Digital or Regular Bible? Which is Best For You?
Digital or Regular Bible? Which is Best for You?
I started the New Year with a few flexible resolutions. One of them was to read the Bible chronologically via Youversion with a group of ladies who were also doing the same plan.
And I failed.
I failed for reasons you might not think.
But probably for reasons that you would understand as a Christian creative.
As I began doing my daily Bible reading I realized that something was missing.
I missed the physicality of my Bible being held in my hands.
I missed turning the pages of my Bible.
I missed the daily notes, prayers and praises that I would jot down in the margins of my Bible.
Sandy Tagaban said it best,
Someday I will be on the other side of this life. My prayer is that my daughter will take my bible and see all of the highlights and notes in the margins and notes about answered prayer and be ministered to. I don’t think receiving my iPad would have much affect. I love turning a page and seeing a note dated several years earlier. It reminds me how faithful God is.
Those physicality of holding a Bible in my hand didn’t compare to the digital version which seemed so one dimensional for a creative mind like me.
Something was missing- so I took to social media to see if my followers agreed with me.
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Hand Written Scrolls, Movable Type and Digital Bibles
In the Old Testament the scribes would hand write the Bible, word for word and letter for letter. It was a painstaking process.
If the priest made one mistake as they wrote, they would have to discard the scroll and start again.
The Scribes painstakingly wrote out the word of God throughout the years and they do so until this very day.
The New Testament gospels were accounts of the disciples.
The epistles were hand written letters penned to other followers and churches.
Perhaps, and this is my own speculation, there could have been quite a bit of an uproar by traditionalists when Johannes Gutenberg discovered movable type and printed the Bible during the Middle Ages instead of having the traditional hand written versions.
If you’d like to learn more about the process the scribes from a historical perspective, check out the Process of copying the Old Testament by Jewish Scribes by Scott Manning. You can also read more about the Gutenberg Bible.
The latest technology isn’t wrong but it might be difficult to those who are familiar with a specific type adapt to the one that is more modern.
One thing is for sure, in this digital age, the Bible is more accessible than any other time in History.
Digital Bible Vs. Regular Bible
Is it wrong to use a Bible app? Is it a sin?
Digital Bible vs. Regular Bible?
I would have to emphatically say no.
But with a caveat.
There are both pros and cons to both the digital and bound versions of the Bible, but each person has to make up their own mind.
A digital Bible might bring extreme value to a person who needs convenience and on the go reading.
Another might think that it cheapens the word of God.
Shall we cause our brother to stumble and push our preferences upon someone else?
A thousand times no.
That’s when patience, understanding and love take center stage showing that we can dwell together in unity.
Pros and Cons of the Digital and Bound Bible
Pros of the Digital Bible
- Compact and lightweight
- Easy to Carry
- Fits in Bag or Purse
- You can carry supporting study tools such as a Strongs Concordance and other Reference guides
- You can enlarge font as needed
- You can keep track of your daily reading within the app
- Accountability- you can read plans with online friends
- Read anytime and anywhere
- Easily saves your place in both the Old Testament and New Testament
- Side by side versions for study
- Great for on the go reading
Cons of the Digital Bible
- Digital Distraction
- Inductive study is nearly impossible
- Note taking is nearly impossible or hard to retrieve
- More difficult to navigate notes
- Depending on the app, it could be difficult to read
Pros of a Regular Bound Bible
- Bible notes and highlighting in margins
- Scripture recollection
- prayers and praise recorded in margins of the Bible
- Inductive study
- Heritage- it can be passed down to your children and family members
Cons of the Regular Bound Bible
- heavy and cumbersome to carry
- Difficult to travel with
Does Tech Belong in Church?
Does tech belong in church? The answer is a very personal one dependent on both the shepherd of the local assembly and each individual for their own spiritual growth and faith. Some congregations like to keep things simple and others are tech heavy.
Bible Apps for Personal Bible Reading and Study
My top 3 favorite Bible Reading/Study apps are:
YouVersion Bible App
The Youversion Bible app is great for devotional plans, accountability and reading with your family and friends
The Tecarta Bible remains my favorite. You can download other Bible versions and have them display parallel style.
What I partcularly love about Tecarta is the ability to download the Strong’s concordance (see more info below)
The Strong’s concordance is my ultimate favorite tool within the Tecarta Bible. You can use a dictionary to look up words and also the Greek and Hebrew words to aid with word study. At the price of 2.99, it’s a great deal to add to your arsenal of Bible Study tools.
Bible by Olive Tree
Bible by Olive Tree is another free Bible app that is very easy to navigate.
Bible Gateway is another free Bible app.
Whatever your preference for reading the word, there is one truth that we know. The word of God gives abundant life no matter how we read it. We must hold fast to His word and crave it as our daily food.
In this video below you’ll find a passionate group of Chinese Christians who are being given their first Bible.
I’m sure you will agree with me in saying that seeing these precious souls hunger and thirst after God’s written word makes me so grateful that we have access in so many mediums.
What matters most is that we cherish His word, read it, absorb it and apply it.
May we be Bereans as we serve read and live the Word!
Do you have a preference in using a digital Bible or a bound Bible? Which one, and why?
I’d love to hear what you think!
Check Out the FREE Creative Micro Bible Journaling Challenge!
Please feel free to leave a comment on this blog post or hop on over to Facebook and comment on the thread that started this whole blog post!