ANSWER: I downloaded the JW Library – as it is officially called in the app store – onto my iPad. It is called a “library” because the e-version is actually five Bible versions, which the Society has the printing rights to; namely, the Kingdom Interlinear, the Byington, the American Standard and King James. The commonality of all those translations is that the use the name “Jehovah.” (Except the Interlinear and the original KJV only has the name in a few places) It’s great because you can do a side-by-side comparison of any verse. Great tool. By the way, there is a PDF version available on the jw.org website for those who might not have a hand-held gizmo. And hopefully they will have the Internet version available soon too.
Having just given it a quick sweep it looks like the changes are mostly cosmetic. One thing I am happy to see is that they got rid of most the brackets, not all of them, but it looks cleaner. Also the awful device of capitalizing YOU when it is in reference to a group and not an individual. I found that really irritating.
Also, I don’t think it is appropriate to put Watchtower drawings in God’s word. I know that practice goes back to the old King James – maybe further back then that. But at least those Bibles depicted biblical scenes, and some of the art work was very good. Maybe I am too critical, but a watercolor drawing of a man and woman reading the Bible? What’s the point? It looks cartoonish. Obviously, the original writers of the Scriptures did not insert little art doodles, or whatever. I fear that God might be offended.
As far as your question, I don’t think a new Bible will have much of an impact on the preaching work. Perhaps the novelty of a fresh silver/grey-covered Bible might open a few doors as a conversation starter, but beyond that…?
However, I do think that having a library of Bibles loaded on a hand-held device is an awesome tool – revolutionary, really. It is so handy. Just think if you had to lug five Bibles around in a book bag! I am glad to see the Society utilizing technology this way.
By the way, I went to the kingdom hall about a month ago with no materials except an iPad mini in my jacket pocket, loaded with the old NWT, the latest WT magazine and the songbook. Uh, unfortunately, I didn’t get to give my portable theocratic tool a workout. No one was there. They must have had their assembly that day. Anyway, I like the freedom of not lugging around a satchel full of books. And what a nifty little tool to have in your pocket when occasions for informal witnessing unexpectedly arise.
Perhaps in the future when the system crashes and things get tight, and Jehovah’s Witnesses are on the run, having a portable library you can slip in your pocket or purse might be a God-send. (Assuming you can get a recharge ;~)
By the way, did I mention that a special edition of Jehovah Himself Has Become King is also available on the iTunes book shelf?