WASHINGTON D.C. — What if there were a place that contained nearly every facet of the Bible under one roof? An edifice where visitors could see authentic ancient biblical artifacts and even learn about the Bible in their native tongue? The forthcoming Museum of the Bible plans to be that place.
With 430,000 square feet of exhibit space, the museum — which will have been in the works for an estimated five years from land acquisition to completion — is set to open its doors to visitors on Nov. 17, 2017.
The museum will offers guests an unprecedented Bible experience complete with interactive exhibits and translations into an impressive 1,007 languages through its partnership with the YouVersion Bible App.
Steven Bickley, vice president of the Museum of the Bible, told The Christian Post this week that the museum’s relationship with YouVersion is a synergistic one.
“We work to invite all people to engage with the Bible. … We’ve been talking with them [YouVersion] for quite a while about how to talk about Bible engagement — an active Bible engagement.”
“We explored those conversations from a marketing standpoint where we showed them some of the content we’ve been creating to invite people to engage with the Bible. They said it was some of the freshest content that they had seen on the market.”
YouVersion founder Bobby Gruenewald agreed. “We’re honored to partner with the Museum of the Bible as they share our passion for helping people engage with, and understand the significance of, the Bible.”
Gruenewald said he got the idea for the YouVersion Bible App in 2006. “I thought about how Gutenberg’s invention revolutionized the accessibility and distribution of Bibles hundreds of years ago, and wondered how technology might be able to do something similar for our generation.”
He added, “Together with a broad coalition of ministry partners, we continue to work toward making God’s Word available to everyone no matter their location or language.”
The YouVersion founder is on track to realizing that goal with his app installed on over 230 million devices and in every country around the globe.
While Gruenewald noted that YouVersion does not translate or update Bible text, if users wish to update their Bible version or make a new version available to the YouVersion community, “We have developed a system to make that happen quickly through the Bible App.”
He explained to CP that YouVersion syncs an individual’s account across devices, and people can choose the experience that best suits them, whether it be via smartphone, tablet, or computer.
Gruenewald said the app drives some of the activities in the Museum of the Bible and functions as a “digital docent.”
“Anonymous macro-level Bible engagement data from YouVersion’s community of millions of users will be used to power some of the real-time visuals in the museum.”