Change in life is inevitable. As believers, I believe we shouldn’t be afraid of change. We must learn to embrace change as it comes and use it to our advantage. One of the fears of most believers and church leaders in particular is, “if worldliness is not being introduced into the Church of Christ with the way many are abandoning their hard-copy (bound) Bible for digital (soft) Bible which comes as applications in computer, Smart phones and mobile devices?”
I understand their concern but I must quickly state just like my Pastor, Emmanuel Ekoja once said in his response to such a question. He tends to say that, if you insist that we abandon e-Bible (soft copy Bible), if you say it's sinful, worldly or carnality as, some suppose. If you say the print Bible is what God approves, then you must remember that the Bible was first in parchment and scrolls. That means if we really want to go back to the foundation, then we have to go back and start using scrolls and parchment Scriptures. Although, he strongly advises that Christians should go to church with hard-copy Bible.
God wrote the Ten Commandment on stones, other parts of the Scriptures were written on scrolls and parchments. The earlier Christians from the days of the Apostles never had the Scripture bounded, which is known today as the Bible. But that didn’t make them more or less a Christian than the generations that strictly uses hard-copy Bible.
Why I am saying this is because, whether you accept it or not, the e-Bible (Bible in mobile devices, computers, smart phones etc.) has come to stay. As a matter of fact, the usage is fast on the increase because of its numerous benefits which you can’t just overlook. Fighting it won’t stop its increase and usage. Besides, what do you think 20 years from now will look like concerning this issue?
I personally realize that, the e-Bible has brought studying of the Scripture to my finger tip. This is because of its numerous features like Bible commentaries, numerous versions of the Bible, the Bible dictionary, Greek and Hebrew dictionaries, Bible concordance, interlinear Bible, Topical guide, Cross reference guide, maps, devotionals etc, all in one device and at a go! Unlike before, when, if I needed to study the Bible, I had to be at home where my hard-copy Scriptural study materials were available. But now, I can study my Bible when I am on transit, work and anywhere I find myself.
But the question is, “Should I abandon my bounded Bible because I now have numerous translations in my mobile devices”? My answer is NO, and my reason is, just because there are many advantages in using the e-Bible; it also comes with some disadvantages too, especially when we are often tempted to use other of the device’s features during Church Services. This disadvantage is held by the advocates of hard-copy Bibles. Honestly, this temptation is less or non with the hard-copy Bible usage.
Like Pastor Ekoja, I personally advise bringing and using the hard-copy Bible in church. Not just in Church only; I also believe that the hard-copy Bibles and Scriptural Study materials are still very much relevant in our personal study time.
I tend to hold the opinion that carrying the hard-copy Bible shows your level of commitment, seriousness and dedication to your faith, especially in such a time when many so called Christians are ashamed of carrying their Bible in the public, so as not to be tagged religious and zealous.
Additionally, I believe there are ways to curb some of the excesses and disadvantages of the e-Bible. One of such is to put the mobile device on AIRPLANE MODE with ALL ALERTS OFF when in church or when you want to do serious studies.