Update: Looks like they removed the verse! Here’s the link to their blog.
YouVersion – The Bible App sent everyone this ad, they sent it to you too if you’re still subscribed to email notifications! The Alexa looks like a voice controlled speaker and there’s also an app that can hook up straight to your bible. It seems like an interesting product, nothing too new, but the verse they used felt strange to me. Luke 11:28 was included near the start of the email:
Are they implying that this product will help you be more … blessed?
Are they implying that hearing the word of God audibly through this product is better than reading it normally? And they’re using this verse from Luke to back it up?
Correct me if I’m wrong, but the emphasis on this ad isn’t hearing and then obeying. The emphasis is being able to hear the word of God audibly in a convenient way. I really don’t mind the business model because it will help many Christians out there, but what in the world is this verse doing here?
Well, it’s probably because Luke 11:28 mentions the word ‘hear‘.
While I don’t want to make a big deal out of such a harmless email, it bothers me a bit that the advertisers of the most used Bible app in the world used this verse to market a product in a way that entices Christian consumers. That’s not what the word of God was meant for …
As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
Jesus said this in contrast with what the world was saying, and he said this because he wanted to break the connotation of generational blessing and works. He’s not undermining what mothers have to go through, he’s showing us the source of true blessing, the word of God. We could study this more thoroughly but it’s clear enough that this verse makes no sense in context of the ad.
Nowhere in this passage does it focus on hearing the word of God audibly. Most of us hear the word of God either through reading the bible or through where the spirit is leading our thoughts, and that’s fine because Jesus never emphasized the medium we get the word, but that we keep it.
Like I said earlier, I’m being super picky about what was probably a small misunderstanding or lack of effort (maybe he just Googled ‘hear the word’ or remembered the first verse that came to mind?), certainly it’s not in our best interest to use the word of God for our own agenda.
Michael “Still a huge fan of the Bible app though” Ru