Innovators have been applying nanotechnology to science, medicine and industry for decades, but an entrepreneur now found a way to turn it into a religious fashion statement and practical way to carry around the Bible. Israeli Ami Bentov founded the idea to mass-produce silicon chips containing the entire Bible, and sell them as pieces of religious jewelry, such as lapel pins, necklaces, crosses and Stars of David.
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, reports Religion News Service. The Old Testament version contains all 24 books of the Hebrew Bible written in the original Hebrew; the New Testament is provided in Greek. An English-language version is under development.
The Jerusalem Nano Bibles are made from silicon wafers, a thin slice of semiconductor material, derived from sand and generally used in the precision printing of circuit boards. Bentov told Religion News Service his 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, which is more narrow than a strand of hair, whose width is roughly 100,000 nanometers.
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, 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, he realized the same technology could be used to create a device that will "bring people closer together, closer to their faith, to themselves and to each other."
Bentov said he was raised in a traditional, though not Orthodox Jewish family, and he fondly recalls the times he went to sing and pray at the synagogue with his father. Now he is teaching his own children to love the Bible, and to learn from it.
"Reading the Bible has made me a better person," he said.
The new, tiny Bible via necklaces and lapel pins already is selling to Jewish and Christian believers worldwide, said Hadas Tzur, Jerusalem Nano Bible's chief operating officer.