Seeing the sites of Jerusalem can be expensive and time consuming. Fortunately, there’s an app for that.
Featuring over 150 pages of photos, related Bible quotes and descriptions, Bible Travels takes people on a tour of the most important Christian holy sites in Jerusalem.
“I think that the old city of Jerusalem is a must-see, must-be place for everyone,” said Ouri Sevan, developer of the app. “Since not many people can go there, I thought it would be a great idea and challenge to bring that to them.”
For centuries, Christians would make the months-long pilgrimage just to see the Church of the Holy Sepulchre or the Sea of Galilee. With today’s technology, Sevan saw the opportunity to bring those sites to people who can’t make the trek to the Holy Land.
Once Bible Travels has been downloaded, a list of holy sites pops up, including the Tower of David, the Garden of Gethsemane and Via Dolorosa.
Upon choosing a site, the user is taken to a slideshow of photos that offer different angles as well as close-ups in order to help the viewer feel as if they are actually seeing the sites in person.
Mixed in with the photos are slides with information about the significance of the site as well as Bible verses. Sevan wanted to enhance the viewing experience for Christians by helping them to “feel” the significance of holy places.
While the app was created with those in mind who can’t go to Jerusalem, it can also be helpful for those planning to make the trip.
For Riley Cooney, a finance major from Bellevue, Wash., Bible Travels will be a useful tool when he makes the trip to BYU’s Jerusalem Center for a study abroad in January.
“It’s helpful to have an app that shows pictures of Jerusalem along with scriptures,” Cooney said. “When I see different sites I can look up a scripture that helps me understand the significance of that place a little more.”
The app can also be useful to those who have already been to the sites. For Paul Bradshaw, an exercise science major who studied at the Jerusalem Center during spring and summer term this year, the app is an accurate reminder of the places he visited.
“It really seems like they (the developers) tried to take the most important things for Christians and make it real for them,” Bradshaw said.
The Bible Travels project is planned to include four more chapters: the Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, Mount Tabor, Nazareth and Bethlehem.
The app is available on the App Store for $ .99.