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Guide To Museum Of The Bible Washington DC

The Bible Museum & The Museum of The Bible
The Bible MuseumThe Museum of The Bible
Year Founded19872010
Publicly Open Under Current Organizational Name Since20042017
LocationPhoenix (Goodyear), ArizonaWashington, D.C.
WebsiteGREATSITE.COMMUSEUMOFTHEBIBLE.ORG
Size of Exhibit Area1 Floor - Near 1,000 Square Feet6 Floors - Over 50,000 Square Feet Per Floor
Dining FacilitiesSnack Bar On Site, Restaurants Next-DoorLarge Cafeteria On Site
Overnight AccommodationsYes, Housed Inside a HotelNo, But Hotels Are Nearby
Parking Available On-SiteYes, Plentiful & FreeNo, But Paid Garages Nearby
Car Rental Office On-SiteYesNo
Airport Shuttle AvailableYesNo
Ballroom or Large Reception - Lecture Room On-SiteYes, Seats 400Yes, Seats 1,000
Public Restrooms AvailableYes, For GuestsYes, For Guests
Estimated Value of CollectionA Few Million DollarsOver $500 Million
Operating As Non-ProfitYesYes
Cost of AdmissionFree$20
Seeks DonationsNot PubliclyYes
Founding-Controlling FamilyLampeGreen
Self-Stated Ideological StanceProtestant - Evangelical“Non-Sectarian - Will Not Proselytize”
Officially Blessed By The Pope“Never Going To Happen”Yes, In November of 2017
Free Private Tours AvailableYes, Upon RequestFor V.I.P.s & Major Donors
Visitors May Hold and Flip Through Ancient BiblesYesNo
Rare & Antique Bibles Available For PurchaseYes, The Entire Collection Is Available For SaleNo, There Is No Part Of The Collection For Sale
Publishes Affordable Facsimile Reproductions Of Ancient BiblesYesNo
Purchases Rare & Antique BiblesYesNot From The Public
Target of Public Criticism By Non-ChristiansYesYes
Overwhelming Positive Reviews Posted Online By Over 95% of Actual VisitorsYesYes
Superlative StatusWorld’s Largest Dealer of Rare & Antique Bibles. Top Publisher of Bible Reproductions.World’s Largest Museum of Printed & Manuscript Biblical Materials.
Worth VisitingAbsolutely, Yes.Absolutely, Yes.

The Bible Museum & The Museum of The Bible

Every day, many people get The Bible Museum confused with The Museum of The Bible.
While these two organizations obviously have some commonalities of theme, both having non-profit status, both displaying antique Bibles and rare Bibles, and both open to visitors seeking to learn more about the history of God’s Word… they are two very different and unrelated institutions, on opposite sides of The United States. Let’s examine how they are similar and how they are different.

The Bible Museum in Phoenix, Arizona.

Founded in 1987 by the late Dr. Craig Lampe, (who was also the co-founder of The World Bible Society, and a co-founding faculty member of Liberty University) and operating publicly as The Bible Museum since 2004; The Bible Museum has drawn visitors from around the world for decades. Some come to see and hold ancient Biblical printings and learn about the history of the English Bible. However, The Bible Museum is also the world’s largest dealer of rare and antique Bibles, and so it has long been the primary source for collectors of antiquarian Biblical material. If a trip to Phoenix is not convenient, you can visit the online showroom of The Bible Museum any time at: GREATSITE.COM


Antique Bibles ranging in cost from a couple thousand dollars, up to hundreds of thousands of dollars, are available for examination and acquisition. Whether one is considering just one antique Bible as a display item or family heirloom, or looking to add to a serious collection of ancient Bibles; The Bible Museum offers a selection of treasures unrivaled in size or quality by any general rare book dealer in the world.


Also available, are individual leaves (pages) taken from incomplete fragments of ancient Bibles of the 1500’s, 1600’s and 1700’s. A favorite passage of scripture can be selected to be framed and displayed on the wall, or given as a unique gift. These genuine original pages start well under one hundred dollars.

Finally, since the 1990’s, The Bible Museum has been the premiere publisher of high quality photographic facsimile reproductions of ancient Bibles. These replicas look identical to the costly and rare originals, but are a tiny fraction of the price, starting well under two hundred dollars.

The Museum of The Bible in Washington, D.C.

Opening its doors publicly in November of 2017, and founded by billionaire Green Family, owners of the Hobby Lobby chain of arts and crafts stores; The Museum of The Bible offers the largest public display of antiquarian Biblical printings and manuscripts in the world. For more details, you can visit their website at MuseumOfTheBible.org

You cannot touch any of the ancient Biblical materials, and none of the items displayed are available for sale… it is literally a “museum” offering the visitor an opportunity to view Biblical antiquities, enjoy elaborate multimedia displays, and learn about Biblical history. As such, it offers an excellent educational experience, and it is well worth visiting. However, The Museum of The Bible is not an appropriate choice for the individual seeking to purchase an antique Bible to display in their own home, because again, the materials are not available for sale.

Nevertheless, for the person seeking only an educational experience, and not looking to make a purchase of a rare or antique Bible; two of the greatest places to visit on the planet are unquestionably, The Museum of The Bible in Washing, D.C., and similarly, the British Museum’s Library in London, UK.

The Key Difference Between The Bible Museum in AZ & The Museum of The Bible in DC

Again, to emphasize this key difference: the Museum of The Bible in Washington, D.C. is absolutely worth visiting, but you cannot purchase any of the items displayed there.

The investor or collector or hobbyist, or the individual simply seeking to make a Biblical antiquity part of their home, or the student of the scriptures seeking an affordable quality copy of the ancient Biblical texts, will all find their needs more appropriately met by a visit to The Bible Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, or by going to the website at GREATSITE.COM

Ideological Distinctions of The Bible Museum in AZ & The Museum of The Bible in DC

The Bible Museum in Arizona is a privately held and comparatively smaller organization which is not accountable to anyone (except God) for taking any theological or ideological positions which promote an unapologetic Protestant Christian world and life view.

In contrast, The Museum of The Bible in DC, while also founded by Protestant Christians, may appear encumbered by a need to appear “non-political” or “non-sectarian”, and “non-proselytizing” (non-evangelical) according to their own statements. This is merely an observation and not a criticism. Among Christians, it has long been debated whether a church, a ministry, a para-church organization, or a faith-based educational organization (such as a Biblical Museum), should emphasize an uncompromisingly evangelical approach to education and ministry without regard to who may be offended by The Gospel, or if a more stealthy and “seeker sensitive” approach is better advised.

The more carefully crafted ecumenical stance of The Museum of The Bible in DC seems to reflect an intension to “fly under the radar” in order to influence as wide a variety of people as possible in the nation’s capital, plant a seed, and instill a mindset more receptive to Biblical values. Their organization is also backed by several hundred million dollars of funding.

The more direct and traditional stance of The Bible Museum in Arizona reflects its more evangelical modus operandi, and its mission to teach anyone who cares to listen about how the Word of God has been preserved across time, and to be appreciative of the high price paid for us to have access to God’s Word today. Their organization does not enjoy an extraordinary level of funding, but has nevertheless managed to continue in its mission since 1987.

Final Thoughts On These Two Biblical Museums

Ultimately, it is left to the individual to decide which of these approaches is the best choice, or if there is justification sufficient to warrant both approaches being valid, as these organizations do have different goals. One is a hugely endowed national influencer educating millions of people about the Bible. The other is a smaller ministry with a business aspect, focussed on restoration, preservation, and resale of ancient Bibles, in order to replenish its inventory and fund its ministry goals.

What it comes down to for most people is not so much trying to analyze ideological differences between these organizations. Rather, it is the simple question of whether you are looking to physically handle and possibly own an ancient printing of God’s Word in a relaxed and private theological library setting in Arizona (or online at GREATSITE.COM), … or if you want to just observe these ancient materials and enjoy professionally crafted presentations on a more grand scale in a public museum setting in Washington, DC. Of course, there is no reason you cannot do both.