There’s another interesting experiment in communicating the Bible started a few weeks ago just across the ditch from PodBible, the Bible Society in Australia‘s SMSBible. Of course, there are people who think TXT is just not “holy” or “beautiful” enough for the Bible even the esteemed if:book , a blog dedicated to the future of books.

Kim White’s post there sounds like someone who can’t stand change, and prefers the snobbery of the highbrow. Listen to this:

…the SMS version changes the voice of god from that of a wizened poet to that of a text-messaging teenager. Here’s an example:

4 god so luvd da world

I’m all for reading on cellphones and other portable devices, and I understand using a shorthand language for keying in messages, but why does the published book need to look like an electronic stenographer’s notepad? I realize that the form of the electronic “page” is changing the way we write, but I’ll be more than a little disappointed if this is the direction we are goingÂ?toward a cutesy-looking shorthand that compromises the integrity of the text for the sake of expediency.

Kim White concludes: Are you with me when I say that they jst dun hav d powR of d orignL txt.

OK admit it, TXT IS ugly, and has no place in print (yet). However, it is (currently at least) convenient. I use TXT (badly, as my fingers prefer trying to spell things in full and use punctuation too 😉 when communicating on MSN with Sarah in France. Though when we can I prefer to use voice, she often prefers TXT – since she is also carrying on three other “conversations”… For some things TXT is best.

So, I agrere with Kim, in some things, but there is also a spare and contemporary flavour to the extracts from the TXT Bible that seems to work. Remember too, that the original Greek of much of the New Testament was no literary linguistic masterpiece, but was koine the langauge of the streets and everyday letters – the TXT of the first century?

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