The Museum of the Bible had its private opening on Friday, November 17 in Washington, DC not far from the Capitol building. The public opening was on Saturday when hundreds of people visited the new museum. Billionaire Steve Green is the founder and chairman. He is widely known for his Hobby Lobby craft stores

On Friday, gospel singer CeCe Winans sang "Amazing Grace" as the museum was about to open. "Touched by an Angel" actress Roma Downey was there along with some other faith leaders who cut a gold ribbon with oversized scissors before lines of people entered the 40-foot tall, bronze doors with the first chapter of Genesis inscribed in Latin.

When inside, visitors saw rooms filled with lots of Bibles. The Bibles of Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Harry Truman, and George W. Bush’s family are there along with one that once belonged to Elvis Presley and a missal to Babe Ruth. First editions of the King James Bible are alongside the Torahs and Bibles that have been translated into different languages.

About the museum

The purpose of the museum wasn't to convert anyone. Green says the mission of the museum is for people to visit and learn some things about the Bible. He and the other evangelical leaders say they want people to come to know the history of the Bible. The construction of the museum started in 2015 on the site that once was a refrigeration warehouse.

Pre-scheduled tour groups were able to visit early before the museum opened to the general public on Saturday. There are floors and floors of exhibits in the museum's 430,000 square feet of space that cost $500 million to build and fill with biblical displays. There is a 472-seat theater. A biblical garden is on the roof. It would take nine 8-hour days to tour the entire museum.

Dead Sea Scrolls

Before the museum opened, there were some controversial issues and negative comments about one exhibit in particular. David Trobisch, director of collections of the museum, says any reputable Bible museum almost has to have dead sea scrolls. However, the museum's Dead Sea Scrolls have been scrutinized.

According to several Bible scholars and professors, the 13 fragments are not real.

Arstein Justnes, a professor of biblical studies at the University of Agder in Norway says the Dead Sea Scrolls said to be nearly 2,000 years old are fake.

Kipp Davis, an expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls at Trinity Western University in Canada, is one of several who warned Green about the forgeries. Since 2002, scientists have identified more than 70 Dead Sea Scroll fragments and 90 percent of them are fake. Some scholars are saying all of them are fake, including those in the Museum of the Bible.