How World's Largest Bible Museum Opened in Record-Breaking Time

How World's Largest Bible Museum Opened in Record-Breaking Time

A little over a year ago, an amazing museum opened up in Washington, D.C. Listen as Cary Summers, a member of the Museum of the Bible's leadership team, gives God alone credit for the museum. Hear how the idea developed and the doors God opened to this amazing venture. Learn what you will see at the museum and up and coming exhibitions.

 

36 Minutes • 3 months ago

Episode Notes

The Strang Report

with Stephen Strang

Guest: Cary Summers

 

A little over a year ago, an amazing museum opened up in Washington, D.C. Cary Summers, a member of the Museum of the Bible's leadership team, gives God alone credit for the museum.

 

Here’s how the idea developed and the doors God opened to this amazing venture. Learn what you will see at the museum and up and coming exhibitions.

 

Introduction

Stephen Strang: The Bible is the most important book ever written. Hello everyone, this is Stephen Strang, and welcome to the Strang Report. What I just said is something that most of my listeners know. We need to read it, we need to make it part of our lives, we need to hide it in our hearts. But most of you know that a little over a year ago and amazing new museum opened up in Washington, D.C., the Museum of the Bible. I've been there only once, but it is magnificent. And as I say on the podcast today, every Christian needs to figure out a way to get to Washington to see this museum. It is in walking distance of the mall and in my opinion, it’s every bit as good as anything that the Smithsonian Institution has to offer the museum goer. Everyone probably knows that the Green family of Hobby Lobby are the ones behind it. It's a wonderful story and a wonderful vision. Recently, the man whom the Green’s brought in, Cary Summers, visited my office. We've written about it in Charisma magazine. In fact, we made it to cover story the month that the museum opened. But I wanted you to hear from Cary the story behind it, how all this came together and also to get a little flavor of his personality and his background. I told him that he's one of the most interesting people I've ever met. I hope you enjoy my interview with Carrie summers of the Museum of the Bible.

 

 

·         Read the Strang Report: ‘God Went Before Us’: How World’s Largest Bible Museum Opened in Record-Breaking Time

 

 

Cary Summers, you have one of the most interesting jobs maybe in the world. You were involved with the founding, in fact, you were the first president of the Museum of the Bible in Washington. Tell us about it.

 

Cary Summers: I have a lot of friends saying I just would like to carry your bags with you where you travel because when we started the Museum of the Bible, we started from zero. Truly, it was just an idea. Everything that got built started basically in December of 2010. So, from 2010 when the organization was formed, we opened the Museum in Washington D.C. in November 2017, on time, and it’s the fourth largest Museum in Washington, 430,000 square feet. That surprised a lot of people that we could go from zero to that in that short a period of time and do it at the level of excellence that's been recognized by third parties. We can always say it, but we've had so many different awards now given on the excellence of the museum, that it was quite an accomplishment. But we also know that our attorneys that we had did not believe this statement. But we always said God is going before so this and they finally realized it when we got through some very difficult hearings with 100 percent yes votes, which they had never seen before.

 

So, we could say we built it in record time. But really God went before us.

 

Museum of the Bible on Charisma

 

·         Museum of the Bible Solves Decades-Old Mystery

·         A Miracle Museum 2000 Years in the Making

·         The Strang Report: The Story Behind the Miraculous Museum of the Bible, Which Opened Today

 

Stephen Strang: Let's talk about that. I've had the privilege of being there just once. I heard it was magnificent, so I planned an entire day. I understand it takes several days to go through it if you look at everything.

 

Cary Summers; Nine 8-hour days, which we've had people try by the way. And in every case they said they did not get finished. So, it may be more than that.

 

Stephen Strang: I got a good overview and kind of picked and chose what I wanted to see. I look forward to coming back. It is an historic building that was a warehouse apparently; it was a refrigerated warehouse. I was interested in that part of it; they had remodeled it. It's just magnificent. It's a must see. Everybody has got to figure out a way to get to Washington D.C. to see Museum of the Bible because, of course, the Bible is the greatest book ever written.

 

Cary Summers: Even for people that don't have the same appreciation of the Bible as maybe Catholics and Protestants and Jews might have, they still have found the building to be fascinating and the beauty of it. But also the content because what we've learned is in many cases people are not opposed to the Bible. They simply know nothing about it. Their neutrality is sometimes interpreted as an opposition. We're finding that in most cases, that's not the case. They simply don't know anything and the Museum of the Bible is at all different levels. You can come in and go to whatever level you wish and it allows them in a non-threatening environment, highly engaging in 430,000 square feet, it allows them to learn at their level. They walk away informed. They’re not quite sold over nor are trying to sell anything, but they feel more comfortable now in understanding the Bible a little bit more, maybe even starting to read it a little bit. That's was really one of our main objectives, to create that kind of atmosphere to do that.

 

Stephen Strang: Of course, the Bible is and always has been a big part of my life. But it seemed to me that it also was a testimony to the Jewish faith, the Christian faith without, let's say, proselytizing. But it was presented very clearly and there's of course antiquities and all kinds of different displays. There's even kind of like a theme park ride. It’s almost like you're flying all over Washington seeing all the scriptures that are in our major buildings there.

 

Cary Summers: That was a ride mechanism out of Vienna, Austria. Since we put it in, it's a sensation of flying. But nobody else in the U.S. had it. I think one of the major theme park companies is taking it on now is one of their key new rides in the future. But we did that because so much of the denial going on about the country was not founded upon Judeo-Christian principles, and the drumbeat was getting higher and higher and higher. We decided to not argue it but just show people. It’s quite amazing when you do that. You don't pick sides. You're just saying here's the facts. And that's what we tried to do throughout the museum. The founding of America based on the Bible, we have a whole section. Again, we're not trying to dispute anybody, but we're saying, well, here's the real facts. Here's the writings, here's the letters, here's the documents, here's the Bibles and you make up your own mind. All we're going to do is show you the evidence and that's what the whole museum is about.

 

Stephen Strang: On top of the museum I remember you have a magnificent theater and I stayed and watched a Broadway-style musical and it was just magnificent.

 

Cary Summers: That was amazing grace It was a huge it and by popular demand, truly, we're bringing it back. It opens in the theater again, its second season, in two weeks, and will run through mid-August. It's Amazing Grace, the Broadway show from the Nederlander Theater in New York. It's the story of John Newton, of slave ownership and slavery. That was his life. And then the other half of that story is God's redemption and His grace and what happens when a person figures that out. Of course, the finale is the song “Amazing Grace.” I can't tell you how many times I’ve seen it and there wasn't one time that people were not on their feet and you could feel, and in the industry, we say, you could feel the roof is going to get blown off. And every night, it did. It built up to such a crescendo that people were just exuberant, clapping crying out; people crying as they left. It wasn’t out of sadness, it was out of the overwhelming joy that that show ended with; with the redemption story through a man that they got to know through this play. He was not a good guy at all, and what happened to him, and it's an amazing, performance and we're delighted that it's coming back.

 

Stephen Strang: I followed this since 2010 when you started. We reported on it many ways. We did a cover story in Charisma the month it opened. I've had the privilege of knowing the Greens for number of years and was aware of their interest in the Bible. And while all this was going on, you had some kind of traveling display, I know that you took it to Havana and other different places. I was in Israel at the Bible Museum. It's from the Jewish perspective. They were showing me around, I was there with their curator and they were treating me like a VIP. They took me downstairs and there's something about the Museum of the Bible. I didn't expect it. It was you're traveling display. And so, in that setting, I got a little sneak preview of things to come. What amazed me was, you had a display of John Rogers the martyr. He's the one who translated the Thomas Matthews Bible, and in various ways and at various times, I've told people that I'm a direct descendant of his. So, here I was in Jerusalem not expecting to see it, and I was asking my Jewish friends, hey, come over here and see this about the Thomas Matthews Bible.

 

Cary Summers: That was a very unusual one. It's the Bible Museum and the family that started that museum we know fairly well. Amanda Weisz, she is the stepdaughter of the founder. Her and her mom still oversee that museum. They had talked to us about bringing something to that because they knew we had the traveling exhibit. We had done two at the Vatican by that time and then one in Cuba had been done and then of course, the U.S. They said why don't you bring one here. We weren't quite sure. We spent quite a bit of time investigating it. What we ended up with is really truly one of the prettiest exhibits we've ever built anywhere in the world. It just turned out to be fantastic based upon the people that came in and helped us do it in Israel. Then the discussion was what do you show in it? To your good point, they did not want purely a Jewish exhibit at all. They wanted an exhibit that certainly incorporated the Torah, which we did well and other Jewish writings and so forth. But they also wanted it to be an exposure for the Jewish market, which is primary to who comes to that museum, to understand more about what we might call the Protestant faith, in a way. That's how we built that, and it ended up being a home run.

 

Stephen Strang: It was very exciting and correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the Greens started collecting some antiquities, and then it just kind of slowly grew. It's like, why are we going to do with this? Are we going to show anybody? Tell me how that all happened?

 

Cary Summers: There were two guys in Dallas, Texas that had an idea of building a big Bible museum. There are hundreds of Bible museums around the world. It's not unique at all. But to do one that on a scope and an impact scale of a Smithsonian, nobody had ever done that. They came to the Greens to see if they would help underwrite a building, if they could ever find one in Dallas, which the Greens have done in the past, and they started on the venture of trying to find a building, which did not work out. But the idea, we might call it a noble concept, the two people there did not work well. But the idea was that maybe we should do that. So, the Green family took it on. The collection of the items started with the idea that they would buy a few items to give to these guys in Dallas as some of the first items; that was it. The Greens are not collectors, but the timing was in 2009, when the market had collapsed and money was as scarce as could be because of the subprime lending rates debacle. If you buy one item, it instantly gets out that, oh, there's a new buyer in the market. That's what happened. It probably wouldn't happen today. But back then it did. It became a big deal. And so many, many items started being presented to the Green family and they thought, OK, we’ll buy a few more and that will give us a little better start on our museum. Before they knew it, they had a lot of things, as they said, in their closet. Then the deal in Dallas did not work out. So, they said, let's do something with them. They were not collectors, they didn’t want them to just sit around. So, they created a traveling exhibit, and that's when it started traveling the U.S.

 

For the rest of Stephen’s interview with Cary Summers, please visit cpnshows.com.

 

Connect with the Museum of the Bible

·         On Facebook

·         On Twitter

·         Museumofthebible.org

Where to Find Stephen Strang on the Internet

·         The Strang Report on Charismamag.com

·         The Strang Report on cpnshows.com

·         On Twitter

·         On Facebook

Episode Notes

The Strang Report

with Stephen Strang

Guest: Cary Summers

 

A little over a year ago, an amazing museum opened up in Washington, D.C. Cary Summers, a member of the Museum of the Bible's leadership team, gives God alone credit for the museum.

 

Here’s how the idea developed and the doors God opened to this amazing venture. Learn what you will see at the museum and up and coming exhibitions.

 

Introduction

Stephen Strang: The Bible is the most important book ever written. Hello everyone, this is Stephen Strang, and welcome to the Strang Report. What I just said is something that most of my listeners know. We need to read it, we need to make it part of our lives, we need to hide it in our hearts. But most of you know that a little over a year ago and amazing new museum opened up in Washington, D.C., the Museum of the Bible. I've been there only once, but it is magnificent. And as I say on the podcast today, every Christian needs to figure out a way to get to Washington to see this museum. It is in walking distance of the mall and in my opinion, it’s every bit as good as anything that the Smithsonian Institution has to offer the museum goer. Everyone probably knows that the Green family of Hobby Lobby are the ones behind it. It's a wonderful story and a wonderful vision. Recently, the man whom the Green’s brought in, Cary Summers, visited my office. We've written about it in Charisma magazine. In fact, we made it to cover story the month that the museum opened. But I wanted you to hear from Cary the story behind it, how all this came together and also to get a little flavor of his personality and his background. I told him that he's one of the most interesting people I've ever met. I hope you enjoy my interview with Carrie summers of the Museum of the Bible.

 

 

·         Read the Strang Report: ‘God Went Before Us’: How World’s Largest Bible Museum Opened in Record-Breaking Time

 

 

Cary Summers, you have one of the most interesting jobs maybe in the world. You were involved with the founding, in fact, you were the first president of the Museum of the Bible in Washington. Tell us about it.

 

Cary Summers: I have a lot of friends saying I just would like to carry your bags with you where you travel because when we started the Museum of the Bible, we started from zero. Truly, it was just an idea. Everything that got built started basically in December of 2010. So, from 2010 when the organization was formed, we opened the Museum in Washington D.C. in November 2017, on time, and it’s the fourth largest Museum in Washington, 430,000 square feet. That surprised a lot of people that we could go from zero to that in that short a period of time and do it at the level of excellence that's been recognized by third parties. We can always say it, but we've had so many different awards now given on the excellence of the museum, that it was quite an accomplishment. But we also know that our attorneys that we had did not believe this statement. But we always said God is going before so this and they finally realized it when we got through some very difficult hearings with 100 percent yes votes, which they had never seen before.

 

So, we could say we built it in record time. But really God went before us.

 

Museum of the Bible on Charisma

 

·         Museum of the Bible Solves Decades-Old Mystery

·         A Miracle Museum 2000 Years in the Making

·         The Strang Report: The Story Behind the Miraculous Museum of the Bible, Which Opened Today

 

Stephen Strang: Let's talk about that. I've had the privilege of being there just once. I heard it was magnificent, so I planned an entire day. I understand it takes several days to go through it if you look at everything.

 

Cary Summers; Nine 8-hour days, which we've had people try by the way. And in every case they said they did not get finished. So, it may be more than that.

 

Stephen Strang: I got a good overview and kind of picked and chose what I wanted to see. I look forward to coming back. It is an historic building that was a warehouse apparently; it was a refrigerated warehouse. I was interested in that part of it; they had remodeled it. It's just magnificent. It's a must see. Everybody has got to figure out a way to get to Washington D.C. to see Museum of the Bible because, of course, the Bible is the greatest book ever written.

 

Cary Summers: Even for people that don't have the same appreciation of the Bible as maybe Catholics and Protestants and Jews might have, they still have found the building to be fascinating and the beauty of it. But also the content because what we've learned is in many cases people are not opposed to the Bible. They simply know nothing about it. Their neutrality is sometimes interpreted as an opposition. We're finding that in most cases, that's not the case. They simply don't know anything and the Museum of the Bible is at all different levels. You can come in and go to whatever level you wish and it allows them in a non-threatening environment, highly engaging in 430,000 square feet, it allows them to learn at their level. They walk away informed. They’re not quite sold over nor are trying to sell anything, but they feel more comfortable now in understanding the Bible a little bit more, maybe even starting to read it a little bit. That's was really one of our main objectives, to create that kind of atmosphere to do that.

 

Stephen Strang: Of course, the Bible is and always has been a big part of my life. But it seemed to me that it also was a testimony to the Jewish faith, the Christian faith without, let's say, proselytizing. But it was presented very clearly and there's of course antiquities and all kinds of different displays. There's even kind of like a theme park ride. It’s almost like you're flying all over Washington seeing all the scriptures that are in our major buildings there.

 

Cary Summers: That was a ride mechanism out of Vienna, Austria. Since we put it in, it's a sensation of flying. But nobody else in the U.S. had it. I think one of the major theme park companies is taking it on now is one of their key new rides in the future. But we did that because so much of the denial going on about the country was not founded upon Judeo-Christian principles, and the drumbeat was getting higher and higher and higher. We decided to not argue it but just show people. It’s quite amazing when you do that. You don't pick sides. You're just saying here's the facts. And that's what we tried to do throughout the museum. The founding of America based on the Bible, we have a whole section. Again, we're not trying to dispute anybody, but we're saying, well, here's the real facts. Here's the writings, here's the letters, here's the documents, here's the Bibles and you make up your own mind. All we're going to do is show you the evidence and that's what the whole museum is about.

 

Stephen Strang: On top of the museum I remember you have a magnificent theater and I stayed and watched a Broadway-style musical and it was just magnificent.

 

Cary Summers: That was amazing grace It was a huge it and by popular demand, truly, we're bringing it back. It opens in the theater again, its second season, in two weeks, and will run through mid-August. It's Amazing Grace, the Broadway show from the Nederlander Theater in New York. It's the story of John Newton, of slave ownership and slavery. That was his life. And then the other half of that story is God's redemption and His grace and what happens when a person figures that out. Of course, the finale is the song “Amazing Grace.” I can't tell you how many times I’ve seen it and there wasn't one time that people were not on their feet and you could feel, and in the industry, we say, you could feel the roof is going to get blown off. And every night, it did. It built up to such a crescendo that people were just exuberant, clapping crying out; people crying as they left. It wasn’t out of sadness, it was out of the overwhelming joy that that show ended with; with the redemption story through a man that they got to know through this play. He was not a good guy at all, and what happened to him, and it's an amazing, performance and we're delighted that it's coming back.

 

Stephen Strang: I followed this since 2010 when you started. We reported on it many ways. We did a cover story in Charisma the month it opened. I've had the privilege of knowing the Greens for number of years and was aware of their interest in the Bible. And while all this was going on, you had some kind of traveling display, I know that you took it to Havana and other different places. I was in Israel at the Bible Museum. It's from the Jewish perspective. They were showing me around, I was there with their curator and they were treating me like a VIP. They took me downstairs and there's something about the Museum of the Bible. I didn't expect it. It was you're traveling display. And so, in that setting, I got a little sneak preview of things to come. What amazed me was, you had a display of John Rogers the martyr. He's the one who translated the Thomas Matthews Bible, and in various ways and at various times, I've told people that I'm a direct descendant of his. So, here I was in Jerusalem not expecting to see it, and I was asking my Jewish friends, hey, come over here and see this about the Thomas Matthews Bible.

 

Cary Summers: That was a very unusual one. It's the Bible Museum and the family that started that museum we know fairly well. Amanda Weisz, she is the stepdaughter of the founder. Her and her mom still oversee that museum. They had talked to us about bringing something to that because they knew we had the traveling exhibit. We had done two at the Vatican by that time and then one in Cuba had been done and then of course, the U.S. They said why don't you bring one here. We weren't quite sure. We spent quite a bit of time investigating it. What we ended up with is really truly one of the prettiest exhibits we've ever built anywhere in the world. It just turned out to be fantastic based upon the people that came in and helped us do it in Israel. Then the discussion was what do you show in it? To your good point, they did not want purely a Jewish exhibit at all. They wanted an exhibit that certainly incorporated the Torah, which we did well and other Jewish writings and so forth. But they also wanted it to be an exposure for the Jewish market, which is primary to who comes to that museum, to understand more about what we might call the Protestant faith, in a way. That's how we built that, and it ended up being a home run.

 

Stephen Strang: It was very exciting and correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the Greens started collecting some antiquities, and then it just kind of slowly grew. It's like, why are we going to do with this? Are we going to show anybody? Tell me how that all happened?

 

Cary Summers: There were two guys in Dallas, Texas that had an idea of building a big Bible museum. There are hundreds of Bible museums around the world. It's not unique at all. But to do one that on a scope and an impact scale of a Smithsonian, nobody had ever done that. They came to the Greens to see if they would help underwrite a building, if they could ever find one in Dallas, which the Greens have done in the past, and they started on the venture of trying to find a building, which did not work out. But the idea, we might call it a noble concept, the two people there did not work well. But the idea was that maybe we should do that. So, the Green family took it on. The collection of the items started with the idea that they would buy a few items to give to these guys in Dallas as some of the first items; that was it. The Greens are not collectors, but the timing was in 2009, when the market had collapsed and money was as scarce as could be because of the subprime lending rates debacle. If you buy one item, it instantly gets out that, oh, there's a new buyer in the market. That's what happened. It probably wouldn't happen today. But back then it did. It became a big deal. And so many, many items started being presented to the Green family and they thought, OK, we’ll buy a few more and that will give us a little better start on our museum. Before they knew it, they had a lot of things, as they said, in their closet. Then the deal in Dallas did not work out. So, they said, let's do something with them. They were not collectors, they didn’t want them to just sit around. So, they created a traveling exhibit, and that's when it started traveling the U.S.

 

For the rest of Stephen’s interview with Cary Summers, please visit cpnshows.com.

 

Connect with the Museum of the Bible

·         On Facebook

·         On Twitter

·         Museumofthebible.org

Where to Find Stephen Strang on the Internet

·         The Strang Report on Charismamag.com

·         The Strang Report on cpnshows.com

·         On Twitter

·         On Facebook

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How World's Largest Bible Museum Opened in Record-Breaking Time