New Bible Museum to Unveil Its Approach to Creating Exhibit Content and Tackling Provenance

Posted by pt91 at Oct 06, 2017 12:20 PM |
Panel of Independent Scholars, including University of Leicester Professor, and Museum Leaders to Discuss Evolutionary Process for Developing Content, Address Questions About Artefacts on Display in 430,000-Square-Foot Museum

Issued by the Museum of the Bible on 6 October 2017

One month before it opens to the public, Museum of the Bible—the 430,000-square-foot museum being dedicated Nov. 17 three blocks from the U.S. Capitol—will host a scholarly panel discussion on Oct. 17 at 2 p.m. at the museum.

The event, featuring University of Leicester Professor Gordon Campbell, will outline the rigorous process used to create content displayed throughout the museum and answer questions about the museum's collection practices, some of which have been challenged.

The panel of diverse, independent scholars who were involved in the development or review of museum content, and museum leaders will address compelling questions, including:

  • How have exhibit content plans for Museum of the Bible evolved over the past three years?
  • Is the museum nonsectarian in its approach?
  • How did Museum of the Bible determine what is included in its exhibits?
  • How is the museum ensuring all of its exhibits adhere to the highest ethical standards, especially regarding provenance?

"We want this museum to be enriching and engaging to all people," said Museum of the Bible President Cary Summers. "To that end, we have tapped many of the world's leading scholars with expertise across many subjects and faith traditions, including those with Jewish, Protestant and Catholic proficiency and perspectives, to help us craft the storylines and narrative themes of this museum," he added.

Professor Campbell said: “I have been involved with the Museum since its inception, and have been privileged to lead on academic scrutiny of the History Floor and to contribute to the Impact and Story floors. My aim has been to ensure scholarly integrity, and to help to lift the Museum above the political, ethnic and confessional fissures in American society to create an atmosphere in which everyone feels welcome. Ours is a museum, not a faith enterprise, so we seek to engage, not proselytise.”

Participants in the conversation about the museum, whose singular mission is to invite everyone to engage with the history, narrative and impact of the Bible, are:

  • Museum of the Bible Vice President Steven Bickley, who will moderate the dialogue;
  • Gordon Campbell, who holds a D.Phil. and D.Litt., currently serves at University of Leicester as fellow in renaissance studies, and contributed to the museum’s History floor and Impact floor;
  • Barbara Lucas, who earned an Ed.D. and D.Min., recently retired as professor of religious education and urban ministry at the New York campus of Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary, and contributed to the Impact floor of the museum;
  • Seth Pollinger, who holds a Ph.D. in biblical interpretation from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, joined Museum of the Bible in 2015 and serves as director of museum content;
  • David Price, who earned his Ph.D. from Yale, is a professor of religious studies at Vanderbilt University, and contributed to the museum’s History floor and Impact floor;
  • Lawrence Schiffman, who holds a Ph.D., is currently the Judge Abraham Lieberman professor of Hebrew and Judaic studies and director of the Global Network for Advanced Research in Jewish studies at New York University, and contributed to the museum’s History floor and Narrative floor;
  • Timothy Shah, who earned a Ph.D. from Harvard, is associate professor of the practice of religion and global politics in the government department at Georgetown University, and contributed to the creation of the museum's Impact floor;
  • Summers, who will give an overview of the museum’s evolutionary approach to the creation of its content; and
  • David Trobisch, Th.D., who oversees the thousands of rare biblical texts and artifacts that today comprise the Museum of the Bible collections, and serves as the collections’ director advising on new acquisitions and the collections’ international traveling exhibits, as well as lecturing and writing.

"Engaging the expertise of these world-class scholars while developing the museum's content has helped us present a balance of respected positions while not advocating for any of them," said Summers. "To safeguard our academic rigor and stay true to our mission, dozens of archaeologists, professors, theologians and other scholars have lent their formidable talents and expertise to ensure Museum of the Bible exhibits are of the highest quality."

The panel will conclude the 75-minute programme by taking questions from the media.

About Museum of the Bible

Museum of the Bible is an innovative, global, educational institution whose purpose is to invite all people to engage with the Bible. In 2017, Museum of the Bible, which aims to be the most technologically advanced museum in the world, will open its 430,000-square-foot nonprofit museum just three blocks from the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. A digital fly-through of the Museum is viewable here. A 360-degree hardhat tour of the museum is available here.

The museum will be housed in a building that will have eight floors. There will be three floors of  primary exhibits, each approximately 40,000 sq-ft, dedicated to the Bible's history, its narrative and the impact it has had on the world using a variety of hi-tech, interactive and immersive experiences for visitors of all ages.

It will also feature a small selection from more than 40,000 Biblical artefacts and manuscripts, and its creators have said it will have non-sectarian, scholarly approach.

Among the exhibits, which include the personal Bibles of people such as Elvis and Johnny Cash, will be a walk-through replica of the town of Nazareth as it would have been in Jesus’s time.

Professor Campbell is an expert on the King James Bible and a specialist in 17th century and Renaissance studies He  has been tasked with overseeing sections of the museum focused on Biblical archaeology and the book's history.

The project is being funded by American billionaire David Green, founder of a chain of arts and crafts stores in America.

Website |  Twitter | @museumofBible


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