A Christian Chatbot? How AI Could Transform Bible Study

Photo from Mojahid Mottakin via Unsplash

A Christian Chatbot? How AI Could Transform Bible Study

By Movieguide® Contributor 

Nils Gulbranson hopes his “Christian ChatGPT,” Biblemate.io, will help believers and non-believers to find answers to life’s most difficult questions.  

Biblemate.io aims to “Engage in a transformative Bible study experience like never before.”

“Our innovative web application empowers you to dive into the Scriptures with newfound depth and understanding,” it continues. “Explore profound insights, gain clarity on complex passages, and strengthen your connection with God’s Word.”

“The big difference from ChatGPT is that it’s a model grounded in a biblical and theological view of the world,” Gulbranson stated. 

The chatbot relies on a growing database of sermons, books and academic articles to provide the answers. 

The 23-year-old even created a feature that explains the Bible to non-believers. 

“You type a hard-to-understand theological concept, and it would dumb it down and explain it the way you would to a 5-year-old kid,” he stated. “The goal is to give responses rooted in unwavering biblical truth.”

Many answers are generated from “well-respected scholars,” including William Lane Craig and C.S. Lewis. However, not every Christian shares the same views on biblical truths. 

For example, many Christians differ on speaking in tongues. For questions like this, the chatbot pulls out what the Bible says and provides different perspectives. 

“The app is just a medium, a platform for the Bible to say what it says. The app itself is neutral in that sense, but the Bible takes clear stances on certain issues,” Gulbranson said.

The chatbot even offers feedback on the question of same-sex marriage. It is designed to respond with “love, compassion and respect for individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation” first. Then it adds that “sexual relations are exclusively described within the context of heterosexual marriage,” as seen in Genesis 2:24. 

Gulbranson’s goal of Biblemate.io is to be as neutral as possible on different social issues where Christians disagree. 

“I don’t want to create a division because we see it all the time with Christians that are more conservative and Christians that are more progressive,” Gulbranson expressed. “Jesus himself was not a socialist. He wasn’t a capitalist. He never explicitly said, ‘Hey, this is the correct political ideology.’”

However, The Presbyterian Outlook reported, “While AI can be a helpful tool, we must be careful not to rely on it as a replacement for the discernment that comes from prayer and seeking God’s will. As we lead our ministries, we should fully lean on God and allow God to guide us in our decision-making processes.”

For Gulbranson, he is fully aware that Biblemate.io “is a new uncharted territory; AI among Christians might seem a bit taboo.” 

Movieguide® previously reported on AI’s impact on Bible translation:

A team of researchers is using A.I. to translate the Bible into languages that have yet to receive the Word of God. 

“People don’t realize that there are 7,100 languages,” project leader Ulf Hermjakob said. “Google translate covers about 100 of them. Our focus for this Bible translation is on very low-resource languages that don’t even fall within the top 500.” 

Currently, only about ten percent of all languages have a fully translated Bible. The research group hopes that their project. – “Greek Room” – will allow that number to significantly rise in the upcoming years. 

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