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Museum of the Bible Swaps Fake
News Bytes 10/9/2019 32 Comments

After being told that one of its items might be fake, the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC, quickly replaced it. Now the museum is testing some other artifacts, too, in an effort to ensure their authenticity.

The Green family, evangelical Christian billionaires who run the Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby chain of craft stores, largely funded the $500 million museum. The Museum of the Bible opened in November 2017.

The questioned museum item was a tiny microfilm Bible. The museum labeled it as one that a NASA astronaut had carried to the moon in 1971. But Tulsa author Carol Mersch raised concerns about its authenticity. She had written a book about the Apollo Prayer League, which arranged for Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell to carry tiny microfilm Bibles to the moon.

Mersch had received 10 lunar Bibles from then-NASA chaplain John Stout, a co-founder of the Apollo Prayer League. She says the museum’s lunar Bible had a three-digit serial number but that Stout engraved the authentic Bibles with five-digit numbers.

“We know for sure that one on display right now went to the moon, but we could not verify for sure that the one we had originally on display had gone to the moon,” spokeswoman Heather Cirmo says. “We couldn’t disprove it [either], it just wasn’t certain.”

Some wondered why the museum didn’t announce that it was replacing the lunar Bible. “It’s pretty ridiculous to think that any museum, that every time you switch something out you’re going to announce it on plaques,” Cirmo says. “Collectors make mistakes all the time. . . . This is not something that is unique to Steve Green.”

She’s right. The Vatican in Rome displayed the “fake” lunar Bible, too, before Green bought it.

A month before the Museum of the Bible’s opening, Green acknowledged the museum had made some mistakes early on. “There’s a lot of complexities in areas that I’m still a novice at,” Green says. “But we are engaging the best experts we can to advise and help us in that process.”

(Left: A photo of the lunar Bible on display at the museum. Right: Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell studies a map while walking on the Moon, February 6, 1971. Museum of the Bible Collection, AP)

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Most recent comments

That's awesome that they are

That's awesome that they are being honest like that. In a world with a lot of fake news and stuff, it's nice to see that some people still care about being honest, especially since they weren't even sure whether the Lunar Bible was actually fake or not.

First Comment!

I'mm glad they are working to fix it! I've always wanted to go there!

@ Lena P

Sorry I didn't see yours!

@ Bella C.

It's totally fine, that has happened to me more than once :-)

Glad their honest

I am glad their honest. I wonder why they didn't figure this out sooner.


Does anyone know what a microfilm bible is?

To above

I think its that thing in the picture but I dont see any words on it???

@Vaughn H

It is a really tiny Bible.

I have seen what I assume is

I have seen what I assume is a replica of one.


umm why is there two news bites for 10-08-19 today is the 9th?

i looked it up and this is what i found

question part 2

So do any of y'all have to write a summery of the new bites or is it just me?

@Mackenna L

1. It must be a mistake
2. What is the link to?
3. I don't have to do anything for WorldTeen

It can happen.

Mistakes are normal, and it's good that they are trying to fix the problem.


That is cool!

@ Mackenna

I have to pick one or two to write about on Fridays. Are you homeschooled?

@ Mackenna

I don't have to. But I do have o rite on about the history lesson. I am home schooled are you?


I don't have to write a summery about anything on World Teen, but I do have to write essays on a History lesson on Friday


So is Sarah your middle name or part of you first name?

museum of the Bible

that's cool that they will replace the micro Bible thing. personally I don't understand why they didn't just bring a normal Bible.

P.S. I am home schooled too, but my mom hasn't made me wright essays yet.

@Beth H

Sarah is my sister's name but she doesn't use WorldTeen much.

@Beth G

Oh, okay!!

@ Beth G

Where do you live?

@BELLA C and @nadia

Yes I am home-educated are you? Also I don't know if you know this but your not supposed to tell people where you live on the internet it is dangerous there's some horrible people out there.


and asking where someone lives is a little creepy...

@ Machenna

I wasn't trying to be creepy. I know someone named Sarah. And I want to known where she lived. Not her addresses or anything.

@Nadia A

My sister isn't the Sarah you know.

To above

do you live in Louisiana?

@ Mackenna

yes i'm home schooled.

@Nadia A


@ Mackenna L

Yes I am! What curriculum do you use?

@ Beth G

ok then i don't know your sister. : )

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