A Second Hobby

A collector of rare books ran into an acquaintance who told him he had just thrown away an old Bible that he found in a dusty, attic box. He happened to also mention that Guten-somebody-or-other had been printed on it.  “Not Gutenberg?” gasped the collector.  “Yes, that was it!”  “You idiot! You’ve thrown away one of the first books ever printed. A copy recently sold at an auction for half a million dollars!”  “Oh, I don’t think this book would have been worth anything close to that much,” replied the man. “It was scribbled all over in the margins by some guy named Martin Luther.”

The Green family are owners of Hobby Lobby, the world’s largest chain of craft stores.  Their success has made them the 94th richest family in America with a net worth of just over $6 billion dollars.  But the Greens are also something else, born-again believers.  This is why  when you shop at a Hobby Lobby you’ll hear Christian music being played in the background.  And none of their 600 stores are ever open on Sunday, with all closed early in the evening so staff can be home with their families for supper and be able to put children to bed.  Also, 10% of all profits go to the Lord’s work with millions having been given to both home and foreign missions..  It’s all part of their business philosophy, “Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with biblical principles.”  But David and Barbara, the patriarchs of the Green family are getting up in years (mid-seventies) and are now spending $1 billion of their $6 billion fortune to totally finance what they want to be their legacy.  It’s …  … The Museum Of The Bible, located in Washington D.C., just a few blocks from the centres of power (White House, Congress, Supreme Court).  The museum itself will be one of the largest in the city, consisting of eight floors, totaling 430,000 square feet, with a biblical garden on the roof.  Scheduled to open in September of 2017, it will be a high-tech, state-of-the-art celebration of the Scriptures, designed to “inspire confidence in the absolute reliability and authority of the Word of God”.  Since the idea was first conceived in 2009, the Greens have been spending many millions of dollars in acquiring over 40,000 biblical artifacts from private collectors all around the world.  These include such items as: cuneiform tablets dating back to the time of Abraham, some of the oldest fragments of the Bible found on papyruses, very rare ancient translation editions, etc.  Plus, a long-term agreement has been reached with the Israel Antiquities Authority to display selections from that nation’s 2,000,000 plus artifacts, including portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls.  In addition, a history of the Bible curriculum is also being developed for use in local churches and private schools.  There will also be a conference room where scholars will come and speak on the latest in biblical archaeological finds.  And perhaps best of all, even though located in America’s capital city, there’ll be no separation of church-and-state conflict as not one dime of government money is being asked for or one cent of government grants accepted.

When Israel entered Canaan, God gave this instruction to her future kings (Deut. 17:18-20) – each monarch was to write out by hand a copy of Moses’ Law, that copy was to be with him for life, and the king was to read it through each year so he’d know how to properly rule.

Presidents may choose not to follow this example, but it won’t be because there aren’t any Bibles around.  Soon,  there will be a museum full of them just down the road.