Wednesday 21st August 2013
American Bible Society has won the rights to operate .bible, a new top-level domain (called gTLDs) to enter into an arena dominated by .com and .org.
The application process has taken ABS over a year to secure .bible from the International Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which it says will be used by ABS and its supporting partners, like the other 145 Bible Societies across the world, to “accelerate global online Bible access and facilitate engagement in ways not previously possible”.
The organisation says it was the only applicant for the .bible TLD and has been preparing for several years to make it happen.
“The goal of making the Bible more accessible has inspired innovation since the 1400s when the printing press was created, so it is not surprising that the Bible would continue to be pushing progress,” said Scott Wennermark, director of strategic advancement for American Bible Society.
“The .bible top-level domain will allow American Bible Society to increase the availability of Bible resources and expand the reach of Scripture in new and relevant ways.”
ABS told Christianity Today that it will limit domain names for new .BIBLE websites to those “who have a healthy respect for the Bible.” The aim is to make it easier for people seeking more information about the Bible to access relevant online information easier and faster, without having to sort through hundreds of irrelevant websites linked to .com and .org.
“We hope to establish .bible as a singular Bible mission centre of excellence,” Geoffrey Morin, ABS’s chief communications officer told Eternity last year when it started the application process.
The new domain will also open up millions of additional URLs available for use to proclaim the gospel, Morin said.
American Bible Society are inviting pre-registration for organisations who would like to use the .bible domain, which will roll out in 2015. For the moment, there is no indication of how much it will cost to use the .bible domain. It is hoping that websites like preach.bible and search.bible will emerge to “put God’s life-changing message at the fingertips of billions of people.”
In Australia, the new TLDs are also starting to be granted, with .melbourne one of the first Australian domains to be approved for use.
Makers of the Bible App, YouVersion, LifeChurchTV have applied for the .church domain name. The church says on it’s dotchurch.org website that .church domains will be “open to all faiths and religious beliefs” and “available at a reasonable cost.” LifeChurch says the new domain will “create a clearly identified namespace for churches and religious organisations, making it easier for people to discover, connect with, and share those ministries.”