Bible Society partners with game studio on innovative Bible game

Thousands of kids around the world are playing a New Zealand-made online Bible game designed to bring the Scriptures alive.

“We love it,” was the resounding comment from kids at the Hope Centre, Lower Hutt, who recently trialed The Aetherlight: Chronicles of the Resistance. So far, the game has more than 15,000 players across multiple platforms, mainly from New Zealand, Australia and the United States, with 400 kids playing the game every day. Game makers Scarlett City in Auckland estimate more than 30,000 hours have been played worldwide.

The game tells a tale paralleling the story of the Bible, re-imagining the Bible story as a ’steampunk’ allegory, taking characters and stories from the Bible and putting a fresh face on them to connect with kids.  Bible Society is partnering with Scarlett City to help families and churches connect the story kids encounter in the world of Aethasia to the real story of the Bible.

”Reading the Bible for most kids these days is a foreign concept. This is a way for them to engage with and understand the Bible,” said Hope Centre Children’s Pastor, Sarah Hart.

Ten-year-old Mackensie Te Pohe loved playing the game. “It’s really fun and interesting,” she said.

Episodes are released every few months (episode two The Resistance Takes Flight was released in July 2016).

“By connecting game players to the big story of the Bible, The Aetherlight brings a significant opportunity to help pre-teens understand the Bible’s relevance in their lives,” said Stephen Opie, Bible Society Programme Director.  “It really is the ancient art of storytelling for the 21st century.”

The game comes with its own companion Bible, which has just been released in the USA and New Zealand.  The New Living Translation even includes two unique codes to unlock exclusive game items.

The Aetherlight is available on PC and Macs, as well as Apple and Android mobile devices.  Visit www.theaetherlight.com for full details or download the game from the app stores.

The Aetherlight Companion Bible is also now available from Bible Society New Zealand at $24.99 email: orders@Biblesociety.org.nz or telephone 0800 4 BIBLES.

Learn more about The Aetherlight

Help Bible Society reach refugees with the Bible

“Pray for us,” says the Director of the Bible Society in Syria, based in Aleppo. “Every day we live is a gift from God.”

People in Aleppo are living without water and electricity. They have nowhere to escape. And there is nowhere safe to shelter. Bombs and missiles are falling, causing huge damage throughout the city.

The Director of the Bible Society in Syria is speaking over a noisy telephone line from the city that was once Syria’s economic capital. Today it is the world’s most war-torn city, but Bible Society is carrying on with its work.

Five years ago this July the war reached Aleppo. He describes a life where explosions roar day and night. There is no warning before the shells land and the rockets explode. There are no functioning air defence sirens to tell people to seek shelter.

“You’re dead before you hear the rocket arrive,” he says. “We live with the knowledge we could just as easily be hit whether at home, work or in church. There’s nothing we can do, nowhere we can go. It is God who decides. Therefore, people continue to live as normally as possible. They go to work, and they go on worshipping, though many of the city’s churches are now partially or completely destroyed.

“God has given us hope ever since the conflict began, and as a Bible Society we serve all people and all churches, whether they are Orthodox, Catholic or Protestant.”

Pictured above is a Syrian refugee family who fled their home village when the bombs started to fall, killing people in their street. They live in an apartment in Jordan, and say that the only help they have had is from Christians – the Bible Society of Jordan and a local church. The Bible Society is working with many churches to provide material help for many thousands of Iraqi and Syrian refugees in the country.

Demand for Bibles is high

Despite the war, the Bible Society team has managed to bring in 30-40 tonnes of Bibles and Christian books each year. Most arrive via Lebanon, since it is not possible to send the books directly to Syria.

“The demand for Bibles is high here,” the Director says. “Children’s Bibles are very popular. People feel that only the Bible can provide answers in this difficult time, and it is only God who can really meet their needs.

“For the Bible Society, this is actually a good time, because we witness and give people hope through the Bible. People in Aleppo are traumatised and exhausted after four years of war. They live with the grief of all their loved ones who have lost their lives, and with the fear of being hit themselves.

“Also, everyday life has become harder. Even small or mundane tasks are difficult. People are dependent on private generators for electricity, they get water by carrying it in buckets, and there is little to buy in the shops.”

“We are totally dependent on God. He is the only solution. At the same time we have realised that we must not lose our respect and love for man.”

“Yes, this is what we have learnt through this conflict and we are crying out to God on behalf of each person in our country. Each one is precious in his sight! Please continue to pray. It’s the most important thing you can do for us.”

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Helping refugees in Lebanon

We’re helping to reach out to displaced Syrian, Iraqi and Kurdish refugee families fleeing to Lebanon with the hope of the Bible.

Partnering with the Bible Society in Lebanon, we aim to build bridges to these desperate people in a very practical way by helping them with food and medicine needs, as well as their spiritual needs.

“We want to be living the Word to them and for them to encounter God’s love,” said a Lebanon Bible Society worker.

Our goal is to help provide as many as 4,500 refugee families forced out of their homes with aid packages and Scripture materials. In doing so these people will be introduced to the Bible message for the first time and local partner churches will be strengthened.


Would you prayerfully consider how you can help bring the Bible to refugees in Lebanon, Greece and on the refugee highway by making a gift?

We are 100% donor funded and rely on your gifts to continue our work.