Digital Bbile vs Physical BibleI have shared in previous posts my love for reading…reading books, reading the Bible, reading newspapers. I am a reader! I love to read!

My personal library consists of over 2,500 books, all catalogued in a digital library program, all sorted by their Library of Congress classification and labeled.

In addition to my physical books, I have over 5,000 digital volumes. I was an early adopter of the Kindle reader and have gone through several of them over the years.

But my transition to the digital Bible did not come as quickly. I consider myself a student of the Word of God. I’m passionate about it. I read it. I memorize it. I quote it. I teach it.

The physical Bible that I use, I have used for over thirty years, and when the publisher stopped publishing that version I bought two more copies of it so that I would have back-ups into the future. I know where passages are based on where they are located on the page and how I highlighted that page and the notes in the margin.

I had an early version of a computer Bible for the PC. I found that for doing a word-study it was incredible! What had previously taken long hours and even days to accomplish, could now be completed with the push of the “enter” key. But when it came to preaching and teaching, I still preferred to use my physical Bible.

Several years ago…I took the plunge and made the transition to the nearly exclusive use of a digital Bible software program. That program is Logos. I am “all-in” on Logos!

The benefits of using this program and building a digital theological library within it are incredible! I can read multiple Bible translations side-by-side. I can highlight and attach notes to a verse or passage of Scripture and those highlights or notes are available on any device I use, my desktop, my laptop, or my iPhone. I can open my laptop in a Starbucks or an airport or on an airplane, and have access to my entire theological library and all of my corresponding notes. I can perform textual searches for words or phrases from within any Bible translation, any book in my digital library, or from a selection of books within the library. Do I want to see what a favorite author had to say about a given subject? Great! Select that author and type in the search. Instantly…it is available! What an incredible tool! Do I want to search it out in the original language of Greek or Hebrew? How do the lexicons define the word? What about the Greek or Hebrew dictionaries or Bible encyclopedias address the word? What about multiple Bible commentaries? It is all available to me anywhere, anytime, instantaneously!

So it has been humorous for me to read the anti-digital Bible critiques on Facebook and religious/Christian magazine websites. It reminds me of the King James only adherents who claimed that it was the only translation of the Bible that was reliable — as if Elizabethan English was in existence during the first century!

Some pastors and churches have even taken the position that it is unspiritual to use a digital Bible on a cell phone during their church service! And that there is something inherently more spiritual in using a physical Bible than using a digital version from any device. It is too distracting to study the Bible on a computer, they say. There’s the pop-ups, the emails, the social media. And…there’s just something more significant about holding an actual book and turning actual pages.

Put me down as being a strong advocate for the reading and study of Scripture — whether from a physical Bible or a digital device! My personal preference is digital and my software of choice is Logos! Oh yeah…I can read it in bed without having to turn on the lights!


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