More than three-quarters of American adults own and use a smartphone on a regular basis, according to the Pew Research Center. Users read books, listen to podcasts, watch video content, and research. Millions of Christians are also using their smartphones and mobile devices to download Bible apps, but what works for some may not work for others.
The Case for Paper Bibles
A printed Bible holds a special place in Christian lives. Individuals carefully select the version and style of Bible they plan to use. A worn Bible is a signal of someone’s commitment to the faith; thousands of sheets don’t lose their crispness overnight. For some, a printed Bible holds keepsakes and precious notes a loved one will one day inherit.
Printed Bibles also allow Christians to fully focus on the scripture. Pop-up smartphone messages will not interrupt their daily devotions or distract a worshiper from Sunday morning services. The paper Bible remains a useful and meaningful resource for Christians studying in remote areas and during technology breaks. It can keep a reader focused in a way that a digital Bible may not.
No one can deny the value of a printed Bible, but a digital Bible can play a meaningful role in the lives of Christians, too.
The Case for Digital Bibles
Digital Bible apps are abundant, often free, and available in many languages. Depending on the version, you can take notes, search for keywords, or join discussions with fellow Christians. As a mobile version of the same texts Christians read in print, a digital Bible is available at home, at work, and on the go. Whenever you have five or 10 minutes of free time, you can easily read a few verses or a chapter. While you may not have time to fully focus on the text at the time, those small pieces can make an impression and encourage a closer connection to God throughout the day.
A digital Bible adds one more option for positive digital interactions in Christian lives. Instead of playing the latest bubble pop game, mindlessly scrolling through social media feeds, or reading about negativity in the news, people can choose to use their free time in a more spiritual and positive way.
Read Also: 10 Christian Apps You Can’t Live Without
Is There Room for Both in Modern Christianity?
Christians are all different. Some appreciate the ritual of opening a physical Bible and using that tactile experience to connect with their faith. Others appreciate how user friendly and digestible the Bible appears in well-developed apps. The meaning of the text does not change from paper to digital. The only thing that changes is the way we receive the information. Christian books, movies, podcasts, and digital Bibles all represent more ways to focus on what truly matters in this life – a relationship with God. Modern Christians have the option of choosing the medium that makes the most sense for them.
If you’re interested in learning more about how a digital experience can bring you closer to your faith, download our modern and free devotional, Christian Movies that Teach the Fruit of the Spirit.