Ebook Readers – Technology meets Religion

As a rule, issues relating to religion or politics will not be discussed on this site, EXCEPT, as it relates to technology.

Religion is said to be a way of life, so expectedly, the digital revolution is bound to be interwoven with our spiritual lives. For people living in Lagos, Nigeria and other major big cities around the world, it has become increasingly difficult maintaining a healthy spiritual life, no thanks to the fast paced world we live in. Wake up 4:30am, jump into you car 5am, get immersed in your daily work routine at your office, stuck in a hold-up coming back from work, get home 9pm, too fagged out to even eat. The next day, the circle continues. Yeah, on Sunday, you fish out your Bible from wherever, blow the dust off, away to church. Sunday, Sunday medicine, that should do right?

Enter Bible Readers, a comfort and convenience to a lot of us these days. They come in form of dedicated Bible reader devices like those from FRANKLIN and ECTACO or in form of third party software installations on phones. People rarely leave home without their mobile phones, and if they do, they go right back for it. So where best to have your Bible? If you are chauffeur driven or in a public bus, the time spent shuttling to and from your office is enough to grab a message or two from your electronic Bibles.

Naturally, this habit has been taken to the church. It is no longer uncommon to see people reading from their phones in church (though i can’t help but feel that some of them may be doing more than just Bible reading). One thing has not really changed though, the church is still a largely conservative one when it comes to the use of electronic Bibles. I could swear that eyes (apart from my Wife’s) are always drilling into me whenever i read from my phone, but eh, the major thing is for the word to sink in, isn’t it?

I was in a church somewhere in Ibadan a few years back. When it was time, the Pastor came to the pulpit to deliver his sermon. Guess what? From a Bible Reader! Wao, that’s new, ehm, but i wasn’t too sure about that. Was used to seeing Pastors brandishing the biggest Bibles around, so i was a bit taken aback. Anyways, i was quick in flashing out my phone based Bible Reader with confidence and settled in for a good sermon. At least, i have the Pastor’s approval

It’s been a while since i thumbed through a “hard copy” version of the Bible and i can’t help but feel a litle guilty about this, don’t know why, but the ease and bliss i feel when scrolling through multiple versions of the Bible on my phone during church services and Bible studies, is a feeling i’m not ready to let go of in a hurry, if at all.

Unfortunately, my write-up is a bit one sided as i do not know what is obtainable with my muslim brothers although in the past few years, i have assisted quite a number of people in installing Quran Readers on their phones.

So if you are a savvy old youngster like me and you are cool with your phone being more than just a phone, point your phone or PC browsers to Olivetree, E-sword and Getjar amongst others. These sites have tons of Bibles and Qurans for your phones, almost any phone.

God bless you all!

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Wale Falade is Nigerian. A Business Systems Analyst, Technology Enthusiast and a Linux Server Administrator. He engages actively in improving online visibility of Nigerian brands. Follow him on twitter @diaryofageek
  • apex

    Apart from the comfort and convenience, the major attraction for me lies in the area of functionality.

    I have about 15 different bible translations on my phone's bible reader and it's so easy to rifle through the several translations comparing passages in several versions. This is quite useful for any bible study. I also enjoy the ease of cross-referencing and bookmarks for quick retrieval.

    And of course, the ability to run queries and search using keywords makes bible study easier and more efficient.

    In today's world, technology is indeed a leverage! And evidently, it is influencing our everyday lives.

  • eyebeekay

    @apex, I agree widja in-to-to!

    I was actually thinking the other day about how much technology is changing / has changed almost every facet of our lives. religion is not an exception!

    I am all for using technology to improve quality of life. I submit you can not live an efficient life without the extensive use of technology .

    in connection with this, and being a student of letters, i can not recall where i last opened my physical dictionary.

    new-wave (mobile) computing technology is making irrelevant (or reducing the importance of)lots of items: calculators, dictionaries, watches, alarm clocks, physical calendars, radios, digital cameras, printed books, brick + mortar libraries. there list is endless!

  • http://www.diaryofageek.com Wale Falade

    I was hoping someone would comment on how appropriate it is using such devices in the church. I must confess that i am yet to get used to it.

  • EyeBeeKay

    as to the {inappropriateness of using a smartphone in a religious gathering, I do not see anything wrong with this.

    after all, we see Pastors these days with laptops while ministering.

    it is eminently more efficient to use technology in all we do..

    if we can use tech in almost all other facets of our lives, why not religion?.

    as long as tech is not deployed to achieve evil, I am cool with its use all spheres of human endeavour..

  • http://ubuntunigeria.wordpress.com muyiscoi

    I used to use my ipod touch in church to not only read the passage but also to take down notes. i found this handy cos i didnt need to carry much physical books to the church. also, i am quite fast even with the limited querty touch keyboard of d device. I however, always got the feeling that i was doing something wrong n was never quite comfortable doing it.

  • http://www.mobilitynigeria.com/ Yomi Adegboye

    Half of the people at the church I attend use Bibles on their smartphones. We have so gotten used to it that its not an issue at all. No-one blinks when someone pops up an HTC, Nokia, Sony Ericsson or

    I use the Bible/s on my smartphones too everywhere I go, whether I am sitting in the congregation or doing the preaching.

  • Lekan Kalejaye

    Coincidentally, I just installed another version of bible on my phone before I came online. Why? Flexibility + more utilities over the other two that I already have on the phone.

    I love using the e-bible because of its convenience and numerous advantages. Though I still carry my bible to church every time, I think that is just for insignia. I hardly open it. I’ve even gone a step ahead. I record sermons and sometimes choir ministrations. I found out that I hardly have time to read my jotter, so I always play the recordings on my car stereo with the in-built mp3 player. What a way to reduce stress when in traffic.

    Nowadays a lot of churches have projectors and plasma screens permanently installed in the church auditorium to display bible verses, hymn lyrics and even video images during services. This is to carry everybody along and make their service more interesting.

    I don’t see anything wrong in deploying technology to make things better, faster and more convenient be it in the church, mosque or any other place. It is the purpose that matters.

    • http://www.simplehomeorganization.com Melinda

      I never thought about there being a copy I could read on my iPhone. That is funny how technology is changing the way we do things.Reading a phone copy during church – I bet that would attract a few stares, but probably because they would assume you are reading something else.