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Virtual Tour: See Inside the Museum of the Bible

D.C.'s getting a new museum -- not a Smithsonian, but the privately funded Museum of the Bible. It's set to open to the public Friday.

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The 42-foot-tall Gutenberg Gates welcome visitors to the museum.
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Ahead of the Nov. 17 opening, visitors with advanced tickets lined up around the block to preview the museum.
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An LED screen illuminates the ceiling of the museum's entryway.
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The LED screen shifts periodically. It's just a visitor's first glimpse of a reported $42 million worth of technology in the museum.
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The museum is devoted to telling the story of the Bible, exploring its history and showing the book's impact, Tony Zeiss, the museum's executive director, said. Above: an illustrated copy of the Bible on loan from the Vatican Library.
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A lion welcomes kids to the children's area on the first floor.
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Kids can play interactive, scripture-themed games.
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One of the museum's temporary exhibits focuses on the history of the hymn "Amazing Grace."
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Another temporary collection focuses on artifacts that museum curators say are from the home village of David, from the famous story David and Goliath. Above, museum officials say this small shrine replica is 3,000 years old.
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The museum was funded by the Green family, known for owning the Hobby Lobby chain of craft stores. Hobby Lobby was fined $3 million in July for importing artifacts smuggled out of Iraq -- which concerned some scholars. Many of the museum's collections focus more on modern technology than ancient artifacts. Above: a display discussing burned Bibles.
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Fragments of paper that may be from the Dead Sea Scrolls -- an important retelling of Scripture. However, scholars have been debating over these artifacts because fakes are rampant in the antiquities market.

After Hobby Lobby was fined for importing smuggled Iraqi artifacts, scholars view the museum's collection with heightened scrutiny.
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Some of the most significant artifacts are on loan from the Israeli Antiquities Authority, biblical scholar Christopher Rollston told News4.
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A collections of chests from the Israeli Antiquities Authority.
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The museum isn't all about history. Here, fashion inspired by Scripture.
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One interactive exhibit is this table, where an images of family dinners around the world are projected. Audio of prayers in different languages plays in the background.
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The museum has a hall devoted to how the Bible influenced key figures in America, including the founding fathers, abolitionists and civil rights leaders.
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Interactive and video exhibits share space with older artifacts. Here, a video about the biblical rhetoric used among anti-slavery leaders. The exhibit also discusses how the Bible was used to promote and justify slavery.
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This exhibit shows how the Bible was used to promote and decry slavery.
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Here, a Bible the museum says was presented to Abraham Lincoln.
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A life-sized replica of the Gutenberg Press.
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A replica of the Liberty Bell welcomes visitors to the display of the Bible's history in America.
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The museum displays several Bibles owned by presidents, including George Washington.
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The exhibit showing Thomas Jefferson's Bible discusses a few of the former president's reservations about Christian beliefs.
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A life-size replica of Nazareth, the village where, according to the Bible, Jesus lived.
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Museum staff said actors in costume will speak with visitors in the Nazareth exhibit.
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The life-size village shows what daily life may have been like in biblical times.
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A full-scale model of an olive oil press sits in one room of the Nazareth exhibit.
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This 360-degree display alternates between transporting you to modern but historically significant cities, and sharing messages from religious groups across the world.
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The Bible plays an important role beyond Christianity. Here, the museum shows how the Bible influences Jewish traditions.
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The museum's top floor boasts a cafe that serves Middle Eastern-inspired dishes.
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Museum of the Bible
Outside the restaurant on the sixth floor, visitors can enjoy an outdoor garden. Here is the museum's rendering of what the garden could look like in spring.
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The museum's outdoor area doesn't have much greenery in November, but the designer told News4 to expect lilies, tulips and canna flowers when the weather is warmer.
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The sixth floor offers views of the Capitol building.
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One room is devoted to Bibles from different time periods and places across the globe.
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The exhibits show off more than just books. Here, a Roman-style belt.
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Modern art reflecting biblical themes on the sixth floor of the museum.
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Museum of The Bible, SmithGroupJJR Architect
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The 42-foot gates create an instant impression.
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