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It’s the Museum of the Bible, Not the Museum of Evangelizing

In his critique of the Museum of the Bible. where I was honored to serve on the advisory board, John Ellis unambiguously admits his bias.  He concludes that “it mishandles the word of God” and in my opinion nothing could be further from the truth.

He conflates “religious pluralism” with a profound respect for Judaism as the mother faith that birthed Christianity.  The great care and input solicited from Christian and Jewish clergy, scholars and archeologists only serves to enhance, not diminish, the reverence for our sacred texts.  Ellis quotes a handful of scholars who support his screed but an honest review of the scholarly establishment would not concur and he knows it.

Furthermore, his preoccupation with how the Green family has chosen to direct their giving in support of the biblical principles on which our nation was founded is strange to say the least.  Perhaps my radar is too sensitive, but I detect an agenda of promoting replacement theology as well as the old canard of “Jews and money” as the issue of preserving and repairing Torah scrolls for the purpose of tax write-offs.

Many of my Christian colleagues were deeply impressed by the exhibits on the life of Jesus and secular as well as unchurched Christians will undoubtedly be drawn to the powerful lessons to be learned at the MOB.  Over twenty years ago, I wrote to the repository of Holocaust Torah Scrolls kept in Westminster, England, requesting permission to repair one scroll and make it live by using it in a worship service. I was repeatedly refused permission and told that these scrolls are relics of the Shoah and for “display purposes only”.

The MOB seeks to enable the Bible to come alive in our secular world and continue to make its powerful impact.