I was browsing through the listings for new Google Chrome extensions when I saw a listing for an extension called Holy Bible. I generally install Xiphos or BibleTime, two Bible-reading desktop applications, whenever I install a new version of Linux, but after recently installing KDE, hadn’t done so yet. I’d never thought to look for a Bible reading extension for Google Chrome, so decided to take a look at the Holy Bible extension, along with another, called Scriply Bible, covered in a different article.
First, if you’ve ever used Bibleserver.com, in particular the mobile edition at m.bibleserver.com, then you know what to expect from the Holy Bible extension, and that’s because Holy Bible simply takes the mobile interface to Bibleserver.com and displays it in the extension window. Everything you can do on a mobile device, you can do in the extension, so if you’re experienced with that from using it on an iPhone or Android device, then you can probably stop reading now, as you’ll know what I’m about to say. For those who haven’t used it, read on.
One other note: the Holy Bible extension is a simple Bible reader. It’s not going to allow you to view side by side comparisons of different translations, or to keep notes as you read, or even to look at footnotes, and there are no commentary modules. It’s a simple Bible look-up and reading tool that frankly makes it very easy to read through the Bible. It has a nice navigation system, and is available in many different languages. If, after trying out the Holy Bible extension, you want all the “extras,” consider installing Xiphos or BibleTime, or any of the software packages found at this link: http://www.crosswire.org/applications.jsp
Now, back to the extension. As mentioned, it is a great Bible verse look-up tool. Simply click the icon and you’ll get a nice pop-up window. From here, simply type in the verse you’re looking for, for example: John 3:16. Wait a second and the entirety of John, Chapter 3, will appear, with the specific verse you wanted (in this case, Verse 16), highlighted so you can easily spot it. My only real gripe with the Holy Bible extension is that the verse itself, while highlighted, isn’t necessarily visible right away. With John 3:16 as an example, you’ll have to scroll down to get to it. It would be nice if the verse you asked for would appear in the middle of the screen, so you could view it right away.
In addition to viewing specific verses, the Holy Bible extension is also a nice way to simply read through the Bible. Let’s say you’re going to start at the beginning. Simply type in Genesis, and Genesis Chapter 1 will load. When you get to the end of the chapter, you’ll see back and forward arrows. Simply click the forward arrow, and Genesis Chapter 2 will load. In this way, you can read your way from front to back.
As mentioned, the Bibleserver.com website, and this extension, have a large number of languages and translations supported. It includes not only four popular translations – New International Version, Today’s New International Version, New International Readers Version and King James Version, but 36 other editions, including translations in Dutch, Italian, German, Spanish, Polish and more. That’s a total of 40 different editions available, so finding a translation in your language or one you’re comfortable with should be no problem.
About the only quibble I have with this extension, other than the lack of scrolling to the specific verse you searched for is that it has no “memory” of what has already been read. It would be nice if, after reading Mark 11, the extension would automatically load to where I left off, instead of starting me on the home screen. If I temporarily close the extension and return to it before restarting my browser, this is usually the behavior, but after restarting Google Chrome, the Holy Bible extension always starts at the home screen. It’s not a big deal, and I’m sure this extension wasn’t designed to allow someone to read through the Bible, but it could be used that way, so the shortcoming is even more pronounced. A simple solution would be to right-click on a verse and have a Bookmark Here option, so the next time you returned to the extension, you could click that bookmark and keep going where you left off.
Still, the Holy Bible extension is pretty good even with the missing bookmark feature or other shortcomings I see in it. For people who just want quick Bible verse look-up, or a fast way to read different editions of the Bible, it’s a great choice. It’s fast, free and always at hand, and is definitely an extension someone looking for a Bible reader should check out.