NEW YORK Tapping into the success of mobile technology, GoBible, a New Jersey-based company, wants to change the face of audio Scripture presentations.
"We put the Bible on audio for people on the go, and they could listen to their Bible in the car, or on apps to plug in at their doctor's office," said Andrew Green, GoBible's director of marketing.
Founded in 2005 by entrepreneur Andrew Block, the hand-held device arrived even before the concept of smart phone apps. With a Ph.D. in history, Block knew he had a good idea, but he also needed some help to get the project rolling.
"He had to teach himself some technology and raise significant money from investors to come up with a prototype," Green said.
"We are using cutting-edge technology to bring people audio Bibles," he said. "There is a demand for audio Bibles, especially with a good narrator. With audio Bibles, there used to be 60 to 70 CDs or 100 cassettes, but now, you can fit the Bible in the palm of your hand.
"We used MP3 technology and took audio files and fit them into a chip to fit in a device in your hand. We were the first company to figure that out with a Bible. There's a big demand for it in the Christian market."
GoBible is a tool for all Christians, not just pastors.
"Pastors travel a lot, and this is a nice way to continue Bible study," Green said, "but churches encourage their congregations to be in the Bible on a daily basis. We all have 20 minutes while working out, cutting the grass, emptying our dishwasher, etc., and now we can listen to the Bible with this device. A woman can put an audio Bible in her purse and steal a couple of minutes during the day, or a person can listen to one of the Bible stories on it, or listen to an entire book like the Book of Ecclesiastes."
There are three categories of GoBible products: Audio Bible players, Bible downloads and Bible apps for the iPod, iTouch and iPhones.
In addition to the Voyager and original digital audio Bibles, GoBible features pre-loaded versions of the King James, NIV and NIV Spanish translation on its Traveler line. The Voyager features storage for music, as well.
Downloadable audio products include Bibles in many versions of the Scriptures; Christian books; sermons and Christian classics; and children's Bibles and books.
The app is on Apple devices, currently, Green said, but the company is in the process of making the app available on Android-based phones.
"The apps are great for those who aren't sight-impaired," he said, but the players are a helpful tool for the blind.
Jennifer Rothschild, blind for more than 30 years and author of "Lessons I Learned in the Dark," called GoBible "the first product that is both pleasant to listen to and extremely accessible."
Working with Rothschild, GoBible added audio instructions to help visually impaired users access the upgraded, intuitive device.
Pat Ferguson of Ferguson Technologies Inc., also sight impaired, is a user and retailer of GoBible.
"These hand-held GoBibles are so very easy to use, and they are a fantastic way to study God's Word," Ferguson said. "I've never seen these great features in other talking Bibles."
For more information, visit www.GoBible.com.