For many, surely, will be like a "sign of the end time" to have the opportunity to have the Scriptures so close to us. If our society has imposed us to carry all the time our mobile phones, I think that a great opportunity is opened to read the Word of the Lord by using them. On this way, the Bible will become like a person going with you on your daily travel and with you on the busy hours of turmoil and depression.
With diligence and devotion, I worked for this site together with the full support of Intercer team, especially my friend and brother in Christian hope, Lucian Mihailescu. I desire, with the help of the Lord, this multilingual portal to become more and more populated with Bible modules in different languages.
We have started with Romanian language, continued with Hungarian, next Romani, and next English. In future, more and more modules will be added. Before starting to use this modules, I advice you to read carefully the set-up indications and other information available on our site.
You can also read the story of this project below.
Wishing you the best in Christ and with the hope of seeing us in the heavenly kingdom
1. My personal and spiritual experience
My name is Octavian Lupu, and I live in Bucharest, Romania working as telecom engineer. My background is basically technically oriented toward IT & telecommunications world, but not neglecting the human and spiritual part. On this way, I have had a strong desire to use the communications technology for spreading the Good News of salvation to the whole world.
The story have started in 1997, when one article written by me was published in a Romanian Christian magazine, named “University Dialogues”, with the title “Christianity and the Information Society”. It was developed in a time when I was involved in several research projects in the field of Internet and Information Society. This was the first step in trying to define a vision of this new work, by using Internet as a channel for spreading the spiritual truth.
Next, it was another article with the title “The Gospel by the Internet”, published on the same year in another Romanian publication, that was in fact a sharing and a calling for starting projects on this area. I had perceived from that time, the great potential of two emerging technologies: Internet and GSM telephony.
Starting from this article, a person, named Lucian Mihailescu, developed his personal ministry, that now is well known in Romania under the name Intercer Ministries. At the beginning of this site, it was the issue to provide access to the Romanian Bible, and so I’ve started the first major project on this field, that was finalized by a dynamic DHTML website for Romanian and English Bibles and next for other inspired writings.
In the meantime, I’ve published other two articles in the Intercer newspapers, named “The basics of Internet personal work” and “Information Society as Exodus to the future”, that were very well appreciated by the public.
2. Creation of the Biblephone project
After 9 years from these things, in 2006, I’ve started the “Bible on the mobile phone” project, based on the evolution of GSM communications related with Internet. This second part of the story have commenced when I received a multimedia Java enabled mobile phone. At first, I have tried to upload a lot of Java games on it, like chess, sudoku and so on. But while browsing for such games, one day I found a Bible application for Java enabled mobile phones.
I was astonished by the new discovery and I was amazed that it worked on my phone. It was an English KJV Bible, a very useful thing for me at that time in delivering weekly English Bible lessons. Next, I searched for a Romanian Bible on the mobile phone, but found nothing. The texts existed on the net, but nobody was interested, till that time, to develop a mobile phone application.
The good news was that the developer of the above mentioned English Bible, located in Australia, had provided on the website (http://gobible.jolon.org) a tool for making Bible applications for the mobile phone. The issue was to convert the existing Bible texts in a special format (i.e. THML) in order to use the developing tool. I had written a program to convert on this format, and in short time the Romanian Bible was ready to put on the net.
At that moment, my friend Lucian Mihailescu had come to help me, offering free hosting at Intercer, and so, the first Romanian Bible for the mobile phone became available on the net. After a time, due to the modules that was added in different languages, obtained especially from Biola University (www.unboundbible.org ), a transposing of the Sword project, we decided to start a special website at biblephone.intercer.net in simpleupdates technology (www.simpleupdates.com).
I acted especially on demand, developing modules when someone asked from me, but on the same time I wanted to make available as many as possible languages. Now there are around 60 modules and more than 40 languages available on biblephone.intercer.net, and the number continues to grow.
My vision for mobile phone personal ministry may be summarized in several stages starting with offering Bible applications, continuing with good commentaries applications, and then by using support groups to promote direct relationship with the persons desiring to know more about the present truth and God’s offer of salvation.
In fact, the mobile phone ministry is only an extension of the traditional man-to-man relationship, allowing a flexible approach, around the clock, with many persons from different parts of the world. From this point of view, mobile phone ministry is an interesting field of development, together with Internet personal ministry, accessible for many people to involve on this work.
3. Project description
The project consists in several parts, developed according to the feed-back received and with the facilities offered by the Internet and mobile phone technologies. The core of this project consists from Java applications organized as modules for each Bible published on the website. The main special feature is the so called "Bible Creator", that allows you to build your application as you like, including whatever version, irrespective of language, you like and put them in the same multilingual package.
A similar thing is done with "Ebooks Creator", where you can build your multigenre package, suited for your mobile device.
The first choice after entering biblephone.intercer.net is to select the desired language, next you have to choose the available modules for the selected language, and then you have to choose from a table matrix, the applications that fit with your mobile phone. Here, you have to try starting from the lower part (lower size and Starter) going up, or from the upper part (bigger size and Advanced) going down if something doesn’t work.
The download is simple, just one click and save the application (a JAR – Java Archive File) to your computer and next via InfraRay, Bluetooth or USB connection you upload it on the mobile phones. I provided a lot of help on biblephone.intercer.net for different types of mobile phone, because sometimes there is a need for additional software from the manufacturers, available very often on their websites.
To have a little taste of what you get on the mobile phone, there is a Preview option for each application, in order to see how it works and its menu options with a so-called “emulator”.
If someone has direct Internet access on the mobile phone by WAP, GPRS or 3G technologies, it is very easy to access the WAP page at biblephone.intercer.net/wap/ and download the desired application directly on your mobile phone.
Several other sections are available at biblephone.intercer.net like “How to”, where you can find help for installing BiblePhone application, or suggestions of how to use the Bible texts on your computer, because it is possible that all these Bibles to have on your computer and to use them as you like. Inside this section I posted interesting indications of how to develop similar applications in order to stimulate innovations and the developing of this work on the net.
A “Picture gallery” is also available, for promoting this new way of having the Holy Scriptures together with you all the time. It is useful to have a picture of what you shall get after installing this application on your mobile phone.
Several e-books were also posted as mobile phone applications with good commentaries. Now there are available books in differnet Christian genres, irrespective of the denomination.
During the time, the core software evolved and after many months of trial, new BiblePhone applications, different from the original GoBible ones, has emerged. Therefore now all developing process is made under BiblePhone mark and under the control of biblephone.intercer.net administrator.
4. Testimonies around the world
The users around the world have reacted especially by e-mail to this initiative, and I shall supply several words from them. The usually message received from the people succeeding to install the application is like this:
“Thank you very much for the help provided to me. On this way I was able to install Bible on my mobile phone. There is a great blessing to have the Holy Scriptures with me all the time. May God guide you on your ministry and bless you”.
“Thank you very, very much for your help. May God bless you. If you can do more things for God, don’t ever hesitate to perform them”.
Sometimes the messages are very short, but concise, like:
“Thank you very much. You are doing a good work. Persevere on your ministry and God will bless you.”
“I succeeded to install the application! Thank you very much from all my soul! I am so happy having the Bible on my phone from now on”.
But many mails are requests for help and guidance for how to install the application. Therefore, there is a lot of work to train the people by using Internet messaging. This is the hardest part, but necessary in spreading the Gospel of Christ. Here support groups would be very useful.
Now a very nice testimony I shall paste, from someone that asked the Orthodox and Catholic Romanian Bibles, a very special person for me, even if I know him only by e-mail:
“Dear Mr. Lupu, I have all my consideration for you, even if I can’t express my exciting I have had from the moment I discovered your huge work adapting all these Bible versions for mobile phone. How would have been that instead of hearing shameful music on our public transportations busses, the people would read in silence the Holy Scriptures from their mobile phones! Am I too optimist, isn’t it? Again, I greet you for your initiative and for the time invested on this work. I pray God to strengthen you and give you health to continue this ministry, because nobody knows how many people will benefit from your work. May God bless you.”
Many other letters I received from Africa, Asia, America, not only Europe, having the same idea:
THERE IS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY, USE IT AT ONCE.
SOLI DEO GLORIA
VERBUM DEI MANET IN AETERNUM