Can you remember what it was like to be at the beginning of a grand adventure, and not even realize it at the time? Maybe you were moving to a new state. Maybe your adventure was getting married. Or maybe you were taking the plunge and starting your own business.
Jumping into a new and unknown path can be exciting. When you having no idea what lies ahead of you, it can also feel daunting.
I embarked on a particular adventure a little over five years ago.
I was fresh out of college, a year into marriage, and eager to join my dad, Steve Green, on the unforeseen adventure of caring for artifacts that my family had started to accumulate. It was my first full-time job since I got my degree in Classics. I had no idea what stepping into this job would entail or what it might become.
If I had known then where we would be now, I may have thought twice before taking the job. Being involved in the process of building an artifact collection and a museum from scratch is a wild ride. A lot of work goes into building a museum. Not only are we building a museum, we are simultaneously building massive projects as essential initiatives of the museum. When I stepped into this new world called Museum of the Bible, we were two employees deep and a couple of thousand artifacts wide. Things have changed dramatically since then.
The collection started with just a few acquisitions in 2009. Within a few years, it became one of the largest in private hands. With the collection, came a path for founding Museum of the Bible.
It is challenging to communicate all that goes on under the umbrella of Museum of the Bible. Here is a quick overview of the four main buckets making up Museum of the Bible.
- The Museum
- This is a big one. If you have only heard a little bit about Museum of the Bible, then it is probably something involving our Washington, DC, site. In the fall of 2017, Museum of the Bible is opening a permanent museum just two blocks from the National Mall. And this is only two years away, so start planning ahead for your trip to DC because you definitely want to check this out! This museum is going to be top-of-the-line in interaction, technology, and engagement for people with various levels of Bible knowledge and all kinds of interests.
- We have a number of traveling exhibits under our belts already, and there are more to come! So far, our domestic exhibit Passages has been to six different cities: Oklahoma City (OK), Charlotte (NC), Atlanta (GA), Colorado Springs (CO), Springfield (MO), and, currently, Santa Clarita (CA). As far as international exhibits go, we have exhibited at the Vatican twice (2012 and 2014), and presented special exhibits in Israel, Cuba, and Argentina. You can follow Museum of the Bible on social media to see where we might go next—there are some awesome possibilities on the docket.
- Research is integral to who we are and foundational for our work. Through the Green Scholars Initiative, we partner with established scholars, as well as new and upcoming scholars, and provide access to the incredible artifacts in our holdings for ongoing research and scholarship. Research of our artifacts is important because it allows us to understand better the collection, history, and the Bible. It is important for us to see excellent scholarship done with the collection, as well as mentoring young students as developing scholars. We currently doing research on about sixty projects, including studies on our Dead Sea Scroll fragments, the Codex Climaci Rescriptus, papyri, manuscripts, and more.
- Almost everyone agrees that education is important and beneficial to society. Museum of the Bible is no different, and desires to promote education. The book we display, research, and teach about has been a significant text for millennia. It is important to know this book in order to understand many things, like Western culture. For this reason, and more, we are creating a high school level curriculum about the Bible. This is a high quality, technologically advanced curriculum that is already being used in schools in Israel, and will go to many other countries in the future.
This is just a little glimpse into some of the highlights happening at Museum of the Bible. There are more projects going on that I don’t have time to write about now. If you are interested, you can follow me, or @museumofBible, for updates on these and other projects (including our recently announced archaeological dig!)
Expect to see a series of posts from me sharing more in-depth about these projects, and what excites me most about each one.