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Museum of the Bible commencing lectures on Bible's influence on past U.S. presidents

(Wikimedia Commons/Michaela McNichol, Library of Congress)The Bible used by Abraham Lincoln for his oath of office during his first inauguration in 1861.

A series of lectures titled, "Presidential Influence: The Importance of the Bible Among America's Greatest Leaders," will be held in Oklahoma Christian University. The Museum of the Bible's seven-week program will start on Thursday, Sept. 1, with a lecture from New York Times best-selling author Joshua Charles about the Bible's influence on Abraham Lincoln.

Charles' lecture will be followed by a presentation on George Washington by Dr. Ted Steinbock of the University of Louisville on Sept. 15. Dr. Barry Hankins of Baylor University will hold a lecture about Woodrow Wilson on Oct. 6. The other presidents who will be featured in the lecture series are Andrew Jackson, George H.W. Bush, Thomas Jefferson and John Quincy Adams. 

"There is no doubt that the 2016 presidential election is one of the most talked about events in our country's modern history," said Cary Summers, president of the Museum of the Bible, in an interview with Edmond Sun.

"As such, we see it as a perfect opportunity to bring into the discussion an academic review of the Bible's influence in the lives and careers of some of America's greatest leaders," Summers added.

The free lecture series will be held at the Cail Auditorium in Oklahoma Christian University.

In other news, the eight-level Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. is expected to open in November 2017. The first exhibit piece, a full-size replica of the Liberty Bell, was acquired by the museum in June. 

David Trobisch, director of the museum's collection, hopes that the featured pieces will spark people's curiosity to look deeper into the Bible's message.

"In the Sunday School approach, kids hear what is right," he said in a statement. "With teens, it's different. We think we can only create credibility when we show them the facts," he added.

The museum will divide the exhibits based on the Bible's narrative, history and its impact. The exhibits will include artifacts such as original fragments of the Dead Sea scrolls and illuminated Bibles from the medieval times.

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