Research shows that more than 90 percent of Americans have a Bible in their homes, but few of them regularly read it. BibleMesh, an interactive website featuring some of the most prominent Christian thinkers, offers a unique solution to this epidemic of Bible illiteracy.
BibleMesh presents Scripture as one coherent story from Genesis to Revelation, not just a series of facts and anecdotes. The website's tagline, "One God, One Book, One Story," emphasizes the fact that the entire story of the Bible points to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The site is intended for Christians and non-Christians alike, because even people who don't believe the Bible find it difficult to dispute its impact on Western civilization. Famous atheist Richard Dawkins recently wrote, "A native speaker of English who has never read a word of the King James Bible is verging on the barbarian."
Yet surveys in Great Britain and the United States show that English speakers struggle to even name simple biblical information such as the four Gospels.
"I have been amazed at how little Bible knowledge is at play in the culture," said Dr. Mark T. Coppenger of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, a member of the BibleMesh editorial board. "Most have no idea of the biblical background for such common expressions as 'Adam's apple' and 'the blind leading the blind' or the way in which the patriarchs and apostles are nested in such common surnames as Jacobson and Johnson.
"And even those familiar with such figures as Noah and Paul, or with such events as the Flood and the Resurrection, often scratch their heads over basic theological concepts. BibleMesh fills in the details, covers the highlights and ties it all together."
BibleMesh's first course, "The Biblical Story," is a Christ-centered overview of the Scriptures. Anchored with a video narrative by author and pastor Tim Keller, the course takes the student through seven eras of Bible history, employing hundreds of short articles, videos and opportunities for individual testing.
An international team of more than 60 scholars, pastors and church leaders contributed to more than 300 articles and 200 videos for the launch of BibleMesh in 2010. Other contributors include Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president Albert Mohler, former Anglican Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria and nondenominational Cleveland pastor Alistair Begg.
BibleMesh is designed to be used as a discipleship tool for individuals, small groups, home school teachers, churches and Christian schools. Pastors can receive a one-year subscription to "The Biblical Story" for free.
"I hope BibleMesh will be Sunday school curriculum 2.0," said Dr. Gregory A. Thornbury of Union University, another member of the editorial board. "It's an update on what used to be done in Sunday school: taking Christians through the Bible."
Members of the faculty at schools like Union in Jackson, Tenn., Grace College & Seminary in Winona Lake, Ind., and Boyce College in Louisville, Ky., have started using "The Biblical Story" as a teaching tool. Summit Ministries will begin offering it this summer as part of its curriculum.
"You can't be an educated person without some knowledge of the Bible, yet even many professed Christians lack a basic understanding of its teachings," said Emmanuel A. Kampouris, the founder and publisher of BibleMesh and its sister site, Kairos Journal. "Western civilization is at risk of forfeiting the very tradition that brought her success and freedom. We hope the website will encourage people to a deeper commitment to biblical literacy and intimacy with the Lord."