Digital Technologies and Itching Eyes

bible_holding555

The Bible is God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17), and we must respect it with great reverence. Paul says that we should “not even think beyond what is written” (1 Corinthians 4:6). When we stand to preach and teach, we must never step outside of God’s Word (1 Peter 4:11).

“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2).

We should not be afraid of the faces of the doubters and haters (Jeremiah 1:8). We should be fearless as we spread His Word because nothing can stop Christ’s mission (Matthew 16:18).

However, Paul followed up his admonition to “Preach the Word” with the following sobering reminder:

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires,because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

People find preachers who will tell them what they want to hear rather than how they can submit before God in humility. Thanks to the influx of versions of the Bible, people can do the same thing with Scripture. They can find whatever translation that suits them best. Activist groups even make their own Bibles to prove their ideas.

A recent article said:

In future people will be able to create their own version of the Bible as multiple interpretations appear online, allowing a different view of the sacred text, according to the country’s leading Biblical scholar.

David Parker, Professor of Theology at the University of Birmingham, said different translations and readings of the Bible, from the 4th Century until now are already available online.

He predicted people will download the versions they like best, perhaps even mixing and matching different readings of the Gospels to suit their tastes and even making annotations.

“In the world we are entering, the concept of the Bible will be completely different,” he said. “It has become like an individual copy you have, you can annotate it and change it within the bounds of technological abilities.”

What will be the implications, both positive and negative, of these technologies?

They can be useful as they allow us to have more information in our hands. And when people have the Word of God, they are blessed. Yet, we cannot forget the warnings of Paul. Anything that can be used for good, will also be used for evil (Ephesians 6:12).

People with itching ears can also have itching eyes, seeking out “versions” that absolve them of sins. Only the blood of Christ can wash away sins (1 John 1:7), and compromise is not the way of God (John 8:44).

What are your thoughts?

#bible, #bibles, #itching-ears, #itching-eyes, #translations, #versions