Silicon Valley, meet the Sermon on the Mount.
A new app lets people share inspirational images online, but instead of trending hashtags they can peg them to their favorite Bible verses.
Launched on March 5, the Parallel Bible is different from traditional Bible apps such as the popular YouVersion, which focus on the individual’s experience with the Word.
Instead, users sign into a virtual fellowship, uploading their own photos and videos and tagging them with related verses, searching Scripture to see other users’ photos and sharing stories in small groups or on their own news feeds.
“What we want for the Bible is to turn it back into a big table where everyone feels like they can be welcome,” co-founder Andrew Breitenberg says. “If you are a human being, you qualify—you don’t have to be a Christian to read the Bible.”
Breitenberg founded Parallel with his brother Chris. The brothers who grew up in Princeton, N.J., and who now live in Virginia Beach and Washington, D.C. Andrew, 36, is a graduate of Swarthmore and spent the last six years doing street art and graffiti in Cape Town. Chris, 33, is a graduate of Davidson and has worked at a peace-building nonprofit and spent time traveling Asia.
Both have explored evangelical and Eastern Christian traditions, and their spiritual influences include French mystic and activist Simone Weil, American Catholic mystic Thomas Merton, and the British theologian C.S. Lewis, beloved by evangelicals worldwide. For the past six months, Richard Rohr, a Franciscan friar and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, has been their mentor.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: TIME, Elizabeth Dias