Written By Keith Williams, co-creator, Filament Bible App; senior editor, Tyndale Publishing House
I haven’t found anyone in church leadership who saw this coming. There aren’t stories of prescient church planners and innovators who had prepared for the day when nearly every church had to stop all programming, including Sunday worship services, and find ways to communicate with their members while they were largely confined to their homes.
As a Christian publisher, we’ve faced different problems, including international supply chain issues, printing and delivery delays, and a halt in plans to provide resources to churches that aren’t meeting.
One thing that has remained strong here at Tyndale is the demand by individuals for Bibles. People are indeed seeking out God’s Word as much around them has collapsed. I’m sure we’d all agree there has never been a better time to dive deeply into God’s Word.
It may be that God will use this time to turn our generation to unprecedented repentance and faithfulness. I think that you’ll agree that a deep and lasting revival will depend on a groundswell of biblical literacy.
Perhaps you have faced in your church what research has shown to be the case nationally: regular church attenders love and respect the Bible, but less than 40 percent of them are reading the Bible regularly.
So, how can pastors and church leaders promote biblical literacy and reading the Bible regularly?
We believe there are four keys:
1. Readability – The individual’s ability to easily read the passage.
2. Portability – An individual’s ability to take scripture anywhere.
3. Understandability – Tools an individual can use to understand the meaning of the text.
4. Accessibility – Study materials and devotional guides an individual can use to practically apply what they are reading.
Tyndale has launched The Filament Collection, a highly relevant suite of Bibles that combines readability, portability, study materials, and devotional depth. Filament is a fascinating, enjoyable, and comprehensive tool that can impact Bible literacy and provide a reading experience that can attract serious new readers.
It is beautiful thing when the incomparable Word of God can be paired with the very best technological advancements to advance reading, understanding, and application. That’s what we’re seeing with a line of new Bibles that are paired with a Bible app called Filament.
In one very important sense, the Bibles in the Filament Collection are exactly what you expect them to be: God’s Word in a simple, elegant format that is easy to read and carry. There’s nothing new or remarkable about what you read on the pages, beyond the incomparable nature of the text as the very Word of God. However, every page of these Bibles is teeming with valuable resources available through a simple but powerful app that delivers content to help readers understand the message of the Bible and apply it to their lives.
Most Christians want to have a better relationship with the Bible, but there are a few barriers in their way. On the one hand, there is a need to connect directly to God’s Word with nothing else to distract the reader from connecting with God through his Word. This direct relationship with the Scriptures is essential in a world filled with disruptions and agendas. So a simple Bible with nothing but a clear translation of the Bible is essential.
On the other hand, Christians today want to understand what they are reading, but they don’t always have ready access to resources that can help them right when they need it. The Bible is a large, ancient collection of writings. With a Filament Bible, they have immediate access to expertly curated content to help them engage more deeply with what they are reading on every single page of their Bible. The combination of a simple Bible that is ideal for undistracted reading with an app that provides targeted help when it is needed leads to greater confidence for everyday Christians as they seek to understand God and themselves better through engaging deeply with the Bible.
For some people who primarily use apps for reading the Bible, it might seem like a step backwards to bring a print Bible into the picture; for others, the idea of including their smartphone in their time with the Bible feels sacrilegious. However, we believe bringing the two formats together allows the opportunity to bring the strengths of both together in order to create a Bible experience that hasn’t previously been possible. Print is ideal for the Bible itself—a sacred, unchanging text that we desire to connect with deeply. Studies have shown consistently that reading in print is better for attentiveness, comprehension, and retention.
The smartphone app is then able to come alongside the print Bible to deliver dynamic, curated supplementary content to aid in understanding the Scriptures. This is valuable content, but it isn’t always needed and doesn’t require the same level of permanence in our lives as the text of the Bible itself. The print edition has nothing but God’s sacred Word; the app contains nothing but valuable content to improve engagement with the Bible. Keeping these two kinds of content separate (but linked) makes for a better experience overall with the Bible.
One of the great things about the Filament Bible Collection is that the content in the app is versatile enough that almost any level of Bible reader will benefit from the overall experience. Families and younger believers will love the videos that provide excellent biblical scholarship in clear and entertaining ways. Study notes, profiles, theme articles, and book introductions written by some of the best evangelical scholars are helpful to any eager student of the Bible. Devotionals found in the Reflect window are perfect for those wanting a reflective experience with God’s Word. Interactive maps and infographics are great for Bible teachers in both their study and for display on a screen while teaching.
Anyone who wants to engage deeply with the Bible will find the Filament Bible Collection experience to be just what they are looking for.
For more information go to www.filamentbibles.com
Keith Williams is passionate about helping people know and love God better, specifically by creating Bibles that are designed to build as many bridges toward understanding as possible for modern readers. He has been working with Bibles at Tyndale House Publishers since 2005. After twelve years working in editorial on projects including the award-winning Chronological Life Application Study Bible and Swindoll Study Bible, he has been leading the Filament Bible project since its inception in 2015.