Culture

A Bible you can wear on your heart, sleeve or lapel

The Jerusalem Nano Bibles are made from silicon ‘wafer,’ a thin slice of semiconductor material, derived from sand and generally used in precision-printing of circuit boards for electronics. Photo courtesy of Jerusalem Nano Bible
The Jerusalem Nano Bibles are made from silicon ‘wafer,’ a thin slice of semiconductor material, derived from sand and generally used in precision-printing of circuit boards for electronics. Photo courtesy of Jerusalem Nano Bible

The Jerusalem Nano Bibles are made from silicon wafer, a thin slice of semiconductor material, derived from sand and generally used in precision printing of circuit boards for electronics. Photo courtesy of Jerusalem Nano Bible

JERUSALEM (RNS) Nanotechnology has been revolutionizing science, medicine and industry for decades, but it took until now for someone to turn it into a religious fashion statement.

Ami Bentov, an Israeli entrepreneur, came up with the idea to mass-produce silicon chips containing the entire Bible and sell them as pieces of religious jewelry: lapel pins, necklaces and, of course, crosses and Stars of David.

The company’s goal is to make the wearable Bible affordable and accessible, if not exactly practical.

Bentov, the founder of the Jerusalem Nano Bible, partnered with TowerJazz, a semiconductor company, to create pin-sized nano versions of the Old and New Testaments.

The former contains all 24 books of the Hebrew Bible written in the original Hebrew. The latter contains the entire New Testament, written in Greek. An English-language version is under development.


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The Jerusalem Nano Bibles are made from silicon wafer, a thin slice of semiconductor material, derived from sand and generally used in precision printing of circuit boards. Photo courtesy of Jerusalem Nano Bible

The Jerusalem Nano Bibles are made from silicon wafer, a thin slice of semiconductor material, derived from sand and generally used in precision printing of circuit boards. Photo courtesy of Jerusalem Nano Bible

The Jerusalem Nano Bibles are made from silicon wafer, a thin slice of semiconductor material, derived from sand and generally used in precision printing of circuit boards.

The company transforms a text file of the Bible into an actual image, or photograph, that is projected onto a 5-by-5-millimeter wafer surface covered with a protective layer of silicon.

Each letter is 600 nanometers wide, narrower than a strand of hair, whose width is roughly 100,000 nanometers.

Due to its size, the Nano Bible’s text can be read only with an electron microscope, which uses a beam of electrons to magnify objects a thousandfold.

Bentov, a combat video journalist who was sent out to cover wars and terror attacks, said he developed the Jerusalem Nano Bible “as a way to generate some positive change in the world.”

“For a long time I felt the need to create something that would help fight the evil and the ugliness I witnessed all around me,” he said. “I wanted to leave something good for my kids and the next generations to come.”

When Bentov saw how nanotechnology was used in the media production world, something clicked.

“I realized that I could use the same technology that was being used to make cellphones and computers, the same devices that are driving people apart these days, to create something that will bring people closer together. Closer to their faith, to themselves and to each other,” he said.

The Jerusalem Nano Bibles are made from silicon ‘wafer,’ a thin slice of semiconductor material, derived from sand and generally used in precision-printing of circuit boards for electronics. Photo courtesy of Jerusalem Nano Bible

The Jerusalem Nano Bibles are made from silicon ‘wafer,’ a thin slice of semiconductor material, derived from sand and generally used in precision-printing of circuit boards for electronics. Photo courtesy of Jerusalem Nano Bible


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Bentov was raised in a traditional though not Orthodox Jewish family, and he fondly recalled the times when, as a boy, he went to synagogue with his father “to sing and pray with him.”

Today, he added, “I am teaching my children to love the Bible and to learn from it. Reading the Bible has made me a better person.”

In marketing the Jerusalem Nano Bible, the company has reached out to Jewish and Christian believers worldwide.

“Our jewelry line has sold by the thousands all over the world,” said Hadas Tzur, Jerusalem Nano Bible’s chief operating officer, of the company’s necklaces and lapel pins.

Ami Bentov, the founder of the Jerusalem Nano Bible, partnered with TowerJazz, a semiconductor company, to create pin-sized nano versions of the Old and New Testaments. The former contains all 24 books of the Hebrew Bible written in the original Hebrew. The latter contains the entire New Testament, written in Greek. An English-language version is under development. Photo courtesy of Jerusalem Nano Bible

Ami Bentov, the founder of the Jerusalem Nano Bible, partnered with TowerJazz, a semiconductor company, to create pin-sized nano versions of the Old and New Testaments. The former contains all 24 books of the Hebrew Bible written in the original Hebrew. The latter contains the entire New Testament, written in Greek. An English-language version is under development. Photo courtesy of Jerusalem Nano Bible

Jerusalem Nano Bibles are on display in several museums and in private collections, she added.

An unadorned Nano Bible in a box costs $25; lapel pins, $40; and necklaces, including crosses and Stars of David with embedded Nano Bibles, from $90 to $150.

The Bible chip is available for licensing to jewelry makers and others who wish to incorporate it into their original designs.

Marlena Ariel Geren, a Christian from Pennsylvania who has purchased both New and Old Testament Nano Bible products, called them the greatest gift.

“It is the holy, awesome and precious word of God,” Geren said. “To be able to carry this priceless treasure with you, on you, wherever you are, is simply amazing.”

(Michele Chabin is RNS’ Jerusalem correspondent)

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Michele Chabin

16 Comments

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  • Hopefully, it will contain the name of God, throughout both the Old and New Testaments, of Yahweh or Jehovah, as some translations have omitted and used his titles instead.

  • Bring people together? History much? The Bibles have been keeping people apart, causing bloody wars, family strife, genocidal killings, and crazed cults for literally millennia. It even says so right in the Bibles (see Mt 10:34, much of the Old Testament, etc.) If one’s goal was to transmit as much suffering and death to future generations as possible, this is the way to do it.

  • The verses you cited don’t read that way at all in the KJV. I don’t know what version you clipped those passages from but it obviously changed some important words that were not meant to be changed. On top of that your clips were taken out of context, which completely changes their meaning. The Bible is a holy text that, to many people, preaches a message of love, peace, and service, among many other virtues. I think having something to wear to remind me to live by those virtues is a wonderful thing, and I’m sorry that you can’t see that.

  • Interesting how modern Science and Technology are catching up with the Bible. In the Shema prayer we say 3 times a day “Let these words I command you today be CLOSE TO YOUR HEART” and now nanotechnoligy will make it possible to have Hashems words as close to the heart as possible.

  • Sarah,

    I’m very happy you find good things in the Bible but I see no reason to think it is the word of any god, let alone a very good god:
    “Cut off your wife’s hand if she touches another man’s penis” – Yahweh (Deut. 25:11)
    This book deserves no respect.

  • It’s an interesting use of nanotechnology, to condense such a large, detailed story to be worn. This definitely opens the door for religious jewelry designers to place even greater value in their pieces. Thank you for sharing.

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