Emoji bible: legit or not legit

By June 29, 2016

USA (MNN) – Exactly one month ago today, the emoji Bible app was released in Apple’s iBooks. Since then, many people have questioned the validity of such a translation.

Marketed as “Scripture for Millennials,” the app has received a 2.9 out of a 5-star rating in Apple’s app store with many calling the King James Version text, with emoji inserts, harder to read than the traditional all-word Bibles available today.

A Bigger Question

(Photo Courtesy Frank Behrens via Flickr)

(Photo Courtesy Frank Behrens via Flickr)

Yet, regardless of the app’s readability, another question has been asked. Is an emoji Bible translation really a legitimate form of God’s word? Carl Moeller with Biblica has more.

“Sometimes, in our desire to be relevant, we miss the fact that God has chosen to give us His salvation message and his life message, in the form of words,” Moeller explains.

“And He could have done it other ways…but specifically he used words and that’s why Bible translation is such an important work. Because, we’re taking the eternal word of God, that God’s revelation of his truth to us, that was given to us in Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic and bringing it to modern languages.

Though emojis can be fun and interesting, trying to decode the imagery while reading God’s word doesn’t seem like a good translation move. In fact, Moeller says an emjoi translation fails to translate God’s word in all its glory.

“It’s a very important task that we get that right. And emojis, for all their curious and fun connotations, don’t convey the specificity that’s necessary in making the Bible come alive and its message transcend our daily reality,” Moeller says. “The specific nature of language is that words mean things. And emojis can man a variety of things.”

So, what is the Bible?

Still, the conversation surrounding the emoji Bible app is actually a chance to get down to the basics of really what is the Bible. “I would say that there’s a lot of ways we can characterize the Bible. But at its heart, it’s a love letter from God to us. And it’s a means, as it’s been delivered to us, for us to really understand that God does speak to human beings,” Moeller explains.

As Moeller previously said, God could have communicated with the human race in any way he wanted. He could have used the clouds or sky, the mountains or oceans, but he chose to use words.

A Christian Responsibility

(Photo Courtesy: Biblica via Facebook)

(Photo Courtesy: Biblica via Facebook)

But, because God gave the human race His truth through the written word, Christians have the opportunity to not take at face value what others claim to be Biblical truths, such as the emoji Bible, but to examine claims according to the written Bible.

And it’s that exercised capability, Moeller says, is one of the hallmarks of a thoughtful question. The fact that Christians can and should study the Bible and check what others may claim to be true against God’s written word.

So while the emoji Bible app may seem fascinating and may look like a new way to engage others with God’s word, it’s important to remember how God inspired His word, through texts.

It’s also important to remember that, before jumping on or off any bandwagon, to examine and check the emoji Bible app, as well as other things, against God’s truth in wordy Bibles.

One Comment

  • Mark Kordic says:

    Thanks for the review of the Emoji Bible. My question. Why make the assumption that millennials do not like to read. They are reading online posts all day and night. Thanks for Carl Moeller’s wise comment that the Scriptures are “a love letter from God to us. And it’s a means, as it’s been delivered to us, for us to really understand that God does speak to human beings,” This includes millennials. There are many accurate translations to choose from today and easily accessible in mobile form through Apps like YouVersion and Bible.is.

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