The Bible Project – known and loved for its animated video explainers about the Bible – is branching out into “new mediums and new technology”, including a brand new app.
The main feature of the app is a one-year Bible reading “journey”, designed to help readers experience the Bible in a way that is “more in tune with how [Jesus] and those early Jewish messianic Christian communities read the Bible.”
“They encountered these texts much more like the way we encounter a piece of music, like a symphony. And so learning how to track with repeated words and patterns and images that unify all of these biblical books together into a unified story that leads to Jesus,” says Bible Project co-founder Tim Mackie in a video about their new products.
“We’re trying to recover a more ancient and original form for how these texts were designed to be experienced by followers of Jesus.” – Bible Project co-founder Tim Mackie
The aim is to “help people learn these really ancient skills for how to read the Bible, but we want to help you learn these skills by actually just reading through the Bible yourself,” Mackie continues. “So we’re crafting this one-year journey where we’re going to invite people to read through the Torah – the first five books of the Bible.
“We’re going to build into it this interactive experience where you’re going to be tracing key repeated patterns and words and images to begin to see how the notes and the melodies repeat and recycle as you read through the Torah. And by the end of it, we hope you’ll be able to actually engage with the Bible in whole new ways that you wouldn’t have been able to do a year before.”
He adds, “Even though we’re able to use new technology platforms, the way that we’re inviting people to learn how to read and engage with the Bible is not new at all. We’re trying to recover a more ancient and original form for how these texts were designed to be experienced by followers of Jesus.”
The app also features a “skills” section, which guides readers through the literary structure of particular passages of Scripture.
Users can read the full text of the Bible in the app itself, with the option to choose different translations. A particularly helpful feature is a pull-down menu beside the Scripture passage which displays Bible Project video clips relating to that passage.
The app also features a “skills” section, which guides readers through the literary structure of particular passages of Scripture. By clicking on tabs, users can identify thematic patterns, the literary style and the structure of different Bible passages.
In addition, the new app enables users to access Bible Project resources in one place – with an interactive viewer to watch videos and access its podcast series.
Another “secret piece of technology” revealed in the Bible Project update video is its “Classroom” – an online learning platform that offers free “graduate-level” Bible classes.
The platform is designed to help people learn to be “Scripture guides” themselves, so they can teach others about the Bible.
“It’s like a deep dive if you really want to crack open these skills for yourself,” says Bible Project co-founder Jon Collins, noting that Classroom has been running for a couple of years.
Outlining the difference between its products, the Bible Project website explains: “We are still fully focused on creating the short-form Bible explainer videos our audience has come to know and love. That style of video is ideal for communicating big ideas quickly and succinctly, whereas Classroom is for filling out those ideas slowly through in-depth lectures and discussion.”
The Bible Project began as a nonprofit animation studio in 2014 when friends Mackie and Collins made their first two videos and put them online for free. Collins explains: “I was very committed to Jesus, but was giving up on the Bible. It was just really confusing to me. And Tim was the kind of guy who I could ask questions … Tim started to show me that the Bible had this literary design and shape that really began to open it up for me. And I had a background in making explainer videos, so I thought it would be cool to try to explain the Bible this way.”
For more information about the Bible Project app, visit bibleproject.com/app.