I had 16 hours to spend in Washington D.C. and I was determined to make the most of it. I woke up at 6am to have breakfast with a friend who I haven’t seen in a while. We went to Founding Farmers. They had a great breakfast and I highly recommend their coconut green tea. It’s always great having a layover where I can catch up with a friend. We finished around 9am and I made my way to the Museum of the Bible. It was about a 45 min walk and most of the museums open at 10am. I decided to take a scenic walk by the White House, the Washington Monument, and a few of the other museums like the African History Museum, American Indian Museum and the Air and Space Museum (which is the next one on my list). There's a really cute little park right before the Air and Space Museum where I took the photo of the fountain - so keep an eye out for that. I arrived to see a large line outside of the Museum of the Bible. It just opened in November so it is pretty popular but the line moved fast. You do have to reserve a time online for this museum. It said online that the first available time was at 1:45pm but I just reserved that time while I was standing in line and they let me in at 10am. So just book a random time and go whenever you want I suppose. Most of the museums are free.
I toured the museum from bottom to top but I will tell you the order I recommend touring this museum. Start on the 3rd floor. There is a 30 minute walk through of the Old Testament with lights, sound, and video. It was great. Next check out the 12 minute video of the New Testament. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to see this because I ran out of time. Lastly on the 3rd floor, walk through The World of Jesus of Nazareth. Here you can walk through what Nazareth looked like and interact with actors like a Princess at Disney World.
My favorite section was the Bible Now and Impact of the Bible on the 2nd floor. There was a screen that asked the question “How Does the Bible Make You Feel?” People wrote all good feelings and some wrote in other languages. Sometimes we hear so many negative comments toward the Bible and what it stands for so it was refreshing to see so many positive feelings. In the Bible Now exhibit there is a big screen with a live feed from Jerusalem and a small cubical where you can record yourself talking about how the Bible has impacted you. I recommend stopping at the station in the Bible in America exhibit where you can watch and listen to actors reciting quotes from our founding fathers like they are talking back and forth to each other. While they have different opinions, it is obvious that each of them held the Bible in high regard. There are also stations where you can hear how the Bible has impacted different people with different backgrounds and occupations. I encourage you to listen to a few of their stories.
The lower level had a fantastic walk through displaying the story of the song Amazing Grace. It was incredible to see the history of the writer - John Newton - and to see the impactful lyrics posted so boldly. I also walked through an emotional sculpture display of the stages of the Cross - depicting the emotions of Jesus in His last day.
The 6th floor consists of a beautiful view of the Capitol building, a coffee shop, and a restaurant. It's worth heading up there even if only for the view.
This museum was especially impactful to me because I am a Christian and I hold the Bible very dear to my heart. It was special to see the stories come to life and see how this book has influenced our country as well as so many around the world. While the Bible may be controversial to many people, there is no denying it's impact and importance on our world. No matter what you believe, this museum will take you back to a time and introduce you to a Man who changed the world forever.
Things to skip:
- The video on the first floor about the Bible in film. It’s a small red curtain that encloses around 15 seats. It’s just a 12 min video of movie clips quoting the Bible.
What I wish I would have spent more time in:
- The History of the Bible - 4th floor
- illumiNations - 4th floor
- The smaller art exhibits - 1st floor - Lobby level
- The temporary exhibits - 5th floor and lower level
- Stations of the Cross exhibit - lower level
What I didn’t do that I would have liked to:
- Washington Revelations - 2nd floor - it’s a virtual reality ride. I don’t know much more than that but it sounded cool and it cost $8.
- New Testament video - 3rd floor
- Drive Thru History video - 4th floor
Order to see the museum:
- 3rd floor
- 2nd floor
- 4th floor
- Lower 1st floor
- 5th floor
- 6th floor
- 1st floor - Lobby area