Not everything is about YOU

Call me a Luddite, but this gives me the willies.

I get the concept. I get the clever (?) name. I admit that there might be some very limited circumstances in which this could enhance Bible study.

But basically, it strikes me as the special-features-ization of the Bible run absolutely amok.

I'm skeptical enough about the NET Bible committee's pride in having beta-tested their translation. (Possibly valuable, but arguably an abdication of pastoral responsibility if not implemented carefully.) YouVersion, however, takes the internet-driven interactivity to a whole new level -- and I don't mean that in a good way.

My basic problem with all the bells and whistles in so many of the specialty editions of scripture that brag of "getting kids [or insert other interest group here] to read the Bible" is that they in fact distract from the genuine text of Scripture. My second concern is that they may unintentionally imply something about the authoritativeness of the often-silly supplemental material, or else denigrate the authority of the Scripture proper, by the juxtaposition.

YouVersion seems to promise all this and more, but without pesky editors to put any breaks at all on the distraction and confusion.

"User-contributed content" is of course the hot new thing in media these days. (Heck, look -- I'm a user contributing content right now!) But it borders on blasphemy to suggest that user-contributed content is going give us a new and improved online Bible. Who are we to improve on the Word of God?

The more special-features Bibles I see, the more I want to run screaming in the opposite direction.

That's why this (even in the somewhat suspect TNIV translation) is loads more appealing than YouVersion. We have enough distractions already. Let's focus on the text.

Signing off, to actually go read my Bible for once.

RM

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