Sharing the Bible With Wikis
We’ve invited the Founder of Bible Wiki, Adam S., to author this guest blog post.
The Internet and the Web are both remarkable and revolutionary technologies to more effectively share, study and spread the Word of God: The Bible. The Web creates an unprecedented area of unique opportunities to fulfil the Great Commission. One such unique way is the wiki model website.
A wiki is a website that develops its content collaboratively through a community of volunteer editors. The most popular example of a wiki, is Wikipedia, which is a massive wiki of encyclopedic nature. While a wiki can be anything from a fan base to a corporate project, wikis are typically encyclopedias striving to be comprehensive in nature.
The wiki concept is an excellent approach to be able to share Christianity, the Bible and to allow it to be done in work as a community. Many of the Christian wikis (see a list of them below) all started based on the same idea: to create an alternative wiki encyclopedia to Wikipedia’s neutral point of view.
Sadly, Wikipedia’s community primarily consists of secular and liberal writers in regards to Christian or biblical content. Furthermore Wikipedia’s “Neutral Point of View” policy is not truly achievable, because, neutrality in regards to the Word of God is impossible. According to Scripture Jesus Himself says “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (Matt 12:30, Luke 11:23; also Luke 9:50, Mark 9:40). Wikipedia and other wikis like RationalWiki (a wiki with an atheist point of view), excessively dominate search results related to biblical and Christian topics and this creates a dilemma for Christians wishing to spread truthful, yet in-depth content on the internet.
In response there are several Christian/Bible Wikis out there (these are just a few, as there are many dormant/duplicate project ideas out there)
- Bible Wiki - a database covering people, places, books, doctrine and history of the Bible. - Small content base with few active editors
- Conservapedia - clean and concise resource for those seeking the truth. - extremely broad, very popular and active
- CreationWiki - educational encyclopedia that has been written from the Biblical worldview. - Large content base with few active editors
- WikiChristian - free textbook of Biblical Christianity with many contributors around the globe. - Dormant due to severe vandalism
- WikiGesis - a digest of biblical and exegetical studies. - undergoing severe maintenance for several months
All of these wikis all have a heart to further share the Bible and Christianity and a shared goal of providing truthful and alternate content to Wikipedia. While their heart and goal all in the right place they all face similar issues, namely retaining an active community of Christian editors. Notice that each and every one of these projects has a different goal and approach to the types of content they are creating. They also all recognize that while anyone can edit these sites, only true Christians can be expected to produce profitable content and discussion.
The wiki model is an idea proven by many other subjects to work, but with Christian and Biblical content only very liberal wikis have really been very successful (the exception is Conservapedia). However, this does not mean there can be tremendous success with a collaborative writing model for Christian and Biblical truth. A wiki is a great reflection of the church, a body that is suppose to work together for one common goal: to glorify God. A wiki website can provide an unprecedented opportunity for a Christian to share their knowledge, collaborate with other believers and further many great ministries. Even a wiki’s policies (especially with dealing with non-believers) can be biblically aligned. Some of these wikis will stay as more personal projects, while others will grow and foster into much larger ministries. Regardless of God’s plan for them they need Christian editors to grow.
These wikis are not in need of full time, admin-level volunteers. They need knowledgeable and willing Christians to make good participation on at least a weekly basis. If you are more interested in general subject writing than Conservapedia, WikiChristian (currently not publicly editable) or CreationWiki would be an excellent place for you to do so. Biblical history and content would fit well on Bible Wiki and collecting resources for WikiGesis.
Christian and Biblical wikis will have some unique challenges. Asides from large spam and opposition (Conservapedia and WikiChristian), many believers are uncomfortable or afraid in using new methods of sharing the Bible. The most problematic issue is the lack of willing of Christian writers and an epidemic of biblical illiteracy. Nevertheless these wiki projects have the ability to personally engage Christians in their wisdom way most websites could never touch. Wikis are designed to be user-friendly and easy to edit by anyone, regardless of technical or scholarly experience.
The only way these wikis can be successful though is if you help out. You don’t need to be a Bible scholar, website developer or professional writer. All you need to contribute to these projects is a little time, a love of God and some knowledge. After all, what a great way to grow in the LORD and in fellowship and a great way to spend your time; creating content for the glory of God.
Adam S., Founder of Bible Wiki