The Hebrew-language online game Bible Skills Game has been downloaded more than 7 million times in the first week of its launch in Israel.
The app allows users to create a new Bible passage or create a “tag” that they can add to other people’s Bible passages.
The program is currently being rolled out across Israel and the occupied territories, with an eye on adding more countries in the future.
“We are really pleased to see this app, which we hope will be available to everyone in the next few days, and we hope that it will help the Bible learn a lot more about itself and about its users,” said Israel’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s deputy director of digital services, Uri Regev.
The new Bible Skills game was launched last week in the northern city of Kiryat Malachi and has been available to download since Friday.
“I think we have now reached the point where people can play the game and learn a new passage from a book that they have read, or find out something new about the Bible,” said Regeb.
While Bible Skills has become popular with Israelis, it has also been criticized by rights groups.
“There is no evidence that the Bible has any special ability to read,” said Dina Glickman, director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a California-based advocacy group.
“The Bible is simply a book, and if you read it well, you will find that it is a pretty decent book.
The more you read, the more it becomes clear that it does not possess any special knowledge.”
Israel’s religious-right government has recently made significant changes to the Bible, including requiring students to take an intensive Bible course that teaches the Bible to young adults.