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A digital Bible is a text or audio version of a Bible, usually made available on a compact disc (CD) or other electronic medium. These types of Bibles are often translated and put together in digital form by volunteers. Some virtual Bibles are interactive and designed to help the reader study or write sermons. Electronic Bible distributors sometimes encourage buyers to copy the contents of the CD, DVD, or other digital media format onto the computer’s of friends and family. Their goal is to make a Bible readily available to people of the same faith who do not yet have one, in addition to people who might read the book and decide to take up the faith.
Bibles come in many different languages and types. In general, the most popular Bible editions are easily found and purchased, while lesser known editions are in little demand and are usually not a first priority for digital formats. A digital Bible is often created by volunteers, especially if translation is involved. In some cases, thousands of people volunteer to help write a digital Bible.
Sometimes a digital Bible is much more than text and audio in digital format. It can be designed to help and encourage people to thoroughly read and study the book. This kind of software may come with maps, dictionaries, and other features to help the reader better understand the text. For example, large print is a common feature which can decrease eyestrain for people with poor vision. Bible study software can be had for smartphones, tablets, and computers.
Several digital Bible distributors ask buyers to share their Bibles with people in specific countries, like China. These distributors usually identify a region of the world where distribution of Bibles is relatively low. On the other hand, it is usually illegal to copy and share a digital Bible with family and friends in a country not deemed “in great need” of Bibles. In this case, the buyer must purchase additional copies.
The mission of a digital Bible company varies. Many aim to distribute Bibles where there is an established community that holds the same beliefs. Others focus more on areas without a lot of people that share their religious beliefs, hoping to convince natives to switch or take up a religion. In fact, some companies specifically set out to distribute Bibles in regions where the residents are known to be intolerant or hostile towards the contents of a certain Bible. This can be a controversial practice, especially if other parts of the country are poor and in need of supplies like food and water.