The Bible might be ancient, but that doesn't mean it has to be old fashioned. A free, digital platform has launched the Christian text into the 21st century.
The Digital Bible Platform is a free service that allows users access to digital recordings of the Bible in hundreds of languages. Started three years ago by Faith Comes By Hearing, a New Mexico-based recording company, the free platform can be accessed through streaming, direct downloads from the company website, podcast downloads in the iTunes store or on mobile devices via the Bible.is apps.
The company also recently released the Deaf Bible.is app, which features American Sign Language translations of most of the Christian Bible's 66 books.
Faith Comes By Hearing estimates that it has reached 100 million people through digital distribution alone in the three years its online platform has been available. That's in addition to the more than 50 million people the company says it has reached with earlier technologies, like cassette tapes and a solar-powered digital device nicknamed "the Proclaimer."
But this most recent foray into digital distribution allows the company to obtain valuable information about who uses the services. [See also: Kindles Replace Gideon Bibles at UK Hotel]
"Now we can actually see when someone interacts with [the Bible], what language they are listening to and how long they are listening, or how long they are viewing a video," said Jerry Jackson, founder and president of Faith Comes By Hearing.
And private companies aren't the only churchgoers jumping on the digital bandwagon. Earlier this month, the Vatican announced its decision to digitalize over 40 million pages of religious texts.