much for reading and feel free to leave a comment or question below.
Here’s the quote of the post:
“The wisest men follow their own course.” ~Euripides