Digital Bible pops up in more pews, pulpits. Only in the NO....
DETROIT -- Not too long ago, the sight of someone using an electronic device during a worship service might lead an observer to assume that person was not fully engaged. But not anymore. Reading the Bible used to mean reading a book, but increasingly, people are getting the Word on smartphones, iPads and other electronic devices.
So then, what will happen to the printed Bible? The last word has not been written on that, but experts speculate that its unchallenged reign is over.
"The Bible is sort of the flagship of the printed book culture," said Timothy Beal, author of "The Rise and Fall of the Bible" (Mariner, 2011, $15.95). "The printed word is losing its place as the dominant medium for reading."
He pointed to the traditional family Bible -- once commonplace in many homes -- as evidence of the decline in printed Bibles. "Most families don't have them anymore," he said. "The family Bible as we know it is already a thing of the past in most families. What was once a perfect product during its time has become kind of an artifact."
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Hardcover Bibles are no longer always found in hotel rooms worldwide, either. Last month, a hotel in Newcastle, England, replaced the hardcover Bibles in all 148 guest rooms with Amazon Kindles, preloaded with Bibles. It's exploring doing the same in all 44 hotels the InterContinental Hotels Group owns worldwide.
Another hotel -- the Damson Dene, in England's Lake District -- replaced nightstand Bibles with the popular novel "Fifty Shades of Grey."
Practical concerns
The Rev. Michael Nabors, pastor of New Calvary Baptist Church in Detroit, has at least 20 hardcover Bibles in the office of his church. He recently began using an iPad during Bible study, but sticks to a hardcover version in the pulpit. He doesn't think many of his older members would appreciate him using his iPad.
"What if he's up there preaching and the battery dies or something like that? I hope he has a real Bible next to him, so he can look up what he needs to look up," said Isabella Howard, 62, of Detroit, a longtime member.
She wouldn't trade her hardbound Bible for any e-version.
"I feel closer to God with this," she said referring to her Bible. "I don't have to plug up anything. All I have to do is open it up and read it."
For others, there are more liturgical reasons to shun e-Bibles during worship.
A representative of the Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit said it would be impractical for a priest to use an e-reader during mass because the Holy Book is held high, carried down the aisle and placed for display on the altar as part of the opening of the service.
"It would be really strange to process an iPad down the aisle and place it on the altar," said Dan McAfee, director of Christian Worship for the archdiocese.
"E-Bibles are great for personal study, but they can't be used for liturgical books," he said. "The Bible is a sacred book -- a one of a kind -- not just a file among many files in an iPad."
Another way to engage Bible publishers guard sales figures closely, but America's largest Bible publisher, Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Zondervan, said sales have been good and growing. The company produces electronic Bible versions, too.
"Today, every time we release a print volume, we release a digital version," said Chip Brown, a senior vice president and publisher.
Zondervan currently offers about 800 different Bibles for adults and children. Additionally, it offers approximately 80 e-Bibles, said Zondervan spokeswoman Tara Powers.
During the last 12 months, sales of digital Bible products increased four times over the previous 12 months, Powers said.
Brown said e-Bibles are not a threat to the printed volumes.
"Just as TV came along and didn't kill film or radio, I don't see digital versions killing the bound volumes. This is just a different way people are engaging (with) the Bible."
Message stays the same
Some e-versions of the Bible offer opportunities to explore the book in ways printed versions cannot. For example, many e-versions have maps that pop up to show the area written about; some allow readers to compare translations side-by-side, and some offer audio and video renderings of Scripture.
The Rev. Steve Warman, pastor for 18 years at Apostolic Church in Auburn Hills, Mich., said he began using an iPad in the pulpit about two years ago for practical reasons. His sermons and lessons are written on his iPad. He contends e-devices do not distract from the message.
"My wife and I have been married 20 years. She might enjoy a card that says, 'I love you.' She would also enjoy a text, an email or a phone call. The message is the same no matter how it is delivered.
"The Bible is really God saying, 'I love you.' However it comes, we get the message."
Is that the Cardinal Abp. of México?
Seems to me that digital media is a good idea.  I'd gladly have an electronic missal and hymm book on my smartphone.  Easier to find words and quotes, could drill down into meditations, pull up images to help you concentrate.

I rarely buy books now.  Try to read online if at all possible.

These modernists are just doing it to be trendy though.  From the perspective of a priest reading at Mass there is no advantage.  For me in the pew there is.
Ah, mm, not exactly only in the NO. Our schola has used e-readers to serve as extra Libers in a pinch for the traditional Mass. Though of course, printed books should be standard for that sort of thing.

Actually, I'd go further and say we need to get back to illuminated altar missals with metal covers. There also ought to be separate books for the Epistles and the Gospels for solemn Mass, though these apparently aren't for sale anywhere on the entire Internet (TLM editions, that is).

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I wonder if there will ever be a blessing of the iPad or kindle. 
(08-21-2012, 02:33 PM)Josué Wrote: I wonder if there will ever be a blessing of the iPad or kindle. 

Why not? Anything can be blessed.
(08-21-2012, 02:33 PM)Josué Wrote: I wonder if there will ever be a blessing of the iPad or kindle. 

There is an imprimatur for an iPhone/iPad app:
There was a large debate here not that long ago about e-readers, tablets at Mass. Anyone remember that? I'd search for it but...
What if, instead of the plain black back of the iPad in the picture in the OP, the back of the iPad was adorned to look like the picture in the King's post?
(08-21-2012, 03:29 PM)SaintSebastian Wrote: What if, instead of the plain black back of the iPad in the picture in the OP, the back of the iPad was adorned to look like the picture in the King's post?

Too expensive but I'd like that

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