The Museum of the Bible removed one of several miniature Bibles from its display after an expert questioned whether or not it actually went to the moon with an Apollo 14 astronaut.
According to USA Today, the Apollo Prayer League gave Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell a handful of tiny Bibles to bring to the moon with him in 1971.
The museum had put a microfilm Bible, which they believed had ventured into outer space with Mitchell, on display. Later, however, the museum removed the Bible after they were unable to authenticate it.
Still on display, however, is a pocket-sized Bible donated to the museum by an Oklahoma woman who authored a book about the Apollo Prayer League.
“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,” museum spokeswoman Heather Cirmo said in a statement. “We couldn’t disprove it, it just wasn’t certain,” she added.
Late last year, the museum also had to pull from display five fragments believed to be from various Dead Sea scrolls.
According to Religion News Service, the museum, which is owned by Hobby Lobby President Steve Green and his family, removed the fragments after suspicion that they were forgeries was confirmed. The museum replaced the fragments with others in their possession that did not share the same anomalies as the forged fragments. The museum had long questioned the authenticity of the fragments and had previously added a plaque to the display informing visitors that the authenticity of the fragments had been called into question by scholars.
The museum reportedly has 11 addition fragments believed to be from the Dead Sea scrolls. The pieces – which contain parts of the Ten Commandments and the book of Genesis, are all being tested for authenticity. The test results are expected to be delivered to the museum by the end of the year.
Photo courtesy: NASA/U.S. Government