Ministers of God have dismissed the popular claim that the use of electronic bibles on mobile phones and tablets at Church services enhanced convenience and quick search of scriptures.
They also talked about the increasing trend of Christians going to church armed not with a hard-copy Bible but with mobile phones or tablet, which carried many versions of soft-copies describing it as a “means of disturbance”.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Reverend Joseph Oti Nyametease of Revival Church of God at Akewteyman in Accra said the Bible was a sacred book that carried spiritual power to save Christians in times of difficulties and a symbol of salvation for the Christian.
He explained that, even though, the electronic bible as argued by many, helped readers locate scriptures faster, it could pose numerous challenges when in use as it was filled with many other applications.
Reverend Nyametease quoted Luke 4: 16 versus 17 which read: “And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read. “And there was delivered unto him the book of the Prophet Esaias… And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written…”
This he observed that, the word of God had always been in a hard-copy medium, which indicated that, any other medium was inappropriate.
He therefore cautioned Pastors to adopt the ways of Jesus Christ as he did at Nazareth using the Holy Bible to preach the word of God than to use a tablet.
Rev William Akotua Opare, a Senior Minister of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, at Adiebeba, Kumasi, however believes that, the destruction caused by the use of mobile phones or tablets for scripture reading could be avoided through self discipline.
He advised that it was necessary for Christians to stay holy by ensuring that their mobile phones or tablet did not contain any unhealthy information such as pornography.
He pointed that, mobile phones or tablets should be switched to flight mode to prevent any intrusions by calls during scripture reading.
“If you know you cannot turn your network off, then, it would be necessary to use a hard-copy bible,” he said.
Meanwhile, in an interview the GNA, some Christian expressed varying views on the subject.
Mr Samuel-Richard Bogobley, a National Service Person at the University of Cape Coast said both the electronic bible and the hard copy contained the same word of God which made it more preferable.
He said hard copy bibles were bulky and revisions led to wastage of paper that might negatively impact on global climate change by use of more trees for paper.
“Electronic bibles are the future, I think we ought to embrace them, after all a concentrated mind is difficult to distract,” he said.
Ms Ann Haizel-Cobbina, a worker at the Ghana National Household Registry said both the hard and soft copies of the bible were the same but the paper made provision for flagging and side noting for easy referencing.
“Some will say it is distractive; but I opine that it is not, when you know what you are about in your Christian life.