Holy chat! AI ‘Jesus’ now offering advice through texting

By Bob Unruh

Jesus walking on the road to Emmaus
Jesus walking on the road to Emmaus

The words of Jesus have comforted, inspired, challenged and even condemned people over the millennia, but apparently it’s hard to actually read the Bible.

So a new software program is offering people the opportunity to “text” Him, and get a response.

A report from Religion News describes the new program that is like an instant messaging platform that lets users chat with ChatGPT impersonators.

Text with Jesus was launched just weeks ago, and comes from Cat Loaf software of Los Angeles, whose chief, Stephane Peter, said, “We stir the AI and tell it: You are Jesus, or you are Moses, or whoever, and knowing what you already have in your database, you respond to the question based on their characters.”

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Access to “comments” from some biblical characters is available only for a premium price.

But characters listed as “responding” including the Holy Family, the apostles, the prophets, Ruth, Job and Lot.

Peter’s company was founded in 2011 and already has applications like “Text from the Founding Fathers.”

Religion News explained, “When ChatGPT was released last year, the 46-year-old developer, who came to the United States from France, wondered how to use AI to upgrade the Text from Jesus app. In February, he started digging into OpenAI, the artificial intelligence research laboratory that launched ChatGPT, and created a proper chat from a simple devotional app.”

The program formulates responses to just about any questions, and includes a Bible verse each time.

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For example, the report said, “Jesus” said a good Christian is a person who will “profess faith in me, but also follow my teachings and embody them in your life.”

The report explained that “Chat with Satan” also can be activated “if the user chooses.”

(Photo by Jackson Sophat on Unsplash)
(Photo by Jackson Sophat on Unsplash)

Peter invited various church leaders to try the program when he was developing it, and his initial work drew concerns that it lacked Bible references.

And he made some adjustments so “it can speak more like a regular person…”

Of course, it’s a computer program and acts like one, but Peter said he set it up so “Jesus’ characters tend to avoid taking offensive stances, instead taking an inclusive and tolerant line,” even though the Bible documents Jesus’ adherence to an absolutism regarding salvation.

For example, on the idea of same-sex relations, forbidden in the Bible, Peter’s creation says it is “up to each individual to seek guidance from their own faith tradition and personal convictions.”

A report at Yahoo News confirms Jesus also is now present on Twitter, with an ask.Jesus user name.

The report highlights how Jesus has been portrayed in vastly different lights over the generations.

The report noted there’s been a “brave and tough” Jesus, a “Hindu” Jesus and even a “black Christ.”

It said the point is that “Jesus has been consistently reinterpreted to fit the norms and needs of each new context.”

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