In what some are called a wondrous harmony of technology and religion, New Jersey firefighters were promoted in their ranks late last week with the help of the Apple iPad's Bible application.
The eight officers, five of whom were promoted to the rank of Battalion Chief and three of whom were promoted to Fire Captain, swore into their rankings on Friday, Feb. 8 in Atlantic City, N.J.
As NBC 40 reports, Friday's proceedings nearly ground to a halt when it was realized that no one had brought a Bible to the short ceremony.
However, one attendant had brought his iPad, complete with Bible app, along with him, and the newly-promoted firefighters were able to place their left hand over the 9.7-inch electronic device, made by Apple, to complete their swearing-in ceremony.
Footage released by NBC 40 shows family, friends, and supporters of the Atlantic City Fire Department gathering in the City Council chambers to see the eight firemen take their oath using the app.
As The Inquisitr notes, the Bible was not legally needed for the swearing-in ceremony, but it holds traditional prevalence in many ceremonies of this nature.
Many agree that Friday's twist on a traditional practice will become more common as the iPad becomes more ubiquitous in today's culture.
As Partha Adhia wrote for All Things Apple, Friday's ceremony "depicts the growing acceptance level in people's mind (sic) regarding technology as a whole."
"The iPad, which is leading the post-pc revolution, has become an integral part of my daily routine and is almost indispensable to me and a lot of other people and I expect it to soon root deeper into our daily cultural and social lives as well," Adhia added.
Others, however, argue that perhaps it is detrimental to allow technology to take the place of tradition.
"A little too much technology?" questioned one Twitter-user regarding Friday's process.
Still, others argue that it does not matter whether the firefighters chose to swear in on a traditional Bible or an iPad app; rather, it is the content of the Bible and the oath the firefighters take which matters.
One commenter on the Apple Insider wrote that he is "curious about how a bunch of words mass-produced, printed by machine on machine made paper, is 'more holy' than a digital representation of the same words displayed on a screen?"
"Is the paper holier than the screen? I thought it was the content that was important, not what it's printed or displayed on," the commenter questioned on the website.