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cell phoneI remember walking into church as a kid, always armed with a Bible in hand. How could you go to church without bringing a Bible? And by “Bible,” I mean treeware. There was a whole industry to support it: Bible covers, bookmarks, cover embossing and engraving, Bible cover embossing and engraving. Today, my Bible looks quite different. When I pull out my phone in church (on silent, of course), I’m not checking my messages. I’m following along with my pastor, switching versions on the fly and pulling up notes, maps and images on the passage at hand.

Bible apps for iPhoneI’m very excited about a new partnership to get the Bible into digital platforms in every language and distribute it worldwide through technology. In case you haven’t noticed, cell phones have allowed people in third world countries to skip an entire generation of technology. They skipped the telephone line and jumped straight to cell. In fact, you can get better coverage in most countries in Africa than you can in rural parts of the United States. I read recently that nomads in Africa no longer pick places to stop for the night based purely on where water is available. Instead, they look for wi-fi hotspots.

The Every Tribe Every Nation partnership is working primarily through YouVersion and Bible.is. YouVersion is by far the most popular Bible application on the iPhone. But it has a key limitation when it comes to oral societies: you have to read the Bible. Bible.isThat’s where Faith Comes by Hearing’s Bible.is excels. You can push play and hear the Bible while you follow along. What a great way to learn how to read!

Both of these organizations love Wycliffe because we don’t copyright our translations. Imagine getting access Scriptures in 800+ languages from one source! That’s what we offer.

Stay tuned. This distribution method opens all kinds of possibilities, especially in places where possession of a Bible is a punishable offense. You can also read more in Wycliffe Canada’s WordAlive magazine.

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