THE BIBLE 2.0
by Charles Robey
(Trussville AL, USA )
Where's that John 3:16 App.
A prelude! The Apostle John closes one of his ancient handwritten letters with a line of enduring relevance for those of us who now write with our thumbs: “Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink modern technology for John. Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete” (2 John 12).
If you haven't' notice lately, technology has taken the world by storm. And now it has crept into our Christian environment. I was sitting in church, the other Sunday, and when it came time for the scripture reading, the pastor announced for the congregation to take their Bibles, iPad, or iPhones, and turn to such-and-such scripture. In other words, simply take your electronic device and click on the scripture. What do you think about this innovative tech age entering the church? Personally, I have mixed feelings.
Once, when my grandson was a mere lad, he requested a Bible. His stipulation was that it had to be black leather and it must state "Holy Bible" on the cover. There's just something about holding that sacred black leather bound book, with its paper thin pages, and glancing down at the foot notes, as you read God's word. I realize there are hundreds of versions in print, which vary from the original interpolation. However, if you just let God's Holy Spirit talk to you, as you read, you can get past these variations (2 Timothy 3:16) (2 Peter 1:21).
Reading from a tech device does have its advantages, especially with the younger generation. It's just something about being seen holding that new tech device, that boast the super ego of the young. And for the younger generation, just seeing any new idea, via the internet, often times sparks interest. If this then peaks an otherwise disinterested soul, is it not worth it to have God's word read. After all, the Holy Spirit can work wonders with any type media (1 Thess 2:1`3).
Conversely, there are a number of possible disadvantage to the electronic Bibles. The electronic Bibles tend to have more available distractions, you tend to lose content, and the content is harder to memorize. And every church building doesn't have the available internet.
One important issue, which the Devil often times sneaks into our crowded born again minds, is that of legalism. And he will use any deception device to cloud our minds. After all, he used the apple, or piece of fruit, to bring about our sin downfall (Genesis 3:1-7). Why would he not use any evil scheme, in circumventing the truth, when it comes to electronic devices (Ephesians 6:12)?
God's word is no less God's word in printed form inside a really snazzy colored cover with a giant cross on the front, or on the really tiny print on your smart phone. Let's just call this new technology a preference, as long as it is a creditable translation of God's word. As long as the word is inerrant, infallible, and the powerful Word of the living God.
In conclusion, paper pages, electronic type, or any other means of getting information, is not what changes a person. God, by His Spirit and through His living word, is what changes and effects people (Psalm 138:2).
So, the next time you have an opportunity of witness, pull out your well worn New Testament and share God's word. Christianity is rooted in Christ’s incarnation and this profound face-to-face reality is what shapes our fellowship (2 John 12)(3 John 14), our ultimate hopes (1 John 3:2), and our lives before the face of God. The electronic Bibles have a place in society, and so does the traditional Bible.
Author's Post Script
Just remember, the Word of God is the Word of God. It doesn't matter if it's carved into stone, scrawled on parchment, printed on paper, or digitalized (Romans 15:4). The original Bible wasn't typed. The Bible as is known today; bound by leather and printed on paper with Jesus' words in red, isn't less holy than the stones God used to carve the Ten Commandments and it's not holier than when it's read from a tablet.
This strikes a big nerve with me. Many people in this world still don't have the Bible translated into their language and I guarantee they'd weep for joy to have it in any form (Psalm 119:40). Amen.