Friday, July 31, 2020

Bible Gateway

As a member of the Bible Gateway blogger grid, I have been asked twice to review its new website. I thought it was an invitation, but it seems it might have been an order.

There are a host of sites for studying the massively complex text that is the Bible. You might find something useful to you on them.

Bible Gateway has a new interface. "The color is a bit different and we now have a left-hand vertical navigation bar that expands and contracts for more usable screen space to accommodate viewing different Bible translations in parallel and reading supportive Bible reference material." This has potential for usage if you have a wide monitor or even two. I would not notice much in the way of differences since I generally do not use the site.

Gateway
My first desire when visiting a site that is a 'gateway' is to see through the gate. Regrettably, BG is like many gateways to the Bible and religious writing on the web. It is chock full of advertising. The ads are a distraction from the purpose. At random I first saw an ad for women's clothing. Then one for a poker tournament.

The gates of the city are twelve.
It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. (Rev 21:12)
If one is going to use a gate image, then one might want to avoid a gate with both clickbait and the association with Mammon. Clearly these are not among the names of the tribes of Israel.

I avoid sites that make their money through advertising. I brought the gateway up in the Brave browser which removes ads. It was an improvement. I could, of course, pay for the Bible Gateway + and I might get around the ads, but it's not my practice.

Bibles
The Bible Gateway has a massive number of Bibles. This alone is a testimony to the confusion of our times. I have contributed to the confusion by doing my own translation of the Hebrew Scriptures. There is no doubt that the city has a great high wall.

Every translation betrays. When there are many, there is a myriad of betrayals. But comparing them can be useful.

Purpose
Why do we do things? Is it to search for satisfaction? Is it a case of having control over something? What are we in business for?

I saw this morning a statement of purpose for BG but I can't find it now. So I did a search on Google. I got back to Bible Gateway for a perfect ad with a nice belly button above sleek slacks. Very sexy. Sex is a good part of creation, but I can't help feeling that these ads are a form of prostitution. I dare say the powers and principalities behind the ads are exploiting pretty labour. I do not use ads on my sites. Also, the very people one is trying to help may be put off by the ads. This is neither a good piece of policy nor clean money.

Peter Drucker says the first question for an organization is 'what is our business?' Working this out is always a decision.

I got myself back in to a page of the 'Encyclopedia of the Bible' explaining purpose. It is clear to me that the 'Bible helps', the supporting articles etc, backing up BG are the usual free resources that support an approach to the Bible that is traditional fundamentalism. I think this does more harm than good. Glib answers cannot be supportable for a life and are best ignored.

I switched back to the old version of BG so I could find the 'about page'. That has a statement of purpose.
Bible Gateway is a searchable online Bible in more than 200 versions and 70 languages that you can freely read, research, and reference anywhere. With a library of audio Bibles, a mobile app, devotionals, email newsletters, and other free resources, Bible Gateway equips you not only to read the Bible, but to understand it.
As I say, the 200 versions are impressive. But free resources sounds too good to be true. Do we really seek this sort of understanding?

My purpose is both positive and negative: to find beauty and joy and /---/ to avoid bringing others under my power.

I seek in supporting others to engage them in ways that enable their independence within the limits that we are, all of us, parts of a single mutually supportive body. There is no need for me to say in my purpose, for example, 'to save them from eternal damnation' or anything like that. When one part of the body hurts, we all hurt. When one part rejoices, we all rejoice. Beauty and joy are as indefinable as God. They are good and will be completed. They may suffer fracturing to 'let the light in'. They require consistent hard work.

(Even the folks at BG are part of this one body. Even those who disagree with me or find me disagreeable.)

No payment is required to enter the city.

The Bible is a very important part of our history. Failing to see what is there leads to many avoidable problems. I also find the Old Testament, so called, to be a text worth detailed study in the original languages.

The Bible Gateway is one of many possible sources for information on the text. Would it have helped me in my youth or if I were beginning? Really, I don't know. I think some of it may be misleading. My trajectory has been so contorted, I can scarcely judge such a thing.

There are no simple answers.

#BibleGatewayPartner. (I am not sure these work in this context. I don't use them.)

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