"Museum of the Bible" by Farragutful / CC BY-SA 4.0

Who is the Museum of the Bible really for? Scholarly book examines multiple problems

Jul 26, 2019

By Yonat Shimron

To say that biblical scholars have been critical of the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., is an understatement.

Since it opened in late 2017, the pet project of  Oklahoma billionaire and outspoken evangelical Steve Green, CEO of Hobby Lobby, has been accused of privileging the Protestant Bible over other versions, harboring questionable and misappropriated antiquities among its vast collection and partnering with a range of charismatic, Pentecostal and conservative Christian groups, including the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter, in ways that suggest it wants to advance an evangelical agenda.

Last year alone, the museum acknowledged that five Dead Sea Scroll fragments it had on display were forgeries and returned a medieval New Testament manuscript to the University of Athens after learning the document had been stolen.

Now many of the academic community’s critiques have been collected in a book, edited by Jill Hicks-Keeton, assistant professor of religious studies at the University of Oklahoma, and Cavan Concannon, associate professor of religion at the University of Southern California.

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