The social networking tool Twitter (twitter.com) allows users to post short messages to everyone who “follows” them. SInce each “tweet” (that’s what twitter users call their posts) can be no longer than 140 characters long, citing Bible passages can be quite a challenge. Usually there is not enough room to type out the Bible passage and say anything about it. Enter Ref.ly by Logos Bible Software (Logos.com). When you go to http://Ref.ly you are able to enter a Bible reference (James 1:2-3 for example) and then click the “transform” button at the bottom of the screen. The Bible reference is converted into a short web address perfectly suited for your “tweet.” Here is the compact URL for James 1:2-3 ( http://ref.ly/Jm1.2f ). This short web address can be copied and pasted into your tweet or simply click the Tweet button in Ref.ly and you will be redirected to Twitter.com where you can log in and the URL will be added to a post for you. When a users clicks the link in your Tweet, they are redirected to http://Bible.Logos.com to view your specified verse in context.
Another great feature of Ref.ly is that the user can specify the version they want people to see by simply adding the abbreviation to the end of the compact URL provided. To get people to James 1:2-3 in the New King James version just add “;NKJV” to the end of the URL ( http://ref.ly/Jm1.2f;NKJV
). There are 20 translations you can link to overall.
I recently saw a case where a preacher tweets a link to the main passage for his Sunday morning sermon during the week so that members can read it and study it before his lesson. Sunday Bible class teachers could create links to passages they want their class to study during the week in preparation for Sunday mornings discussion. Children’s Bible class teachers could post links to the sections they will be teaching so that parents can review the passages with their kids before Bible class. There are many ways this could be helpful in real ministry situations.
This tool provides us with great opportunities to share Bible passages within our circle of friends. Use it with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or any place where a short link to the Bible text is helpful. Give it a try – it is fast, easy and convenient.
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