A new app launched in July allows users to chat with biblical figures from both the Old and the New Testaments.
The app, which is named Chat with Jesus, is described by its website as a place where "users can find comfort, guidance, and inspiration through their conversations."
Among the characters available to chat with are Jesus and the Virgin Mary, the apostles, prophets such as Moses and Jonah, Hebrew kings such as David and Solomon, Adam and Eve, the Patriarchs, and more.
“Instead of just getting a daily Bible verse, now you get a chance through this app to chat with Jesus or anybody else in the Bible,” the app's developer Stéphane Peter told Religion News.
“Instead of just getting a daily Bible verse, now you get a chance through this app to chat with Jesus or anybody else in the Bible.”Stéphane Peter
While there is a limit to the questions people can ask, Peter wanted to ensure that personal questions would not violate the user's privacy, so the app is designed to only temporarily store information long enough to provide an answer.
The app is designed so that the characters' responses combine normal speech and Bible text.
“I updated it so it can speak more like a regular person and ensured it didn’t forget that it’s supposed to get stuff from the Bible," Peter told Religion News. "It’s a constant trick to find the right balance."
You can chat with Satan too
But it's not only the "good guys" that users can chat with. The app comes with a "Chat with Satan" setting as well which is off by default but can be turned on by the user.
Satan is included in the app to provide a comprehensive understanding of biblical narratives, reflecting the character's role as described in the Bible," says the app's website in a Q&A section. "The portrayal is rooted in Christian teachings, and users have full control over their engagement with all figures within the app."
Contrary to what some people might expect from certain biblical characters, Peter told Religion News that the characters are designed to be inclusive and tolerant and avoid offending users.
For instance, the app tells its users to “prioritize love and respect for all people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”