Review: Glo Bible

Youth Specialties
March 10th, 2010

As a student of the Bible, I have many resources that help me obtain more information. I have commentaries about each book of the Bible, maps that show the topography of a region, Greek and Hebrew books that help me better understand the original language, and numerous books that give me differing insights into scripture application. All of these tools have helped me learn and grow, but they can be cumbersome and difficult to carry around. Enter Glo: the Bible for the digital world.

Glo claims to not just be a new translation (in fact, you can read either NIV or KJV), but a transformation changing how you read and interact with the Bible. In using Glo, your Bible reading is transformed through Glo's six lenses: Bible, timeline, atlas, topical, media and MyGlo. The lenses are portals through which you interact with the Scriptures. Instead of going straight to the verses (the Bible lens), you can choose to look through one of the other 5. The timeline lens gives the user the ability to see how Biblical events relate to each other chronologically. Looking at the atlas enables you to see the Bible through specific locations. The topical lens is a great starting point when you want to study a specific topic, like Scripture canonization. Using the media lens allows you to search through the over 2,000 photograph, 3 1/2 hours of video, interactive maps, and 550 virtual tours in order to see the Bible in a new way. 
The best lens, for ongoing study, is MyGlo. MyGlo is a centralized location for all of your notes, bookmarks, and Bible reading plans. Currently, there are six preset reading plans available. You can choose to read the gospels in a month, the New Testament in a year, or even the entire Bible in a year. Glo tells you how long you need to read and how often, in order to reach your goal. Then once you start a reading plan, it tracks your status and keeps you alerted to whether you are on track or falling behind. In the latest version, Glo introduced another way to use the Bible reading plans – create your own. You can pick any section(s) of Scripture, verses related to the same geographical location or even a topical reading plan. You decide on an end date and Glo sets up a reading plan for you to follow. 
Using one lens individually is a great way to study and read Scripture. But to really transform your reading, look through more than one lens at a time. With a few clicks of the mouse, you can filter your searches through multiple lens. Let's say you are interested in finding out what events take place on Mt. Moriah in the Old Testament. You go to the atlas and find Mt. Moriah, then take that search and take it to Bible and find all the verses that mention Mt. Moriah. You are now able to see every verse with Mt. Moriah from the Old Testament, and if you want, you can filter it through the timeline lens to see exactly when those events took place.
For a youth worker, Glo will prove to be an invaluable resource in lesson and message preparation. For me, though, what takes it over the top is the integration of technology and Scripture. Not just the technology used in Glo, but the technology available to take Glo and project it for all of the students to see during the lesson. Think about how it would enhance a lesson if the students can see the timeline of events or look at an interactive map while discussing the Exodus. 
One negative I found with the program is in the Topical lens. Despite an effort to cover all sides of the debatable topics (like “end times”), it seems that some of the “arguments” do not have much support. And on top of that, some of the web articles that are used to help discuss these topics take you to the wikipedia page on the topic. With the availability of numerous papers discussing each point, I would hope for something more scholarly than a wikipedia article.
Glo has an obvious appeal to anyone pursuing or currently in a ministry position. It will also appeal to anyone who is serious about learning more about the Bible. Due to an increased familiarity with technology, this technology-driven Bible will also be attractive to middle school and high schoolers. It will be beneficial for use during personal (or family) devotions. And the enormous collection of media makes it a go-to reference for quick explanations and visuals. 
Regardless of what this resource can do for you personally and professionally, the bottom line is whether or not its worth the money. For around $90, the Glo Bible is a great addition to your library of Biblical reference material, especially for a minister. For personal use, though, I think it might be a more difficult sell based on whether or not you have the extra money or use your computer to do your Bible study. If you have the money or means to get Glo, I would recommend it, because it is easy to use and will enhance your study of the Bible. 
Until sometime later in 2010, Glo is a Windows only software. You will need Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 with at least 1 GB of available RAM (depending on your OS). To install the program you need 18 GB of free hard disk space and an internet connection. You can run Glo without an internet connection, but you will not receive the updates and will not be able to access the Web articles. 
Youth Specialties

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.