February 22, 2011

The Electronic Bible

There are not many areas of my life where I consider myself "old school". While I am definitely a fan of keeping your shoes clean & shined, a believer that nothing will ever undermine the style of a pressed white dress shirt, and still in awe of the 1967 Shelby Mustang, I still try to live in the now. That being said, in this age of the iPad, Droid phone, and the Kindle, I am seeing more and more people making a switch to what I'll call the electronic Bible. When we search the scriptures on Sunday mornings I see iPhones abounding. (I assume - HOPE is more like it - that people are pulling up YouVersion and not playing Angry Birds!) And don't get me wrong, I'm OK with this. That said, I'm still not drinking the Kool-Aid! Call me naive, "old school", set in my ways - whatever you like - but I still want to be able to write in the margin, highlight the fool out of the pages, and tangibly turn through this book as I read it with my kids. I'm wondering what you think about all of this.

As I mentioned a moment ago, I am so grateful that YouVersion has created an avenue for millions of people to be able to pull out their phone - anytime, anywhere - and dive into the Word of God. People all over the world have access through their laptop to the scriptures. This is a GREAT thing! But for me - someone with this worn, tattered, studied, memory-laden book in my possession - I just haven't found a reason (other than it being the last resort) to make this switch. Have you?

Many of you - pastors, leaders, engineers, accountants, salesmen - have put away your Tyndale and pulled out your Droid. I would love to hear the benefits you've found in making this switch to the e-Bible. 

What do you think?

8 comments:

Keith said...

I made the switch a couple years ago. YouVersion on iPhone, and now iPad and various computers. I have a couple other e-Bibles. But I use YouVersion 95% of the time.
Benefits? Always have it. I can make notes and highlight. I never liked writing in my paper Bible - don't know why. This way, I can comment and keep the page clean. I can read insight from people who are smarter than I and have access to commentaries as well.
I use my iPad on Sunday mornings for a ton of things. not the least of which is taking notes on the sermon. I like that I only have to carry around one thing. And when we're out to eat after church, Amelia can watch Shawn the Sheep at the restaurant.

I dig the Shelby too. But no matter how many times you say it - the new Camaro is a thing of furious beauty.

ShawnMertz said...

I am both old and new school. Day in and day out I use my standard print version of the Bible and tend to prefer it. I like it for all the same reasons you listed, I love the feel of the book in my hand, I like writing in the margins, etc. But, I do like the easy portability factor of the Bible on my iPhone, iPad or Kindle. If I am out and about, and didn't bring God's word with me in print form, I can quickly access it no matter where I am or what I am doing, waiting in line, waiting to get my hair cut, whatever the case may be. And while I do still prefer my old school Bible for personal study I can see the benefits of the electronic versions. It makes it very easy to locate a footnote or cross reference a verse, and you can take as many notes as you like without having to worry if they will fit in the margins. Both have advantages, and I think it comes down to personal prefernce.

Brian Mayfield said...

Great thoughts guys!
And Keith - "Shaun the Sheep" is possibly the greatest cartoon ever!

Keith said...

Indeed! Seen them all many times and still laugh out loud!

Courtney Joy said...

I LOVE my ESV (free app) on my ipod. Honestly reading over your blog I agree that the page turning and the margin writing is beneficial but here is an example of how I found it helpful...

I'm a student and one day over lunch I got into a theological conversation with a non christian friend of mine.... pulling out my ipod and opening my Bible proved to be SO helpful and a lot lighter than caring my Tyndale Bible around. Just an example to how electronics make your life easier and your backpack lighter!

Brian Mayfield said...

I've had a few experiences like that too Courtney. Very cool to have the Word with us everywhere we go!

Ploner said...

When listening to a sermon, I hope to be inspired and challenged spiritually, which is not something that tends to happen when I'm not 100% focused on listening and instead fumbling around with pen/paper/pages, which often results in excess distraction for me.

In many churches these days, there's always the safety blanket of downloading the sermon for future review/in-depth study if something strikes me as needing deeper understanding or independent study later (insert reminder into calendar app...) ;)

I may be on the far end of the techie/geek spectrum, though, in that writing on paper with a real pen is starting to feel foreign, as most of my work and "writing" is done QWERTY mode... I think the most actual hand-writing I do these days is signing the electronic signature thingy at the grocery store checkout...

Sidney said...

I have not made the switch to eBooks. My friends tell me when I do I will wish I'd not waited so long. But I love the feel of just holding a book. And, as you mentioned, it's great to record your thoughts and feelings as you read. Even better to look back years later and see if your opinions have changed as you've grown.