fbpx

Bible-Related Attractions in the United States

This page supplements our U.S. Museums with Artifacts Related to the Biblical World.

Alabama

Ave Maria Grotto, Cullman, AL. This four-acre plot is full of tiny replicas of important biblical sites, including the Tower of Babel and Jacob’s Well. It also includes many models of Roman Catholic buildings (St. Peter’s in Rome, for example) and important ancient structures, such as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

Arizona

The Bible Museum, Goodyear, AZ. While there are several Bible collections in the US, this one has the distinction of allowing visitors to handle the items on display. Located on the first floor of Hampton Inn & Suites, the collection is available for self-guided viewing 24-7, and lessons are offered for groups with an appointment. Items include a 16th-century Torah scroll and a 1522 Erasmus New Testament.

Arkansas

The Great Passion Play, Eureka Springs, AR. This theatrical recreation of Jesus’s last days (including live animals) is performed in an outdoor amphitheater. There are also many other attractions on the property, including a collection of rare Bibles and a 2-hour “Holy Land Tour.”

California

Creation and Earth History Museum, Santee, CA. Originally founded by the Institute for Creation Research, the new owners have expanded the museum to include a tabernacle theater, dinosaurs exhibit, and mineral cave.

Traveling Tabernacle Experience, Capistrano Beach, CA. While based in southern California, this tabernacle replica is a touring attraction that is set up at host churches across the country. And unlike many others of its kind, this replica provides an individual experience, with visitors assuming the role of a priest as they are walked through various duties and rituals.

Florida

Holy Land Experience, Orlando, FL. The park has exhibits recreating the tabernacle, Herod’s Temple, the Garden Tomb, and an ancient marketplace, with various theatrical shows to go alongside. It also offers an indoor model of Jerusalem and a museum of biblical documents. Permanently closed in August 2021.

Tabernacle Replica, Merrit Island, FL. Available for guided tours, this replica tabernacle shows significant care in the details, including real animal skins, hand-embroidered details, and real metal (brass, not gold) props. Two other replicas travel to other sites in the country.

Wycliffe Discovery Center, Orlando, FL. This center teaches visitors about the many cultures which now have the Bible in their language, as well as the many that are still waiting.

Georgia

Biblical History Center, LaGrange, GA. Founded by James Fleming and formerly known as the Explorations in Antiquity Center, this teaching museum specializes in daily life in Bible times. Numerous reconstructions provide the visitor with an authentic experience of the ancient world. The Biblical Life Artifacts Gallery is filled with artifacts on long-term loan from the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Indiana

Jesus of Nazareth Passion Play, Munster, IN. Performed on an elaborate stage, the production features pyrotechnics, live singing, and aerial stunts.

Menno-Hof, Shipshewana, IN. For those with an interest in church history, Menno-Hof offers a look at “the intriguing world of the Amish and Mennonites.” Their interactive tour traces the history of the Anabaptist movement from ancient Bethlehem to Indiana.

Kentucky

Creation Museum, Petersburg, KY. This museum has extensive exhibits relating to creation science, including dinosaur bones, a botanical garden, and a planetarium. In addition, they have recreated certain scenes from early biblical history, all with the interest of strengthening the faith of believers.

Ark Encounter Theme Park, Williamstown, KY. This full-size replica of the Ark houses scenes of Noah’s family and the pre-Flood world, as well as lifelike sculptures of various animals, both familiar and ancient. Their adjacent zoo offers donkey and camel rides.

Louisiana

The Biedenharn Museum and Gardens, Monroe, LA. This museum hosts a number of collections, including a Bible collection that includes an 1121 Armenian manuscript and a 1611 King James Bible.

Mississippi

Palestine Gardens, Lucedale, MS. Tucked away in the woods, this scale model of the Holy Land is open for free guided tours. The Jordan River has been replicated, alongside several important cities and villages such as Jericho, Bethlehem, and Jerusalem.

Missouri

The Precious Moments Chapel, Carthage, MO. Artist Samuel J. Butcher, best known for his Precious Moments figurines, designed a chapel around his signature franchise. Hand-painted murals line the walls, framed by architecture inspired by the Sistine Chapel.

Sight & Sound Theaters, Branson, MO. With a sister location in Lancaster, PA, this theater puts on first-rate Bible-themed productions throughout the year. These performances boast a 300-foot stage, state-of-the-art technology, and real animals.

The Spurgeon Center, Kansas City, MO. This library houses almost 6,000 items from Spurgeon’s personal collection, as well as multiple exhibits featuring the late theologian’s life and legacy.

New York

Chautauqua Institution Palestine Park, Chautauqua, NY. Built in 1874, this model recreates the Holy Land at a scale of 1.75 feet to the mile, with various important locations indicated through mounds, signs, or small replicas. We wrote about our visit here.

Jewish Children’s Museum, Brooklyn, NY. The name says it all—this attraction is designed to teach children about Jewish culture in an interactive and engaging way. Several of their exhibits deal directly with accounts from the OT, while others provide a helpful introduction to modern Jewish life.

North Carolina

The Billy Graham Library, Charlotte, NC. Situated in Billy Graham’s hometown, this library has several exhibits exploring the late preacher’s ministry. Among them is a reconstruction of Graham’s childhood home, carefully crafted from original materials.

Ohio

BibleWalk and Living Bible Museum, Mansfield, OH. This museum has an eclectic collection, including wax-figure scenes (some animated), religious artwork, and several rare Bibles.

Pennsylvania

Rodef Shalom Biblical Botanical Garden, Pittsburgh, PA. Hosting over 100 plants important to the ancient Near East, this garden labels each one with applicable Bible verses. They also have replicas of ancient farming tools and small recreations of the Jordan, the Dead Sea, and the Sea of Galilee.

Mennonite Information Center Tabernacle Model, Lancaster, PA. This full-size reproduction of the tabernacle includes a menorah and table of showbread made to scale as well as priestly robes with precious stones. Access is permitted only with a guided tour.

Sight & Sound Theaters, Lancaster, PA. With a sister location in Branson, MO, this theater puts on first-rate Bible-themed productions throughout the year. These performances boast a 300-foot stage, state-of-the-art technology, and real animals.

South Carolina

Bob Jones University Museum & Gallery, Greenville, SC. This institution hosts a fine collection of ancient artifacts related to the biblical world as well as other items of scriptural interest. Their collection of Old Master paintings is one of the largest in America, and provides a window into the religious and artistic expressions of Europe in the 14th through 19th centuries. Note: the museum is closed for renovation until early 2019.

South Dakota

Valtiroty Shiloh’s Tabernacle, Mitchell, SD. This center features a Bible Land Walk-Thru, rooms for each of the 12 tribes, a display of materials from Israel, a children’s jungle room and more. (TripAdviser has more info.)

Tennessee

Christ in the Smokies, Gatlinburg, TN. This attraction features 3D scenes from the life of Christ and models of items from the Tabernacle and Temple.

The Everlasting Nation Museum, Hixson, TN. This museum includes exhibits of Abraham’s tents, a Jewish wedding, a replica of the Western Wall, and an exact reproduction of Corrie Ten Boom’s “hiding place.”

Parthenon Replica, Nashville, TN. Located in Centennial Park, this structure reproduces both the Parthenon and its famous statue of Athena to scale. It also houses a rotating art collection.

Treasuring the Word Rare Book & Bible Museum, Sevierville, TN. This museum “houses a collection of artifacts, rare Bibles, Bible pages, and rare books telling the exciting chronological history of the Bible’s progression into the English language.”

Texas

Bridwell Library, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX. SMU has collected a significant library of Christian literature, particularly in the subjects of theology and biblical studies. They have an especially impressive collection relating to Methodism.

Capernaum First Century Village, Weatherford, TX. This re-creation of a first-century Galilean village features stone houses, courtyards, corrals, and a well. The set alone is available for self-guided tours several days a week, but it can be experienced with actors in period dress during specific times, or if you bring a large group.

Creation Evidence Museum, Glen Rose, TX. The purpose of this museum is “researching and displaying scientific evidence for creation.” Displays include a replica of Noah’s Ark, a replica of the London Artifact, the Burdick Track, the Alvis Delk Cretaceous Footprint, the Fossilized Human Finger, and more.

ICR Discovery Center, Dallas, TX. This museum of the Institute for Creation Research is scheduled to open in 2019.

Main Street Bethlehem, Burnet, TX. Every December this church re-creates first-century Bethlehem: “Explore the narrow streets to faint strains of ancient music and savor the smells of fresh goat butter, campfires, and hot bread. Then immerse yourself in the din of the marketplace; the revelers in the tavern, shouted insults to and from the Roman oppressors, merchants, craftspeople, taxpayers, and beggars all seeking money, or position, or revenge.”

Washington, DC

Museum of the Bible. This $500 million museum would take you a week to see and read every exhibit. More than 3,000 objects are on display including archaeological artifacts loaned from the Israel Antiquities Authority and manuscripts loaned from the Vatican. They have additional exhibits on a rotating basis. As of this writing, the website is so “sophisticated” that you may have an easier time getting information from the wikipedia page.

Library of Congress Bible Collection. The Library of Congress is home to nearly twenty Bibles, including the Giant Bible of Mainz and a Gutenberg Bible.

Notes

We want to thank Kaelyn Peay for her help in compiling this list. We also thank those who provided suggestions.

Please send any suggestions or corrections to Todd Bolen. Please note our companion list, U.S. Museums with Artifacts Related to the Biblical World.

Last updated: September 21, 2018