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Chicago Pastor creates mobile Bible app to personalize verses

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The app is receiving mixed reviews.

Christians are in for something new as a pastor from Chicago came up with an app that lets users personalize Bible verses according to their name and gender.


Catholic Online (
8/24/2015 (8 years ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Bible, Bible verses, smartphone app, Christian

MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Pastor Gregory Ijiwola, who serves at The CityLight Church in Chicago, Illinois, recently launched a Bible app named ToYou Bible. The app is a customizable one that people can use during their Bible study, meditation, or for daily reading.

As explained on the app's official website, the idea of coming up with an application that keeps Christians closer to God through personal Scripture readings came to Ijiwola's mind. The pastor read the Bible and figured out there are certain Bible verses that can be personalized in an acceptable manner.

In creating the Bible app, Ijiwoli asked a member of his congregation, who happens to be a software developer, to help him turn his idea into reality. And thus, ToYou Bible was born, and can now be used by smartphone users.

Ijiwola believes some Bible verses may come off to some as either generalized or far from being understood by many. He feels that Bible reading should be a personal experience. Through the ToYou Bible app, many believers will feel more connected to God as they read the Good News in a more customized setting.

On the ToYou website, an example of a personalized Bible verse was set up to show people what to expect from this app. Micah 6:8 reads, "He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your god."

Using the ToYou app, the Bible verse can be personalized for someone, say, a person named Travis. The Bible verse will now read as, "He has shown Travis what is good. What does God require of him but for Travis to act justly. To love mercy, and to walk humbly with his God."
John 3:16 can now be personalized for someone, say a person named Lorna. The verse will now come off as "For God so loved Lorna, that He gave his one and only Son, that Lorna believing in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."

There are mixed reactions from the religious community regarding the ToYou Bible app. A professor from the Moody Bible Institute, Dr. John Koessler, noted he didn't see any major issues about the app, but he had brought up that this might cause a problem eventually. Koessler adds that personalizing verses in the Bible might be read and misinterpreted as something else.

Rev. Dr. Christopher J. Benek thinks that personalizing verses in the Bible using the ToYou app actually makes the verses lose its meaning. Benek was quoted saying, "When we make the Bible all about us individuals, we miss the focus of the larger relational narrative which tells of God's grace and love being extended to all of humanity."


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