I love my iPad. Amongst many other grand things that it does, it runs a version of Accordance, which allows me to have access to scores of bible translations (including original languages) as well as all of the commentaries and other resources that I have bought over the years for my computer. My iPad has almost everything that I need to study the bible, in depth, all in a tiny little package. I can slip it in my bag & do sermon prep anywhere. I even preach from my iPad, using a wonderful programme that auto-scrolls at a pace I like (and helps slow me down that way), lets me know how long I have been going, how long I have left, and even records my sermon for me to put online.
I remember reading a blog last year, noting the potential danger that lies in these devices however. Despite the fact that some might claim it is making an idol of the book, there is real value in having a bible open in front of you when you head up to preach. Even though many have adopted the technological age, the majority of people still read out of a physical bible. By bringing one along & keeping it on the pulpit, you’re reminding where the true authority lies as you preach… not in one’s own intellect, but in the word of God.
Having been given a couple of amazon vouchers over Christmas, I decided to buy a new Bible to bring up with me. It’s all in one column, so hopefully it will make passages easier to find. It has lots of blank space on either side for my own little notes. If I can finally get over my fear of permanently marking books, I might even be able to use it as a visual record of my readings, as I highlight my way through different texts.
My iPad is still going to be the most useful bible study tool I own, but I am looking forward to making use of my new Bible, reminding me, and the congregation as I stand, that we are people of the book.