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Hobby Lobby owners plan DC Bible Museum

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After making history two weeks ago when the Supreme Court ruled in their favor regarding the Obamacare HHS contraception mandate, the owners of Hobby Lobby are back in the news.

The Green family has plans to build a museum, dedicated to the Bible, just two blocks south of the National Mall at the site of the Washington Design Center.

The Green Collection is the world’s largest private collection of rare biblical texts and artifacts and is a compilation of more than 40,000 biblical antiquities.

According to Explore Passages the collection will ultimately find a home in Washington D.C. at an international Bible museum that will enable visitors to experience it year-round, with a goal of opening in 2017. The international museum will also house the Green Scholars Initiative, which brings together established and young scholars to pioneer groundbreaking research on items in the collection.

Items in the collection include:

  • The second-largest private collection of Dead Sea Scrolls, all of which are unpublished and expected to substantially contribute to an understanding of the earliest surviving texts in the Bible
  • The world’s largest private collection of Jewish scrolls, spanning more than 700 years of history, including Torahs that survived the Spanish Inquisition, ones confiscated by the Nazis and recovered in concentration camps, and others from across the globe including China
  • An undocumented copy of Wycliffe’s New Testament in (Middle) English
  • A number of the earliest printed texts, including a large portion of the Gutenberg Bible and the world’s only complete Block Bible in private hands
  • Early tracts and Bibles of Martin Luther, including a little-known letter written the night before Luther’s excommunication

But not everyone is happy with the proposed location. Annie Laurie Gaylor with the Freedom From Religion Foundation said, "I think they are a great threat. My instincts would tell me that they are choosing Washington, D.C., because they intend to influence Congress." [The New York Times]