I admit it, I’m old (my “inner child” is 47 🙂 ). I remember as a teenager getting a transistor radio, and thinking I really had something. I paid 8 dollars for it. Now there are all kinds of electronic gadgets and two and three-year-old kids know how they work. And the gadgets don’t cost $8!
For about 18 years, I drove for a living, even had my own delivery service for a while. I’m not a typical male who doesn’t ask for directions. When time is money, well…. The map book I used had about 50 pages, and it was well worn. But I’ve also used GPS to get from here to there. And looked directions up on computer sites.
What’s my point?
The thing with GPS or computer directions is that they may get you there, but not always with the best route. For example, my wife and I went to one of these pick-it-yourself farms. Looked up how to get there on the computer. Well, we got there, twisting and turning and going through what my grandmother would have called, “Robin Hood’s barn.” If we had come back the same way, it would have required a right turn from the farm. I asked one of the folks there if there were a better way. Sure enough. Turn left! About a mile up the road was a highway that brought us back home in about half the time! If I’d looked at an actual map, I might have seen that for myself.
Plus, GPS isn’t always accurate, especially in rural areas.
On the other hand, maps aren’t always right, either. My wife and I were on a trip – I was navigating. (My navigational skills are legendary! 😛 ). The map clearly showed that if we took this little side road, we could cut across a corner and save some time. *sigh*
Anyway. The thing with a map is that it gives you a larger picture. In looking for an unfamiliar place, you can see how it hooks up to places that are familiar. GPS doesn’t do that.
So, what does all this have to do with the Bible?
A lot of folks have their Bibles on their phone. And there are apps which will give you a whole library of reference works, different translations, etc. You can punch in a verse and voila! there it is. No thumbing through pages.
But, again, there’s no “larger picture.” Especially in the study of Scripture, context is vital. That’s where the cults and most false teaching comes from: a verse or two here and there. I don’t know how many times in church or my own reading that I’ve seen something new in another verse on the same page.
I don’t expect to stem the tide of electronic gizmos. And I may be all wet in my thinking. I just want to encourage folks to go “old-school” and read and study a Bible that’s a physical book, not an app.