On the Web
The Internet is growing at an astounding rate, giving us access to a sea of information and resources, and Christians continue to establish their presence in this new medium. There is now content on the web covering nearly every conceivable facet of the Christian life. Some of this content can be very useful, and at The Intercessor, we want to help you find it.
We begin with a brief look at several tools on the web specifically designed to aid in studying the Bible. There are many, many sites on the web that might fall under this description, and they demonstrate a wide range in the quality of site design and in the breadth and depth of their content. We certainly did not see them all, but we did find five quality sites you might consider visiting. Each of these five sites allows visitors to read the entire Bible in several translations and to perform verse lookups and word searches. Generally, the sites differ across four areas: the number and selection of Bible translations, the size of the study tool libraries, and the layout and design of the site, which ultimately defines the true functionality of the site’s resources. Following are our reviews:
Gospel Communications Inter-national’s website Gospelcom.net offers "The Bible Gateway" found at www.biblegateway.net. This site is very easy to use. It offers nine English translations of the Bible, and it has the New Testament in Real Audio (although we were never able to access it). The user can view multiple translations at once and can choose to see footnotes and cross-references. The text is readable, although each verse begins on the left margin of the page.
Christianity Today International’s website Christianitytoday.com offers "Bible and Reference.com" at www.bibleandreference.com. This site offers four translations of scripture, two Bible dictionaries, a Matthew Henry commentary, and two topical resources all integrated with highly advanced navigation tools. The sophistication of the site design makes it a little tricky to use, but it works well and the text is very readable.
Crosswalk.com Inc. and its Christian mega-site Crosswalk.com offers "Bible Study Tools" at www.biblestudytwls.net. This resource is the most comprehensive of the five. It offers a growing library of sixteen translations, eleven commentaries, three concordances, six dictionaries, an encyclopedia, and several volumes of history among other things. The vast tool library is certainly impressive, but it unavoidably makes the site more difficult to use. A user should expect to invest some time getting familiar with the layout. The site would do well to improve readability of the text.
Andy Basham made it his personal mission to put the Bible on the Internet, and to this end he created www.bibleontheweb.com. It is a plain but attractive site that offers just three translations and no tools library, but the site deserves mention for having the most readable text. For the user who is satisfied with the translations offered and is just looking to read and use the search and look-up functions, this site may be ideal.
Biola University in California has created a powerful resource called "The Unbound Bible" that can be found at www.theunboundbible.com. "The Unbound Bible" has ten English translations and offers text, Greek and Hebrew, for the true scholar. It has an Easton’s Bible dictionary, a Matthew Henry commentary, and two extensive topical Bible resources. This site also supports personal accounts that allow users to save study links for each verse, save verses to a clipboard, and customize the search display. The site is fairly easy to use, but scripture is displayed with double-spacing between each verse.
While we believe that these sites may be useful, we do not explicitly endorse any of them or their content. It is up to the user to discern whether any material does not meet godly standards. And while these sites certainly have the potential to enrich the study of the Bible, we should keep in mind Paul’s exhortation in the first chapter of James that we be "doers of the word, and not hearers only." One might become somewhat of a scholar with the tools on these sites, but this would be as filthy rags in God’s eyes without a commitment to obeying His word.
If there is a Christian website you have found useful, or if you have comments or suggestions regarding this article please contact us by our contact information on page two of this issue.
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 16 No 3
- The Law: Stepping Stone to Man’s Exposure
- To Think About…
- Editor’s Note
- A Look at a Book
- Summer Camp 2000, The Adults
- Tape Talk
- Bible Study: God’s Law
- A Life Transformed
- Zerubbabel Focus: Computers
- Questions & Answers
- Spontaneous Living
- The Laugh of Faith
- Youth Camp Report
- On the Web
- The Christian in the Workplace
- Leadership in Music
- "One Died for All, Therefore All Died"
- God’s Restoration of Man
- Only Men Count
- Intercession In Action
- Faith Produces Deeds…
- Words to Live By…