Why A “Paper” Bible is Better Than A Bible App At Church Meetings

Your paper Bible could be precious and useful to you in ways that a digital Bible never could.

Sure, it’s convenient to utilize a digital Bible in numerous settings—like reading (or listening) just before you fall asleep at night, or when you unexpectedly want to look up something during a discussion. But in a church meeting (Bible studies, Sunday’s gatherings, etc.), I strongly recommend using a “paper” Bible.

 

Technology is useful in the church. For example, I recently Skyped into my congregation’s Sunday gathering when I was too sick to attend. I was strengthened by what I heard, and they happily avoided my virus.

But technology is not valuable in every circumstance. I’m thinking particularly about the use of Bible apps on cell phones or tablets. Sure, it’s convenient to utilize a digital Bible in numerous settings—like reading (or listening) just before you fall asleep at night, or when you unexpectedly want to look up something during a discussion. But in a church meeting (Bible studies, Sunday’s gatherings, etc.), I strongly recommend using a “paper” Bible for four reasons.

First, the context and content of the Scripture being studied are more easily observed in a paper Bible.

Recently, I led a group of men through a study of Acts 17. We discovered that Acts 17 falls within the story of Paul’s 2nd missionary journey which covers nearly three chapters. I wanted the men to “see” the entire journey essentially at the same time by a quick skim through the text. This was a simple task for the men with paper Bibles who could survey the journey forward and backward with a page turn or two. The men who “clicked” through a digital Bible, however, could only observe smaller sections at a time.

Even the content of a single passage can be difficult to observe all at once via a Bible app, especially if the passage is large. In Acts 17, Paul and his team proclaim the gospel in three different cities—Thessalonica, Berea, and Athens. Interestingly, in each location, Paul evangelizes in the “synagogue.” A Bible student could certainly note this on an electronic Bible, but it is much easier in a paper Bible to quickly scan the chapter (34 verses) and see the cities and spot the repeated use of “synagogue.”

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