The Bible: From Stone Tablets to Tablet Computer

bible-app-technologyThe Bible is joining the ranks of sites like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

Why? Because “there’s an app for that.”

The arrival of God’s word to your smartphone is thanks to YouVersion, an app that allows users to read and bookmark the Bible on their mobile device. The app is available in different languages and versions, which you can compare to see which one you like best. YouVersion is the brainchild of, and is one of the most successful apps on the market, with more than 100 million downloads.

Think the writing style of the original biblical writers is a little archaic? Then try “The Message,” a translation available on YouVersion that makes the Bible read like a modern novel.

The app is part of a new movement in churches throughout the United States, as parishioners and priests at Sunday mass read God’s word from their iPads rather than traditional leather-bound Bibles.

YouVersion is not the only app on the market for spiritual seekers and Catholics, however. Laudate is an app in a similar vein, which not only features a Bible and mass readings but also a rosary, catechism and Stations of the Cross. While YouVersion gives more variety in terms of the Bible, Laudate features many facets of traditional Catholic life.

Want to prepare for your busy day by praying the Rosary? Make Laudate your digital rosary and let it guide you through the prayers.

Other apps give you information about the church by going right to the source. Pope Francis has gotten into the digital world by launching an app called Missio, which features Catholic news from the Vatican and the worldwide Church. It also includes videos, photos, and the pope’s daily homily and perspective on world affairs. It is available in eight different languages to embrace the universal church. In short, Missio brings the Vatican into the digital age.

Some (myself included) might find it a little strange to pull out a cellphone in church, having been told for years that this is wrong. However, many young adults find it easier to reach for the iPhone on their nightstand than the Bible buried in their desk drawer. If this new technology helps young adults understand an old institution, they should be encouraged to use it.

The next time you’re on your phone, try reading the Bible instead of Justin Bieber’s tweets. You could learn something a lot more valuable, and discover a new way to read an old book.

Busted Halo has some tips for reading the Bible (iPad or otherwise):

  • “How do I read the Bible when it seems so outdated and uninteresting?”

    Because the Bible was written so long ago and in a culture so foreign to our own, it’s a tough book to try to pick up and read from cover to cover. It actually consists of dozens of books of different genres that are not in chronological order, so approaching it like you would a modern bestseller will only leave you confused and frustrated. (continue reading here)

  • “What Translation of the Bible Should I Be Reading?”

    When meditating on scripture, it’s best to use the translation that is most familiar to you. King James is best for verse, but the New American Bible or New Revised Standard Version are best for study. (continue reading here)

  • “Bible Boot Camp”

    The Bible is actually not one book but several, a library of books written to teach people about God and spirituality — it was not meant to be history, science, journalism, or biography, at least in the modern (factual, objective) way we think about them. Rather, they were the author’s best attempt to describe their experience of God. (continue reading here)