Glo Bible: Beautiful Fusion of Computer Technology and the Word

Various Translations

The Glo Bible combines four Bible translations (the most popular by many standards but in need to the NRSV for me): NIV, ESV, KJV, and The Message. One advantage of having an electronic Bible is that the company periodically updates their offerings and includes new translations. The last time this was done, it was done at no cost to me.

The search engine employed by the system allows readers to easily navigate the Old and New Testaments, seeking out book, chapter, and verse quickly. You can also locate material by topic under one of several "lenses" for viewing biblical texts. This can be handy if you're looking to explore a particular topic or concern rather than seeking out a specific verse.

Supplemental Reading

Now, an electronic Bible by itself is useful, but Glo offers more. The reader is given access to the more than 7,500 articles from the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible. Appropriate articles appear alongside the text in an notes section so that you can explore each verse you highlight in greater detail if there is an accompanying encyclopedic reference. This helps deepen the experience.

Plenty of Pictures

Glo also offers up all the photos in that encyclopedia as well. That gives the reader over 2,300 high resolution images to illustrate the passages being explored. You can zoom in on these photos and feel like you're in the midst of things. Among these images are 650+ works of art, showing you how masters of the artistic media expressed their faith. You will definitely want to slow down and view the pictures ... smell the virtual roses so to speak!

Virtual Tours ... Pictures with Extra Punch

Using computer technology for its best impact, there are over 450 virtual tours to take. These are images that rotate 360 degrees around you. Both modern day and recreated biblical sites are included for your edification ... never has learning been so darned enjoyable! One of the amazing things about this feature is that as you rotate the image, you'll discover little squares within the image. Click on those and you zoom into that location, and the exploration continues. Explore churches inside and out. Visit the tomb long claimed to be that where Jesus rested ever so briefly. It'll take you a long time to explore it all.

Then There's the Movie ...

Also included is a three-and-a-half hour video interspersed in segments throughout the New Testament. This video covers the life of Jesus from birth to resurrection. It's well made and worth watching ... although very white in tone. You'll see what I mean. Here's one of the places where a conservative bias is most telling. Still, it's worth watching and unexpected in a Bible.

You Can't Get Lost

As you tour the biblical world from Genesis to Revelation, there's no need to worry about getting lost. There are more than 140 maps to keep you on track. These too may be zoomed in on to get closer to the location you are exploring.

Lenses to View the World

Now, there are a number of ways to use this multimedia resource on your computer. There are six lenses through which to view and navigate the biblical texts and world. They are: Bible (obviously) in which no more than two clicks will get you the chapter and verse you seek within any biblical book; MyGlo: a personal lens on the Bible where you can keep notes and reading plans (my experience is that reading plans get blown out the window as with all this media this becomes a strolling Bible moved through slowly and enjoyably as you check out all the options available ... but you might be different so go for it); Media: through which you can browse all the goodies discussed above; Topical: find verses and articles relevant to current aspects of daily life (not my favorite ... but you might think differently); Atlas: major stories and key locations available at a touch; and Timeline: giving you events in context. It's all quite useful and user friendly. Enjoy the exploration.

All the Rest ...

Now, the full computer version is also linked via Internet to web articles and is updated online frequently, keeping your Glo fresh. Occasionally new translations will be added. I'm waiting eagerly for the New Revised Standard Version to make the list (are you reading this Glo people?).

All this power does require some space and computing power. You'll need at least Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7, a dual core processor, 1GB of RAM for Microsoft Windows XP or 2GB RAM for Vista and Windows 7. This massive program also needs 18GB of free hard drive space to take up residence. You'll need an ATI or NVIDIA video graphics card to make it go with Microsoft DirectX9 support, an Internet connection, and a DVD-ROM drive. Most new computers come decked out with all of this.You can also get it for the MAC.

Now, while this system lists on the box for $89.99, I just went to the Glo Bible website and you can download the whole package for $24.99. This would be a great Christmas gift for anyone who is at all computer savvy in your family ... and a wonderful gift for you.

I have never regretted picking up this system. There are also ways for pastors to use this in services ... if you're willing to do a little deeper digging.

Once you have the Glo Bible on your computer, you can add free apps to your tablets and smartphones that will give you some access to the system via these devices.

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