DIGITAL BIBLE – A CHALLENGE ?

INTRODUCTION

Civilization has reached a point that technology has covered almost every part of human aspect ranging from what we eat,wear,see and so forth. Now, the Holy Bible being the word of God has also being digitized.Today, there are over millions of digital bible apps available for Christians world wide.It is sometimes called e-bible.It is gradually taking over the physical(book) bible we already know.Is it good for Christians to use digital bible?.This very question is hard to answer but from my point of view. I would prefer we consider the advantages and the disadvantages of using digital bible.We all use digital Bibles because we find it:

1.Easy to carry along(portability)
2. Easy to search for biblical keywords
3. Easy user interface
4. Fast in searching for topics
5. Easy bookmarks and reference
6. Easy to share with friends via text,emails and social media

I believe there are other reasons that people prefer digital bible to the physical bible.Honestly, I have much interest in the digital bible and I use it often than the physical bible due to the above reasons, but sometimes I feel like whether I am using the word of God in the right way ?The physical bible is most often ideal on my table.I believe many Christians are in the same canoe.Even some of the great pastors now use digital bibles on their Iphones,IPads, tablets and other phones.Some even read sermons from the phone to their congregations.


Let us consider some of the disadvantages of using digital bibles or the so-called e-bibles.

1. when the phone breaks down your bible too has broken down.Without the phone,there is no bible.
2. While reading from your bible pop-ups like advertisement will show to distract you.
3. You might be tempted to check your Facebook notifications or slip to any social media network.If you don’t take care you might forget that you are at church and do active chat with friends. Are you really serving God at church?I’ve once chat with a friend on Whataspp, and after asking her about where she is she told me she is at church. Can you imagine this?.
4.Digital bibles could be altered easily because the owner has direct access to the app and so can remove or add new words to the bible. It is very easy to alter it unlike the printed bible or the physical bible.
5.Incoming calls or messages can distract you from reading the Bible to understand it properly.

Desperate Christians will then ask, “So is it a sin to use digital bible?”.I do not see it as sin and I am not the one to define what sin is.The bible has made it clear that we have the freedom to do anything but not everything we do is right. Why would you take the digital bible to church and leave your physical bible in the house. Christians today feel lazy to take time to go through the physical bible page by page.Because we find it old-fashioned and boring. On the other hand, there are many who feel comfortable and satisfied only if they read the physcial bible and they devote time reading the physical bible. So, the question is whether Digital Bible is paving the way for a spirituality marked by convenience and pleasure than real indepth meditation and reflection of God’s Word ? For me, both can be equally valuable and helpful provided we approach and handle the same with deep devotion and expectation.

Rev.Dr.M.Mani Chacko,Ph.D(Lond.)
General Secretary
The Bible Society of India

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