Some months ago I published a vision statement about the need for increasing scriptural literacy, what I call the modern-day Tyndale moment for the digital age.
I wrote: “We need an explosion of learning resources contextually connected to the scriptures.
“My vision is that combing the best of learning design and user experience design with the greatest resources about the scriptures will result in an exponential increase in scriptural literacy.
“My vision is that the floodgates of scriptural knowledge that are locked away in the great libraries of the world be broken open so that all people, whether of high station or low, have at their fingertips the very best resources about the scriptures. No longer should it be the sacred domain of a few trained scholars to have access to the best readings and learnings about scriptures. Just as Tyndale labored to make the scriptures available to all people, not just for the trained elite, so too in our day, we can provide better access to the existing scriptural resources and know-how that are typically only available to a limited number (of individuals). …
“Imagine if we could distill the most useful and relevant content and contextually connect it digitally to our scriptures so that those insights, those meanings, those applications, those connections were persistently and contextually available during our scripture study. What if everyone had access to the greatest knowledge about scriptures?
“What if we were all empowered with greater scriptural literacy? That would be revolutionary indeed. It would be a Tyndale moment.”
"Book of Mormon Central exists to freely inform, explain, invite, engage, inspire and encourage greater knowledge and appreciation of every aspect of the Book of Mormon," according to a news release about the launching of the site. Organizers of Book of Mormon Central believe "that increased understanding of this transformational text will advance goodness, justice, and faith on personal, family, social, and international levels," according to the news release.
Formally launched on Jan. 1, Book of Mormon Central has four primary endeavors:
1. Book of Mormon Central Archive is a growing, searchable digital repository containing an incredible array of valuable materials about the Book of Mormon. Go explore the archive for a few minutes and get a taste of the extensive materials collected on the Book of Mormon.
2. Book of Mormon Central Notes are short explanatory articles on Book of Mormon topics. Do you have interest in learning about Chiasmus, Isaiah in the Book of Mormon, titles of Jesus, or Book of Mormon geography? Book of Mormon Central Notes will house introductory short articles on these and a plethora of other topics.
3. Book of Mormon Central Text may be one of the most exciting aspects of Book of Mormon Central. Though still in the early stages of development, this tool will combine the very best of scripture scholarship with the very latest of user experience design principles. Users will be able to read an interactive copy of the Book of Mormon with contextualized links to supporting materials.
4. Book of Mormon Central KnoWhys are published frequently. These short, accessible essays highlight intriguing details about the Book of Mormon that may often go missed in our regular reading of the sacred text. Recent topics include “Did pre-Christian prophets know about Christ” and “What does the Virgin Mary have to do with the tree of life?” KnoWhys are published via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and SoundCloud and other social media platforms.
Book of Mormon Central is housed in an office and research library in Springville, with full-time staff, freelancers and many volunteers, according to information from Book of Mormon Central.
Their efforts show promise of being an important contribution to the modern-day Tyndale moment of increased scriptural literacy.
If you’d like to support these modern-day Tyndale moment endeavors, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Taylor Halverson (Ph.D.s: biblical studies, instructional technology) is a BYU teaching and learning consultant. His website is at taylorhalverson.com. His views are his own.