Saturday, October 17, 2009

Goodbye to Gideon['s Bibles]?

Goodbye to Gideon?
New digital Bible could hasten decline of bound Scriptures

That's the attention grabbing headline for this online article at Newsweek by Society and Religion editor Lisa Miller. It is a largely positive review of the recently released Glo Bible which I previously described. It's rather interesting to catch the perspective of Bible software from the secular press. In addition to a description of the program that impressed Miller, there is also some interesting info about the people behind Glo: Nelson Saba ("a Brazilian evangelical Christian who was once, before his conversion, a technology vice president at Citibank") and Phil Chen ("a Taiwanese businessman whose family-owned company, HTC").

I will admit that I'm using digital Bibles far more regularly than print ones, and so I suppose she may not be too far off when she says, does convince me that the leather-bound Bible on every household bookshelf may soon—like records and videocassettes and newspapers—be endangered, if not extinct.


  1. I don't think so. I have several translations on my iphone and use e-sword regularly to look up passages in the Bible, but to get closer to God you need to read His Word consistently and not just at church. You can do that electronically, but I don't think it works as well, certainly not for me anyway.

    In the interest of full disclosure I am a Gideon and have passed out a lot of Scriptures. As an organization we passed out almost 79 million worldwide last year, with the goal of 100 million by 2020, a goal we will reach much sooner than that at the rate we're going. Just my two cents worth.

  2. I can relate from the newspaper industry that most people who grew up with the printed form still want to hang on to it, even if they also make extensive use of electronic forms. But I find myself increasingly preferring the electronic forms of news and Bible study, largely due to the ease of searching through the material. I use Bible Gateway almost exclusively for quick lookups. Yet I also keep various Bibles in print for the sake of having a backup, should electricity suddenly become unreliable. Anything can happen.

  3. Lol! I hadn't thought of electricity becoming unreliable. For study I agree, I use electronic versions almost exclusively (I encourage you to try e-sword. Comparing multiple translations can open up the meaning of a passage and let you see something you haven't seen before). For just reading though, I use print. That said, I've never gotten into e-books. If I had maybe it would be different, and I do get most of my news electronically. To each their own.