Video game enthusiasts will soon be able to say they are strengthening their faith via the Xbox when the first complete Bible application for the popular gaming console launches next month.
B&H Publishing Group, a division of LifeWay Christian Resources, will release the "Bible Navigator X" for the Xbox 360 in early December. The Bible application will be downloadable through the "Indie Games" channel of Xbox.com.
"This application will bring the Bible into people's living rooms and onto their televisions in a completely new and innovative way," said Aaron Linne, B&H Publishing Group's executive producer of digital marketing, in a statement Tuesday. "The Xbox isn't just secular entertainment anymore. We can use technology that other people developed to study Scriptures through a new medium."
Linne, a self-described gamer and tech geek, added, "Some people are just more comfortable with a controller in their hands than a book."
The idea for the Bible application developed when Linne realized that he used his Xbox not only to play games, but also to watch TV, movies, and play music, according to Nashville's WKRN TV station. But what he couldn't do was read a book with it. That was when he approached his bosses at LifeWay to put the Bible in a format to be played on the Xbox.
His bosses at LifeWay agreed with the idea and Linne went off to develop the Bible Navigator X.
The application features the Holman Christian Standard Bible and allows users to search the Bible using a function similar to a concordance. It also includes a bookmarking function that allows users to reorganize the bookmarks in an order useful for teaching or study, as well as a presentation mode that features a larger display suitable for projecting on a screen.
Though the application is valuable for personal use, Linne said it was especially designed for youth ministers. These ministers, who sometimes work in spaces that already have Xbox consoles, can easily use the application as a teaching aid.
"So if we have the opportunity to introduce the Bible to people in a different format in a way that they're used to, then why wouldn't we take that opportunity?" asked Linne, according to WKRN.
LifeWay Christian Resources is an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention. It is one of the world's largest providers of Christian products and services, including Bibles, church literatures, books, music, and church supplies. The company owns and operates 154 LifeWay Christian stores throughout the United States.