Reading and Comprehending Your Bible: Digital vs. Print

Reading and Comprehending Your Bible: Digital vs. Print

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” – Joshua 1:8

Bible study is important to Christian growth. In fact, it’s the only way we can become more like Jesus and less like our sinful selves. Without a proper understanding of the Scriptures, living the Christian life will most certainly be difficult.

With the influx of digital Bible apps such as YouVersion and Blue Letter Bible, some believe that digital consumption of God’s Word isn’t as beneficial as once thought. In fact, a recent study demonstrated that although men read their Bible more on smart devices, they retain much less information.

What Does the Data Say?

John Dyer is a Christian coder who is performing Ph.D. research in Bible software. Although his intentions were not to uncover any explicit difference between men and women, he did learn that although digital Bibles help men read more, women scored better in regard to reading comprehension.

In general, women tend to be more religious than men, and they have a stronger desire to interact with the pages of Scripture. Of course, there are many different factors that contribute to how the genders consume their Bible study, but it’s interesting to see how certain people comprehend God’s Word more efficiently through different mediums.

The Meaning of the Text

Regardless of how you read the Bible, it’s most important that you actually participate. Today’s Bible Quote says that we are not to let the “Book of the Law“—Old and New Testament—”depart from our mouths.” By meditating on God’s Word, we always have it at the forefront of our mind so that we can easily access it when in need.

Having the truths of Scripture at our disposal is invaluable. It allows us to “prosper” and have “great success,” but not in the way the world defines these things. Being prosperous in this context speaks to our success in being obedient and honoring to God. That’s how true success is measured.

How to Apply the Text

In light of Dyer’s research, it’s important that you make your own decision on how you study the Bible. Do you feel that the extra convenience of reading the Bible on your smart device benefits your walk with the Lord? Then continue to pursue that.

If you feel more authenticity by opening your leather-bound copy of God’s Word in order to physically engage with its pages and take notes, then continue on that path.

Research and surveys are beneficial in many ways, but they aren’t a silver bullet. What’s important is that you properly retain the words of God so they can impact your daily life.

Whether you open a book or an app, make sure you do it consistently and adhere to His instructions because “in keeping them there is great reward” (Psalm 19:11b).

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