By BosNewsLife News Center with reporting by BosNewsLife’s Stefan J. Bos
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (BosNewsLife)– Bible publishers on Thursday, October 6, were among those mourning the death of Steve Jobs, a technology pioneer whose inventions helped to spread the Scriptures to autocratic nations. Jobs, who died late Wednesday at the age of 56, co-founded Apple in 1976 and used it to introduce successful products including the Macintosh computer, iPod, iPhone and iPad.
His inventions inspired Christians at YouVersion.com to eventually launch what became known as the Bible App, allowing people to download the entire Bible in several languages on their smartphone and other (mobile) devises.
“In 1440, Johannes Gutenberg first shared his concept for the printing press. By the early 1450’s, he had put his ideas into action, printing the Bible faster and for far less money than the only option previously available: hand-copied versions that took years to create,” YouVersion said in a statement Thursday, October 6.
Fast forward over five centuries later, “Steve Jobs was likely unaware of just how his creations would be used to further the vision of Johannes Gutenberg,” YouVersion noted.
“Using the Bible App on their iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches—to say nothing of the countless other devices influenced by Steve Jobs’ ideas—30 million people now have free access to the very book that Gutenberg started printing.”
Among those downloading the free available Bible App are potentially many people in countries where open Bible distribution and evangelism is banned, including several Islamic nations such as Iran and Saudi Arabia, BosNewsLife monitored.
The Bible App has ranked in the top 50 most downloaded apps, according to Christian estimates.
“Generous Bible publishing partners provide us with 152 translations in 45 languages. More than 190 Bible reading plans help us breathe in God’s Word every day, reading and listening,” YouVersion.com explained.
Bible teachers too are pleased with Job’s legacy. “iTunes has become a beacon of hope by bringing the Word of God to the ends of the earth,” said Michael A. Milton, chancellor-elect of the U.S.-based Reformed Theological Seminary.
“At Reformed Theological Seminary, our classroom teaching, the very same courses by the very same professors, as well as sermons and teaching by some of the most notable pastors of our generation, are being downloaded onto Macs, and yes even PCs, as well as iPads and iPhones all over the earth.”
While Jobs allowed Bible distribution via the Apple Store, he made it a point of referring those seeking porn to his competitors. “We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone. Folks who want porn can buy and [sic] Android phone,” he once said.
It remains unclear whether Jobs was a born-again Christian, although Milton described Jobs as a “spiritual man.”
Jobs, “saw failures as the turning points in his life, which led to creativity. Our country needs to hear that great American story these days more than ever, ” he said about the man who publicly fought cancer for seven years.
Milton added that, “Apple Computer, became critical collaborators in seeking to fulfill the Great Commission of Jesus Christ.” He acknowledged that this sounds like an “odd” alliance. “But this is the God who raised an Empire, the Roman Empire. That linked far-flung cities and territories with efficient governance, “super highways” of their day” enabling “St. Paul and an innumerable host of disciples of Jesus Christ to get on that ramp, and transport Christ’s message of hope and freedom to the ends of the world.”
Milton said he would remember Jobs “as the founder of an empire that linked the world in order to bring Christ to those who have never heard.”
“Even as I write on this MacBook Pro this morning, I remember that God raises up Roman Roads in every generation to reach the lost, the broken, and the dying with a message that failure, indeed, is an eternal turning point to new life and even resurrection.”
Apple on Thursday, October 6, said in a statement it “has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.”
Jobs leaves behind a wife and four children, including one from a previous relationship.