May 17, 2023
In a world driven by technology, the fusion of ancient wisdom and cutting-edge innovation may seem unlikely at first glance. Yet, as Christian pastors and devoted believers delve deeper into the profound teachings of the Bible, a surprising ally emerges: Artificial Intelligence (AI). With the power to unravel hidden insights, enhance comprehension, and deepen spiritual exploration, AI stands poised to revolutionize the way we study the Scriptures. Join us on a remarkable journey as we explore the extraordinary potential of utilizing AI to unlock the timeless truths of the Bible, empowering pastors and faithful Christians alike to embark on a profound spiritual quest unlike any other. Prepare to witness the harmonious union of ancient wisdom and modern technology as we venture into the realm of AI-assisted biblical exploration.
While the integration of AI in biblical studies holds immense promise, it is important to acknowledge that AI is not infallible. As an evolving technology, it is prone to errors, biases, and limitations. Therefore, it remains crucial for individuals engaging in Bible study with AI to exercise discernment and personally validate each passage and interpretation, utilizing their own understanding, theological context, and spiritual discernment to ensure the accuracy and fidelity of the message conveyed.
To embark on your AI-assisted biblical exploration, you can easily access one of the most popular AI's, OpenAI's ChatGPT, your virtual study companion, by following these straightforward steps:
Please bear in mind that while ChatGPT strives to assist you in your Bible study, it is important to exercise your own discernment. Validate each passage and interpretation using your own understanding, theological context, and spiritual discernment to ensure the accuracy and fidelity of the message conveyed. Now, let's dive into the realm of AI-assisted biblical study!
To make the most of your experience with ChatGPT, it's helpful to understand the concept of "prompts" and how you can refine the results to suit your needs. A prompt is the text you enter into the conversation box to initiate a dialogue with ChatGPT. When studying the Bible, you can formulate prompts as questions or statements related to specific verses, theological concepts, or broader topics. For example, you might ask, "What does the Bible say about forgiveness?" or "Can you provide insights on the Book of Psalms?" If you want more focused or specific responses, you can experiment with adjusting your prompts or ask follow-up questions to delve deeper into a particular aspect. By refining your prompts and engaging in an iterative process, you can harness the full potential of ChatGPT to enrich your Bible study journey.
For instance, if you are curious about the Christian Bible versions that informed my training data, you can use a prompt like this: "Can you provide information about the Christian Bible versions that were part of your training data?" This will prompt ChatGPT to generate a response based on the knowledge it acquired during training. Remember, refining your prompts and asking specific questions allows you to explore different aspects of the Bible and obtain more targeted insights to deepen your understanding.
Gray background text are the prompts we are asking or saying to ChatGPT. Peach or yellowish-orange are the results from ChatGPT.
Can you provide information about the Christian Bible versions that were part of your training data?
As an AI language model, my responses are generated based on a mixture of licensed data, data created by human trainers, and publicly available data. I have not been directly trained on specific Bible versions or have access to proprietary Bible translations. I should note that while I strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, my responses may not always reflect the most current scholarly interpretations or the nuances specific to certain Bible versions. Therefore, it's always a good idea to consult reliable sources and refer to the specific version you are studying, such as the NIV translation, for precise and authoritative insights.
This response did not provide the results we were wanted. We wanted a list of the different translations of the Bible that were used in the training data for ChatGPT. We can refine our question in a plethora of ways, but here is one example how to refine our prompt.
Please list the different translations of the Christian Bible which were included in your training data.
As an AI language model, my responses are generated based on a mixture of licensed data, data created by human trainers, and publicly available data. While I don't have access to my training data, I can provide you with a list of popular Christian Bible translations that are widely known and used. Some of these translations include:
Please note that this list is not exhaustive, and there are many other translations available in different languages and variations within these translations. It's always a good idea to refer to specific Bible versions and consult reliable sources for in-depth study and accurate interpretation.
This response also does not provide the results we were after. So, we have to think creatively sometimes, and at other times compromise.
Can you quote the King James Version of the Bible?
Certainly! I can provide quotes from the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. Please keep in mind that while I strive to offer accurate quotes, there may be slight variations in wording. Here is an example:
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16, KJV)
Please let me know if you have any specific verses or passages from the King James Version that you would like me to quote, and I'll be glad to assist you!
This at least gives us one translation we can ask ChatGPT about and get scripture results.
Can you quote the New International Version of the Bible?
Certainly! I can provide quotes from the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible. Here is an example:
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16, NIV)
Please let me know if there are any specific verses or passages from the NIV that you would like me to quote, and I'll be happy to assist you!
For this article we will ask ChatGPT to use the NIV translation of the Bible, unless we specifically state otherwise. You will be able to see our prompts.
In the context of ChatGPT, "chat sessions" or "conversations" refer to the interactive exchanges you have with the AI. Think of it as having a conversation with a knowledgeable companion who can provide information and insights on various topics, including the Bible. You can ask questions, provide prompts, or engage in a dialogue by typing your queries or statements into the text input box. The AI responds based on the information it has learned, aiming to assist you in your Bible study journey. These chat sessions allow you to have a dynamic and personalized experience, where you can explore different aspects of the Bible, seek clarifications, and deepen your understanding in an interactive and engaging manner.
Chat sessions with ChatGPT enable dynamic conversations centered around specific topics, such as the Bible. What makes these sessions remarkable is that ChatGPT retains the context of the ongoing conversation. As you engage in a dialogue and ask follow-up questions or provide additional information, the AI considers the preceding exchange to maintain coherence and relevance in its responses. This context-awareness fosters a more personalized and interactive experience, allowing you to build upon previous questions or insights. Whether you are exploring a specific Bible verse, discussing theological concepts, or seeking practical application, the conversation flows naturally, and ChatGPT adapts its responses to the evolving discourse, making your Bible study journey a dynamic and engaging endeavor.
We have numerous conversations, visible in the left pane of your browser, or under the top-left menu option on a smaller screen, and we jump back into those conversations with ChatGPT to pick-up where we left off knowing ChatGPT will do the same.
In the realm of Bible study, the versatility of ChatGPT opens up exciting possibilities for exploration. Let's dive into some examples of how ChatGPT can be a valuable tool in your journey of studying the Bible. You can ask specific questions about biblical characters, seek explanations on complex theological concepts, explore historical contexts, unravel symbolic meanings, or even seek guidance on personal application of biblical teachings. With ChatGPT as your trusted companion, you can tap into its vast knowledge and engage in meaningful conversations that contribute to a richer understanding of the Scriptures. The power of AI-assisted Bible study is at your fingertips, ready to inspire new perspectives and illuminate the timeless wisdom contained within the pages of the Bible.
All of the results from these conversations with ChatGPT, or whichever AI you may opt to use, are not intended to be final products. Use them as building blocks.
This example was used to demonstrate the power of AI, specifically ChatGPT, for a U.S. Army Chaplain Major in charge of the spritual health of a brigade of Soldiers (approximately 3-5k Soldiers).
Write a 200 word daily devotional for military personnel based on the Christian NIV Bible. Provide verse references. Write for a 6th grade level.
Dear Military Personnel,
In the midst of all the challenges and difficulties you face in your daily duties, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and alone. However, there is a source of strength and encouragement that is always available to you: God's Word.
In Psalm 91:1-2, it says, "Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'" This verse reminds us that when we make God our dwelling place, we can find safety and security in Him, even in the most difficult circumstances.
Another verse that can provide comfort is Philippians 4:6-7, which says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." This verse encourages us to bring our worries and fears to God in prayer, trusting that He will give us a peace that goes beyond our understanding.
Finally, in Isaiah 40:31, it says, "But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." This verse reminds us that when we put our hope in God, He will give us the strength we need to face each day with courage and perseverance.
May these verses bring you comfort and strength as you serve your country and honor God with your actions.
This is insane!
The results looked like more than 200 words, so we put them into LibreOffice Writer (a free, open source Word alternative), selected the text, and it automatically shows us the word count at the bottom toolbar. 276 words. 1,527 characters.
That was over 200 words. Can you please rewrite it with 200 words or less?
Dear Military Personnel,
In the midst of challenges you face, remember that God's Word is a source of strength. Psalm 91:1-2 says, "Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'" Find safety and security in God.
Philippians 4:6-7 says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Bring worries and fears to God, and receive His unexplainable peace.
Isaiah 40:31 says, "But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Put your hope in God, and He will give you the strength to face each day with courage and perseverance.
Remember these verses and let them bring you comfort and strength as you serve your country and honor God with your actions.
196 words. 1,095 characters.
This example is from a ChatGPT session we were having while working on building a daily devotional. This question or prompt came from a long session with ChatGPT. Earlier in the session, or conversation, we determined ChatGPT did not have access to the Expanded Bible (EXB) translation of the Bible. So, we asked ChatGPT if it could read something we posted as a prompt, then analyze that text and we work with it together. It said yes, so we pasted Proverbs 17, the entire chapter, in the EXB translation. We then were working on asking ChatGPT to summarize the entire chapter. It did not summarize the chapter. Instead ChatGPT selected one verse and ran with it. The results were amazing.
Write a 400 word daily devotional for men based on the text I provided.
Title: The Power of Silence and Understanding
Scripture: Proverbs 17:28 - "Even fools seem to be wise if they keep quiet; if they don’t speak, they appear to understand."
As men, we often strive to be heard, to voice our opinions, and to assert our presence in various situations. We believe that speaking up and being heard is a sign of strength and wisdom. However, in the book of Proverbs, we find a profound truth that challenges our conventional thinking. It reminds us that sometimes, silence can be more powerful than words, and understanding can be found in the absence of speech.
Proverbs 17:28 tells us that even fools can appear wise if they choose to keep quiet. This verse encourages us to reflect on the importance of restraint and discernment in our interactions. It reminds us that the quantity of our words does not necessarily equate to the quality of our wisdom. Sometimes, the most impactful thing we can do is to hold our tongues and listen attentively.
In our fast-paced world, where noise and distractions abound, it is increasingly difficult to find moments of silence and stillness. However, as men of faith, we need to intentionally create spaces for quiet reflection and contemplation. In the hush of silence, we can hear the gentle whisper of God's voice, guiding our steps and imparting true wisdom.
Silence also allows us to understand better the needs, perspectives, and feelings of those around us. When we cease our own clamor, we can truly listen to others without interruption or preconceived judgments. Our ability to empathize and offer meaningful support grows when we allow silence to foster understanding.
Moreover, the art of silence extends beyond external restraint. It encompasses the mastery of our inner dialogue, guarding our thoughts and preventing unwise or hurtful words from escaping our lips. It teaches us to pause and weigh our responses carefully, choosing words that edify and encourage others rather than causing harm.
Today, let us embrace the power of silence and understanding. As men of faith, let us cultivate the discipline of restraint and the art of active listening. In our relationships, whether with our spouses, children, friends, or colleagues, let us create space for silence to foster understanding and compassion. Instead of rushing to speak, let us take the time to truly hear and comprehend.
In the quiet moments, we can grow in wisdom and discernment. We can learn to recognize the needs of others, offer words of comfort and guidance when appropriate, and demonstrate the love of Christ through our actions. Remember, it is in the silence that we can hear the whispers of the Divine and find the understanding that surpasses our own limited understanding.
Gracious God, teach us the beauty and power of silence. Help us to embrace moments of stillness, that we may hear Your voice and gain wisdom beyond our own. Grant us the ability to listen attentively to others, to understand their hearts, and respond with grace and compassion. May our words always be a source of encouragement and blessing. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
Did you catch that?!!! An AI just wrote a prayer! And a fairly good one at that!
So, that response was larger than the 400 words we asked of it, but honestly, it was such a great message we did not want to mess with it.
This example was also part of the above session where we were discussing Proverbs 17:28. The prompts should make this example self-explanatory.
List all of the Bible references which mention fearing God. Use the NIV translation of the Christian Bible.
Here are several Bible references from the NIV translation that mention fearing God:
Please note that this list is not exhaustive, and there may be other references to fearing God in the Bible.
We were after an exhaustive list, hence we asked for "all of the Bible references". It is time to refine our prompt, or to rephrase our request.
Please list all of the references. Only include the reference, not the actual content.
Certainly! Here is a list of Bible references from the NIV translation that mention fearing God:
Please note that this list includes all the references that mention fearing God in the NIV translation of the Bible.
You're welcome! If you have any more questions, feel free to ask. I'm here to help!
This example was asked just to show the conceptual abilities of ChatGPT.
Is praying for God's will to be done a bogus prayer considering God's will is done whether we pray for it or not?
Praying for God's will to be done is not a bogus prayer but a humble and meaningful act of surrendering to God's sovereignty. While it is true that God's will ultimately prevails regardless of our prayers, praying for God's will to be done aligns our hearts and desires with His divine plan.
Prayer is not just about changing external circumstances but also about transforming our hearts and deepening our relationship with God. When we pray for God's will to be done, we acknowledge His wisdom and sovereignty, expressing our trust in His guidance and submitting our own desires to His perfect purposes.
Prayer also serves as a means of communication and communion with God. It allows us to express our thoughts, concerns, and hopes to Him, seeking His guidance and seeking to align our will with His. Through prayer, we grow in our dependence on God and cultivate a deeper understanding of His character and His ways.
Jesus Himself prayed for God's will to be done in the Lord's Prayer when He said, "Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10, NIV). His example demonstrates the importance and significance of praying for God's will.
Ultimately, praying for God's will to be done is an act of humility, acknowledging that God knows what is best for us and yielding our own desires and plans to His greater wisdom. It is a way for us to align ourselves with God's purposes, seeking His guidance and surrendering to His divine authority.
This is a great answer! Now a follow-up common question...
How can we hear and know God's voice? How can we be sure we know what God is telling us to do or not do?
Hearing and discerning God's voice is a desire many believers have, and it is an essential aspect of our relationship with Him. While God can communicate with us in various ways, here are some key principles to help us hear and know God's voice:
It's important to note that discerning God's voice is a lifelong journey and requires patience, practice, and a growing relationship with Him. While we may still experience moments of uncertainty, God is gracious and patient with us. He desires to communicate with His children and will faithfully guide us as we seek Him with a sincere heart.
It is a tough question for some. Perhaps we can dig in a bit more? We could edit our prevous prompt to refine it, or we could converse more naturally. We will go the more natural conversational route.
I like your answer, but can you answer the questions again, this time providing Bible references which support each statement you make? Use the NIV translation of the Christian Bible.
Certainly! Here is an expanded response with Bible references supporting each statement:
These Bible verses affirm the principles shared earlier and provide additional support for understanding how we can hear and know God's voice. They highlight the importance of seeking God, knowing His Word, listening to His leading, seeking wise counsel, finding peace in alignment with His Word, relying on the Holy Spirit's guidance, and practicing obedience and trust.
To show another example of how ChatGPT uses context in relation to the conversation, immediately after asking the above, we asked the following question, which ChatGPT had to make some assumptions on in order to answer.
What is the only way to get to heaven?
According to the Christian belief, the Bible teaches that the only way to gain eternal life in heaven and be reconciled with God is through faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus himself declared in John 14:6 (NIV), "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." This statement affirms that Jesus is the exclusive means by which people can have a relationship with God and inherit eternal life.
The Bible teaches that all humanity is separated from God because of sin (Romans 3:23). But God, in His love and mercy, provided a solution to reconcile us to Himself. Jesus, the Son of God, came to earth, lived a sinless life, and died on the cross as a sacrificial offering for our sins. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus made it possible for our sins to be forgiven and for us to have a restored relationship with God.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV) emphasizes the role of faith in receiving this gift of salvation: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast." Salvation is a free gift from God that cannot be earned through our own efforts or good works. It is received by faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
Therefore, the Bible teaches that the only way to heaven is by placing our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, acknowledging Him as the Son of God who died for our sins and rose again. Through faith in Him, we receive forgiveness, salvation, and the assurance of eternal life in heaven.
It's important to note that this answer reflects the Christian perspective, and different faith traditions may have their own beliefs about the path to salvation and the afterlife.
Here we show some technical feats which are beyond us, as we do not speak or read Hebrew. So we cannot validate these responses.
What does the original Hebrew say in proverbs 17:28?
The original Hebrew text of Proverbs 17:28 states:
גַּם־אֱ֭וִיל מַחְרִישׁ חָכָ֑ם כְּסִ֖יל כֹּ֣ותֵל יָדָֽיו׃
Transliteration: Gam-'evil makh-riysh khakham, ksil kotel yadayv.
Translation: "Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise; When he closes his lips, he is esteemed as intelligent."
Mind blown yet?
In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, the integration of ChatGPT presents a remarkable opportunity to enhance and expand our study of the Bible. By harnessing the power of AI-assisted conversations, we can delve into the depths of Scripture, explore theological concepts, unravel hidden meanings, and seek guidance on personal application. ChatGPT serves as a knowledgeable companion, offering insights and information that can enrich our understanding of the Word. While embracing this technology, it is important to remember that personal discernment, consulting reliable sources, and referring to specific Bible translations are essential for accuracy and fidelity. With ChatGPT as our virtual study companion, we embark on a journey where ancient wisdom converges with modern innovation, empowering us to deepen our knowledge, nurture our faith, and embark on a transformative exploration of the timeless truths found within the sacred pages of the Bible.
In this era of technological advancement, embracing AI, such as ChatGPT, opens up a world of possibilities for expanding our knowledge and understanding. We encourage you to embark on the exploration of AI and become familiar with its capabilities. By engaging with ChatGPT and other AI tools, we can expand our horizons, discover new insights, and uncover fresh perspectives. Let us embrace the opportunity to learn and grow alongside these innovative technologies, discovering how to harness their potential to enrich our studies and deepen our faith. As we navigate the ever-changing landscape of AI, let us be curious, adaptable, and open to the transformative possibilities that lie ahead, embracing the fusion of ancient wisdom and cutting-edge innovation to illuminate our path of biblical exploration.
Something else of note, we had ChatGPT write this article. Sure, we had to tweak a couple things here and there, and do some refining of responses, but this article is mostly written by an AI, ChatGPT 3.5 to be specific. Oh yeah, currently (2023.05.17) ChatGPT is at version 4.0, but you have to pay for access to 4.0. This article points you to chat.openai.com which is using version 3.5. Version 4.0 is exponentially more powerful.
If you have any questions, ask the other oracle ....