The Bible Emoji cometh

It’s not the apocalypse, writes Kat Eschner, just the age-old tradition of interpreting the Good Book

Originally published June 6, 2016

Is it still the word of God when it’s an image as often associated with Drake as with prayer?

The Bible Emoji was released this week in the iBooks store, alongside an associated website which lets users translate their own favourite passages to include bug-eyed ghosts instead of holy spirits, and tsunami icons when Jesus walks on water. (Oddly, “Jesus” survives the translation intact.)

Some people question if the Bible Emoji is necessary. “Can you spell ‘civilizational decline?’ ” asked one user on Twitter, who might have been thinking more of the apocalyptic beliefs of millennialism, rather than the millennials to whom the e-book is targeted. But for those who study the medieval period, the Bible Emoji looks quite familiar – to them, it resembles many of the ancient texts they work with every day.