The museum would house rare volumes that Steve Green -- the son of Hobby Lobby's founder and the company's current president -- began collecting five years ago, the New York Times reported. Those works include an almost complete book of Psalms written on Egyptian papyrus and historic Torahs, the Jewish scriptures.
David and Barbara Green, who founded Hobby Lobby, and their son are evangelical Protestants who keep their stores closed on Sunday. The company recently won a legal battle when the Supreme Court ruled it cannot be forced to include birth control in its insurance coverage and a political one when opponents blocked a Senate bill Wednesday to reverse the court ruling.
Steve Green refused to talk to the Times.
"This nation is in danger because of its ignorance of what God has taught," Green said last year in a New York speech. "There are lessons from the past that we can learn from, the dangers of ignorance of this book. We need to know it. If we don't know it, our future is going to be very scary."
The Museum of the Bible, a Green family foundation, would operate the museum. The foundation acquired the National Design Center, two blocks from the National Mall and its complex of museums, in 2012.
Because the building, which opened in the 1920s as a refrigerating warehouse, is being designated a landmark, the project must still be approved by Washington's historic preservation review board.