Roughly 16% of Individuals learn the Bible most days through the week, based on the American Bible Society’s newly launched 2021 “State of the Bible” report. And whereas the research discovered that Individuals desire to have a printed copy of the Bible of their arms, thousands and thousands work together with the Bible digitally—and we largely have technological developments to thank for that.
The exponential progress of know-how has made the Bible extra ubiquitous and accessible than ever earlier than. “The Bible in a Yr” podcast, for instance, took the primary spot on Apple’s checklist of All Podcasts this January. The YouVersion Bible app has been downloaded on 465 million gadgets around the globe since its launch in 2008.
This dynamic relationship between the Bible and know-how is nothing new. Technological developments have been remodeling how folks obtain, research, train and apply the Bible for a whole bunch of years–from the Bible’s first printing on the Gutenberg press in 1455 to the Instagram Bible quotes of immediately. In 1922, radio was a brand new know-how; by 1925, non secular teams operated one out of ten stations within the U.S. Then got here tv. By 1980, pastor Rex Humbard–who was the primary particular person to have a weekly church service broadcast on tv, in 1952–was airing throughout greater than 600 stations within the U.S. and Canada and throughout greater than 1400 stations around the globe. In 2013, The Historical past Channel’s miniseries “The Bible” was the primary cable leisure telecast of the 12 months, with almost 15 million viewers tuning into the premiere.
One might make the case that the spirit of innovation that has pushed these advances is straight of out the Bible. Take, for instance, an early illustration from the account of Noah and the ark in Genesis. Whereas the Bible would not give us precise particulars about how the ark was constructed, we all know that to be able to create such an enormous boat—about 450 ft lengthy, 75 ft vast, and 45 ft excessive (Genesis 6:15)—able to carrying its load, these concerned with development needed to have used decidedly modern strategies of development for the time interval. The Bible predicted that with time “information shall improve” (Daniel 12:4). It celebrates information and the event of expertise that glorify God. It reminds us that “all issues have been made by him” (John 1:3) and “we’re his workmanship” (Ephesians 2:10).
Right this moment, the Bible is reaching folks of all nationalities and backgrounds around the globe by know-how just like the web, social media, podcasts, and streaming platforms. These new codecs are an excellent factor for the Bible and people who wish to join with it. Two-thirds of American adults, or about 172 million adults, are ‘Bible curious,’ that means they wish to be taught extra about Scripture. Lots of them will flip to bodily Bibles, however greater than half of Bible customers have looked for Bible verses or Bible content material on their telephone (56%), and one other 44% have downloaded or used a Bible app. Roughly one-third have listened to a educating concerning the Bible by way of podcast or listened to an audio model of the Bible.
As in lots of sectors, the way forward for Bible connection will probably be in “omnichannel” experiences – experiences that mix digital and in-person engagement. A present instance of that is the Religion and Liberty Discovery Heart, now open in Philadelphia. When creating the FLDC, we knew that digital interplay was important to assist guests grasp the Bible’s affect in American historical past—and its continued affect within the current. Changemakers all through our nation’s previous and current have relied on biblical values and utilized our nation’s collective eager for progress to attempt to clear up main cultural challenges. That work is much from over, and it is as much as present and future generations to be taught from historical past and discover the Bible’s teachings for themselves. Our query was the way to accomplish this for guests within the actuality of the twenty first Century’s two-way digital world.
Our reply was present in embracing distinctive and cutting-edge know-how all through the middle, which guides guests on a journey to know the Bible’s affect in American historical past. We had Native Tasks—the award-winning expertise design studio that created the highly effective Nationwide September 11 Memorial & Museum—design the middle due to their experience in uniting digital and bodily areas. Company use “lamps” to work together with displays and gather content material they will then revisit on-line at dwelling; within the reward store, guests should buy merchandise particularly tailor-made to the content material they collected. We have been informed that the Religion and Liberty Discovery Heart’s proliferation of know-how has by no means earlier than been seen inside of 1 museum. It appears becoming that this know-how—like many earlier than it—is centered on the Bible and sharing the story of its affect on our nation.
How has the Bible influenced Individuals? And the way will generations to come back form and reshape the best way we view the world by know-how and functions of the Bible’s teachings? We do not have these solutions but, however we’re excited to proceed our exploration.
Patrick Murdock is the Government Director of the Religion and Liberty Discovery Heart.