I want to do the occasional review-type post on this blog, so here’s the first one.
One of the blessings of technology is being able to have the Bible and biblical resources with you wherever you go. A lot of people use Bible apps on their smartphones, and through my life I have used several. I want to do a run down of some of my favorite ones
YouVersion is very popular. It has over 350 million downloads and is #1 in the reference section of the Apple App Store. It’s one of m favorites and the one I use most often.
One of the strengths of the YouVersion is the number of versions you have at your fingertips (hence the name). The app offers 60 versions in English alone. It gives you the ability to compare versions, take notes, make highlights, add bookmarks and create verse images.
Another pro is the social aspect of the app. You can add friends on the app and see their activity, keep each other accountable, etc. The app also has a bunch of free content like videos, reading plans, and devotionals.
For me, one of the only cons tot he YouVersion app is the lack of deeper resources (like commentaries, original language tools, study Bibles, etc.). But, these aren’t for everyone and I think YouVersion is the Bible app for the masses, not necessarily the theologian.
While in preaching school I was required to purchase Logos, and I’m glad I was. Logos Bible Software is a powerful study tool that should be looked into by any serious studier of the word. Sure, it’s pretty expensive, but you get a lot for your money. Crazy resources and an engine and software built from the bottom up for optimized Bible study.
I don’t know if I would suggest the app to those who don’t have the software, but if you have the software, the app is a must-have. All your resources, highlights, notes, etc. are synched and accessible on your tablet or smartphone. Many use an app like Logos or Olive Tree or Tecarta for more serious study because you can purchase resources within the app. Logos has the leg up on these if you have the software, but (in my opinion) also because of its original language tools.
He Reads Truth (and She Reads Truth) is an increasingly popular creator of reading plans and devotional content. Their app has a great design and offers some basic reading plans. Their more intricate reading plans and devotionals are accessed with an affordable subscription, but the base content is great too.
The app comes with some reading plans, the option for push notification reading reminders, free Scripture home screen downloads, and seven versions (ESV, NIV, NASB, MSG, KJV, HCSB, CSB). As well as the ability to share, copy, highlight, add bookmarks, and make notes.
So, this probably deserves it’s own blog post, but the ESV is by far my favorite English translation of the Scriptures. I’m not saying it’s perfect or the only one that should be used (it’s not even the only one I use). But it’s the translation of my first Bible, the translation I’ve done all my memory work in, the translation I preach from, etc.
One of the great things about the ESV is the main publisher of the ESV, Crossway, makes great products. The ESV app is no exception. It’s the only specific, Bible publisher created app that I know off and it doesn’t disappoint. Its design is probably the best on the list. They also offer a $3.99 a month subscription service that gives you access to their study Bibles and commentaries within the app. You can have access to the study Bible on the app if you own a physical copy, and everyone can access the Tyndale House Greek New Testament in the app.
Like most Bible apps, the ESV app allows you to highlight, make notes, make bookmarks, share verses, etc. The only draw back being the obvious one–it only contains the ESV translation. But if this is your main translation it’s not necessarily a drawback.
Honorable Mentions: Olive Tree and Tecarta
These apps are popular for deeper study because they allow the purchase of multiple translations, study Bibles, resources, etc. I don’t use these apps (though I’ve tried them), but I know a lot of Christians who love them.
Which ever Bible app you use, the main thing is that you’re reading God’s word regularly. These are some of my favorites; what Bible app do you prefer or use most often?