The Second Eclectic

Technology changes how we relate to God and each other

Presenting at Bible Tech 2013

In March, I'll be presenting at BibleTech 2013 with my colleague Keith Williams. Our presentation is titled: "From Paper to Pixels: The Effects of Technology on the Bible."

Being in publishing, we're regularly thinking and talking about this question. And of course, I'm exploring it more broadly here on this blog.

Here's the abstract of our talk, which is posted on BibleTech's website, along with the other presentations. Looking forward to furthering the conversation!

Technology and innovation have had an undeniable impact on the level of access people have to the Bible today. No longer do people need to carry around a large, heavy leather-bound edition in order to read the Bible. Instead, we carry dozens of translations of the Bible—and thousands of Bible reference works—in a 4 ounce device that is always with us. Innovative software and apps help us to read and study our Bibles in ways that earlier generations couldn’t even dream about.

These exciting developments also provide us with new questions. This session will look at how putting Bibles in a digital context could alter the character of the content and the perceptions of readers—at multiple levels. We will analyze the means of presenting the text and how these new formats could work backwards to influence the text itself and work forwards to shape the perceptions of the text that readers have. What does it mean to read the Bible in this era of technological change? What issues arise when we engage with the Bible in digital environments? There are many facets to these questions, and they often simply lead to more questions.

Join us for a discussion of these issues and, hopefully, some best practices for developers and publishers as they seek to create technological solutions that encourage good Bible reading practices while minimizing negative technological effects. Together we will seek to clarify what important questions we should be asking as we publish Bibles in a new digital environment, as well as provide handles with which to begin thinking about these questions.