Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Will You Go Digital with Your Bible?

This photo is really great for a number of reasons. First off, I am a big fan of the late Charlton Heston. It was only yesterday when I was watching Soylent Green on TCM and viewed the immortal line: "Soylent Green is people!" It's such a '70's film, but still highly enjoyable. The Omega Man is also a solid sci-fi film from that era, which, in my opinion, is still considerably better than the recently released I am Legend. It is amazing when you look at the various roles Heston had, from the classics like Moses and Judah Ben-Hur to Andrew Jackson, Michelangelo, and, of course, Colonel Taylor in Planet of the Apes. And that is just to name a few!

However, the second, and probably most important, reason for posting this picture is to discuss the role of digital media in the world of Catholic Bibles. I have to be honest up front, while I do own an I-Phone which contains an edition of the NRSV on it, I rarely use it. Perhaps the only time I do is when I need to find a passage quickly, without the help of a concordance. Yet, I do recognize that products like the IPad and Kindle are becoming more and more popular these days. They also provide the ability to have access to a whole host of study aids right at your finger tips, both downloaded and online, which is not possible with a regular old book.

Still, I prefer to read from a book. Even now, if I need to read a longer article or report that can only be found online, I tend to print it out instead of reading it off the screen. But hey, that's just me.

So I ask, has anyone made the switch to digital readers for the daily Bible reading and study?


Terri L. Coons said...

I still use my NOAB4 for the daily reading.

However, since recently trying out the ICSBNT for Kindle, I add an additional reading of the NT daily selections. FWIW, the specifically Catholic notes provide a 3-dimensionality to my understanding.

The ICSBNT is a pleasure to use on Kindle for PC (a free download) but miserable to use on the Kindle device itself.

If you are planning on a straight read-through, then the Kindle device will be satisfactory. If you plan on accessing the text links to the notes and related scriptures, then definitely use the Kindle for PC where you can utilize the mouse to swiftly point and click.

As the ICSBNT Kindle version does not yet* contain a concordance, it is less than perfect yet far superior (I suspect) to the physical copy of the book in the timely access of study information.

* I am working on the publisher to remedy this omission.

Digital editions of the Bible and other books are a valid option but the reader-devices can be an expensive way to confirm that you just don't like to read that much.

I don't foresee ever getting rid of my hardcopy bibles but I would sure love to have at least the NOAB in Kindle format. If you try it, you'll see what I mean.

rolf said...

I'm old school too, I am a page turner!

Chris said...

I purchased the ESV Study Bible for the Kindle (when I was test-driving it) and generally found that I wanted to read the Bible less.

Vince C said...

I'm basically a book person too, and since I like to bookmark, highlight and notate my Bibles, I find that this is still too cumbersome on electronic versions. I do enjoy having the at-my-fingertips access to my four versions of the Bible, a (Protestant) Bible dictionary set, my Magnificat and a Catholic prayer app. I'm in and out of my work vehicle for much of the day and having my Bibles on my hip is handier, quicker and keeps my "real Bibles" from getting too beat up. I doubt very seriously an electronic Bible will ever become my primary Bible, but I do like the tools. :)

Anonymous said...

I'll be the geek. I am now almost totally digital. I have the ESV (free Crossway), RSV-CE (Versewise), Douay-Rhiems (Versewise) and VR (Versewise) on my iphone as well as the Clementine and New Vulgate editions. I have the ESV and the RSV-2CE Kindle editions which are also on my Kindles for iPhone and PC. Throw in the search capabilities of the RSV with Apocrypha, NRSV with Apocrypha, and a host of other version on such sites as Bible Study Tools and Blue Letter Bible and I find opening a non-virtual Bible an increasingly rare event. (Not that I'd ever give up my leather bound french paper beauties!)

When I do open a physical Bible it is usually one which lacks a reasonable electronic version, such as the JB, NJB, ICSBNT, Navarre, etc.

I am even considering an iPad simply because I use the Catholic and Bible apps so much.

So I ask you - is there anything wrong with my virtual Bible obsession? (My wife hopes you'll say yes.)


Kevin Sam said...

I admit I have almost every version of the bible on my laptop, which I do use when I search, but when I need to check out a verse or passage I still turn to the paper version. I'm still old school.

rolf said...

Brad, I have not seen anything in your post that you need to go to confession for, so keep it up!

Chez84 said...

I'm only in my 30s but I would NEVER go digital with my Bible! I love being able to notate and Mark in my Bible as well as holding it in my hands. I once downloaded an app for the Bible but I was not impressed. It didn't give me the same feeling.

Timothy said...


I am the same as you!

rolf said...

Me too! However digital Bibles are useful for looking up cross references and using study Bible notes!. I also love the audio NT (dramatized)!