Thinking Out Loud

July 31, 2020

A Closer Look at the New BibleGateway.com

Filed under: bible, Christianity, guest writer — Tags: , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 7:33 am

Earlier this week, something about Clark Bunch’s review of the new Bible Gateway site really resonated, so with his permission, we’re sharing it here. You can also click the title which follows to read this at source. You might also want to visit the site, The Master’s Table.

Bible Gateway Update

by Clark Bunch

In addition to the occasional book review (I posted one earlier this week) I have reviewed a couple of Bibles in the last year at the request of Bible Gateway. Regular readers know about the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid and as a partner The Master’s Table posted reviews of The Illustrated Holy Bible for Kids and The Jesus Bible. A few weeks ago Bible Gateway asked Blogger Grid members to review the new website design at Bible Gateway. The new design has since rolled out so if you use that resource or follow our links from here then you have probably seen the changes.

New Design

According to Bible Gateway, the new design offers a cleaner, easier to read screen. To me, it looks like they took controls from the top and moved them to the left side of the screen. I don’t see anything that makes it easier to read. The difference was supposed to really shine when you start adding side-by-side parallel translations on the same screen. So let’s add NKJV next to the ESV text in each format and take a look:

Classic View

That’s a two translation parallel view on the classic layout. I have scrolled down the screen a bit, rolling the website banner and user controls off the top of the screen. The Bible text takes up nearly the full width of my laptop screen. Now look at the same text side-by-side in the new format:

New Design

The control panel to the left collapsed which makes the text field a little wider. But look at all that business to the right, and at how narrow the fields are that contain text. I could add three if not four translations side-by-side on the classic site before they get that narrow. This makes parallel study more difficult, not easier, in my humble opinion. Side by side translations, which is how I’ve been writing my sermons for years, was easier on the classic site than the redesign. Which is ironic considering the Bible Gateway claims.

Now, this next difference is going to be a picky little thing but it’s my picky little thing. On the left-hand sidebar of this blog (and if you’re reading this in an email or blog aggregator now would be a good time to pop in to the actual website) you see the Bible Gateway verse of the day. The text is in ESV followed by a reference and that reference is linked to that verse on the Bible Gateway website. Here is how the verse of the day for today’s date would appear on the classic site:

Classic View

And here is the landing page, the very first thing you see, when visiting Bible Gateway today:

New Design

In addition to the fact that the page just doesn’t look as good, the reference appears before the verse. Like I said, a picky little thing. But that’s how we normally display verses in print. If you share a verse on social media, make a graphic for a slideshow or write a verse at the bottom of a get well soon or birthday card, we write the verse and then add a reference. It would be the same if displaying a quote; first the words and then an attribution. If you click the link in the left-hand sidebar it will take you to the new Bible Gateway site not the classic site. The classic site is an option you can choose – at this time. When I visit the regular site, without getting technical, it recognizes me and displays the ESV text since that is my preference. If I click the link in the upper left of the screen for classic site those recognition protocols are no longer in place and the site defaults to NIV.

So, to copy and paste the verse of the day the way I like it and in ESV, I have to go to the website, click on classic, change the translation and then copy the verse and reference. I have discovered a work around but it still involves a few steps. I now go to the regular site, copy the reference and verse, paste it into my editor twice and then cut it so the verse comes before the reference. Like I said, I know it’s a picky little thing but it’s my picky little thing. And it’s not the only reason I prefer the classic view, namely that the side-by-side translation parallel was better before.

For the time being the new format of Bible Gateway and the classic site are both available. I don’t know if it will always be like that or just while users compare the two and get a feel for the new design. While I’m giving the new site design a negative review let me be clear: I have been using Bible Gateway for years and will continue to do. I will continue to include links on the sidebars and link scripture references I use when blogging to Bible Gateway. It has been and continues to be an excellent resource available anywhere I have my laptop or phone.

One final thought: since I mentioned my phone there at the end I was going to include a screenshot of the phone app. When I opened Bible Gateway on my Samsung (Android) smart phone, I noticed this little detail:

The reference for today’s verse shows two verses, Matthew 5:14 and 16. But on the website, new and classic formats, only verse 14 is displayed. The mobile app shows verses 14 and 16. I don’t know what that means but it is interesting. To me anyway.

February 26, 2014

Wednesday Link List

Chocolate Pope - NBC News Photo

The link list knows no borders, so you won’t find any gloating about Canada’s Olympic hockey wins here. Click anything below and you’ll be redirected to PARSE, the blog of Leadership Journal, a ministry of Christianity Today; then click each link there.

If you’re not busy this week snapping up Son of God movie tickets, you can check out Paul Wilkinson’s other writing at Thinking Out Loud.

"Jonah Leaving the Whale" by Jan Brueghel the Elder, 1600

“Jonah Leaving the Whale” by Jan Brueghel the Elder, 1600

May 5, 2010

That Time Again: Mid Week Links

It’s time for our mid wink leek mid week link list:  The best of the Christian internet except for the parts that are better.

  • Our borrowed banner this week is from Rumblings, the blog of Ryan Dueck, an associate pastor in Vancouver; that’s his son catching a view of the Pacific.
  • Bruxy Cavey at Canada’s largest multi-site church, The Meeting House is in the middle of a series with the title “Inglorious Pastors” (yes, really) which looks at the contrast between the popular “Just War” theory among evangelicals versus the pacificism practiced by the Anabaptists.   Click this teaching page, select the above-named series, then select individual sermons.
  • I thought the relaunch of James Dobson’s broadcasting career was going to be an internet-only thing, but as this website testifies, they kicked off Monday on a number of broadcast radio outlets in the U.S.   (Couldn’t resist borrowing the graphic at right, which kinda summarizes what Dobson was and still is all about.)
  • The ECPA Book of the Year for 2010 is The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns.  Other winners are listed here.
  • A couple of weeks ago, Collide magazine came up with some good reasons to stop using media, more reasons than you might imagine.  Consider:

    “The lack of conviction with which your media is created (or purchased) and presented may transfer to your audience, or fail to transfer anything at all. Even worse, you’ll be under the impression that you’ve done your job for the week, and your audience will be under the impression that what they just sat through is what they can expect from an authentic worship experience. For what it’s worth, I think you’d both be wrong.”

    Read more here.

  • Our YouTube of the week is this 90-second testimony by Tamara Lowe who may or may not watch waaaaaaaaay too much broadcast television.
  • A 100-second Bible study on all the “one another”s from scripture is found at Zach Nielsen’s blog.
  • An interesting “behind the scenes” 4-minute video with a pastor from Bethlehem Baptist Church describes the process whereby John Piper’s preaching replacement for the next eight months was found in Kenny Stokes.
  • This week Michael Lantz included a brief excerpt from the Didache, an early church document which I don’t think we’ve mentioned here.   If you don’t know the word, that most inerrant source, Wikipedia has this to offer, or go directly to Michael’s blog.
  • Blog discovery of the week:  “Wrestling with an Angel — Lessons in the life of a father learned through the struggles of his disabled son.”  Whether or not you’ve walked a similar road, you’ll be richer for having read this blog by Greg Lucas.
  • The economy disperses families, job moves tear up roots, and electronic interaction sometimes is just a poor substitute.   Here’s our quotation of the week from the blog, Contents Under Pressure:

    It seems like most people already have the maximum number of active relationships that they can handle, and simply do not have any more of themselves to give to a new relationship.  Those with kids tend to typically interact with other folks who have kids, which makes sense to a certain degree.  So, being new to the area and having no kids has proven to create a difficult scenario for my wife and I.  Relationships that we maintain from North Carolina have expectedly become more difficult, as we either communicate via voice mail, text message or social media.  These methods of communication are all fine and well, but they do not replace real interaction with people.

  • Actually, here’s another shorter quotation from C.S. Lewis from the essay “Fern Seed and Elephants” which appeared this week at the blog, Mockingbird:  “[Modern biblical critics] ask me to believe they can read between the lines of the old texts; the evidence is their obvious inability to read (in any sense worth discussing) the lines themselves. They claim to see fern-seed and can’t see an elephant ten yards way in broad daylight.”
  • Not to minimize my appreciation for widely-used BibleGateway.com, but I find I’ve been increasingly utilizing a different site that allows better search results when I’m not entirely sure of the keywords, and greater ease of translation switching.   Check out Blue Letter Bible.
  • In a world when photocopy machines did the job of e-mail forwards, this fictional story of a pastor who didn’t get hired was popular among Christians as it still is.
  • Our cartoon this week is from Matt Glover in Australia:

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