International (MNN/FCBH) — The idea of the mashup is not new. The first one came about in 1906, but it was called a sound collage.
Today, it’s more connected to music than to spoken audio content; however, Faith Comes By Hearing is leading the way in the trend.
Wikipedia describes mashup as “a web page, or web application, that uses and combines data, presentation, or functionality from two or more sources to create new services…frequently using open application programming interfaces (API) and data sources to produce enriched results.”
FCBH spokesman Bill Lohr explains, “We’re bringing some content (The JESUS Film Project is bringing in some content), and then we’re mashing it up (that’s the term mashup). And then we’re bringing out a product where people can read the Bible, listen to the Bible, or watch the Bible on their mobile devices.”
The Mashup accelerates the user’s engagement with Scripture. Less than a decade ago, it would have been unthinkable to have access to the Bible in audio, text, and video on your cell phone. Lohr says to make it work, ministries have to cooperate. “We have content that is text and audio, and we put that into bible.is. Then we have partners like JESUS Film, and they allow us to bring that film in to show in the bible.is app.”
While this opens the door for convenience and accessibility for the average user in North America, for those where persecution has forced the Church underground, it is a lifeline. Lohr says, “That stream goes out to their device, it’s coming from our digital Bible platform, and it runs through their device. They can listen to God’s Word in a secure manner and then have no record of their listening time in their device.”
Here’s how it works: API (application programming interface) technology allows full sharing of content between organizations and across digital platforms. Let’s take a church’s Web site, for example. Most churches have vision statements, staff pages, event pages, and other basic info. Some might include an audio player so people can listen to sermons. “They don’t have to be bible.is. They don’t have to be Faith Comes by Hearing. All of the content comes into their Web site, they have a page with the text and the audio available, and they’ve created a Bible page right on their Web site.” Utilizing the API technology changes the game for them, says Lohr. They can include ALL of the content for reference purposes to any and all seekers.
Why offer all this for free? It’s an answer to the access and availability question. “We want to get God’s Word in as many languages as possible. That’s the mission of Faith Comes By Hearing. We’re getting God’s Word into a format people can use and into the many different languages of the world.”
Lohr adds that by sharing this digital content, doors open exponentially. “We’re just really excited that we give unmatched access to God’s Word in over 800 languages around the world. Believe it or not, those 800 languages represent 5.7 billion people.”
Jesus Film Media adds, “The advanced technology partnership between Jesus Film Media and Faith Comes By Hearing now brings over a thousand language versions of the JESUS film to millions of Bible.is users. We are excited about this breakthrough in both mobile technology and partnership which will resonate throughout the Kingdom and in every user’s heart.”
In addition to sharing content with Jesus Film Media, Faith Comes By Hearing also offers Digital Bible Platform access to approved developers seeking to join them in bringing the Gospel to the world.