I know what you might be thinking.
Bible + Social Media? Nah! I’ll stick with the word as it’s written.
I thought the same thing. That thought kept me off any Bible apps until late last year,_ and then I realized all that I was missing. I should have remembered Romans 8:28.
My main problem is, like many Christians, I get busy doing things and I don’t always make time to get into the Word. I do love spending time with God and reading the Bible, but I’m only human. I found that just setting a daily reminder didn’t work for me. I needed a plan.
The Bible is not just a collection of books inspired by God. It is a living document with instructions on how to live your life to the fullest, just as God intended. Merely reading it cover to cover and expecting to understand God’s plan for this world is crazy. We, humans, need a little help from other people who understand the original language, the time in history it was written, and the audience it was intended for. Context is really important for understanding.
I’m a very serious student when it comes to Bible study. I want to hear all the arguments and theories of biblical scholars over the years. I have invested in four different versions of the Bible for personal study and I still want to see the sentence breakdown in the original language and learn more about how to apply it to my life.
Thankfully, we live in a time in history where all this information can be found on our phones. These apps can help you make a plan to get into the Word daily, learn from and with others, and help you stick to a plan while using your time wisely. I found two apps I highly recommend and I want to share them with you.
Blue Letter Bible
This app is amazing for those who want in-depth Bible study.
BlueLetterBible contains a suite of Bible study tools including more than 10 English Bibles, concordances, lexicons, cross-references, commentaries, and more.
Some features you can use through the BlueLetterBible app include:
- Look up words or phrases in the Bible
- Read different versions of the Bible side by side
- Highlight verses and share them
- Listen to the Bible being read to you with audio narration
- Hear or read commentaries from over 40 biblical scholars
- Download and share encouragements from Scripture and from Christian voices across the ages
- Daily Devotional Reading
- Topical search options
My favorite feature is the inline interlinear tool which allows me to use Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance. Through this, I can see the original language, hear the pronunciation in the original language, and locate where else in the Bible this word or phrase is used.
The BlueLetterBible website is also amazing. BlueLetterBible online offers so much more including:
- Mark-up passages of the bible in personalized formatting via ScriptureMark
- Take courses (free) in major areas of Christian belief and practice thru BLB Institute
- Charts and Outlines
- Maps and Images
- BLB Blog
- BLB CD (an internet-free, Web browser-based, Bible study system)
- Encyclopedias / Dictionaries
- Multimedia (media, music, and live stream)
- Theological resources
YouVersion, aka The Bible App, was actually recommended by my church leadership (along with a lot of other online resources). YouVersion was created by the local church in 2007 and remains a ministry of Life.Church today.
YouVersion currently has 2,902 Bible versions in 1,931 languages, including 70 English versions. Also, audio Bibles, offline capabilities, as well as over 800 Bible plans and devotionals. YouVersion is something I open daily because of its amazing Bible plans and partnerships with Christian authors.
The home page has:
- Daily Refresh
- Verse of the Day Images
- Badge Process
- Recommended Friends
- News from Bible App
- Kids Bible Experience
On the phone, you have to choose one version at a time, but on an iPad or tablet, you can have two versions side by side. Additionally, switching between versions on my phone is easy.
The Bible tab bar at the top of the screen allows you to see related content such as audio and text display options, and the bottom bar allows you to navigate to other parts of the app. You can swipe back and forth to move through the Bible or touch the verse (highlighted at the top) to jump to another book and/or chapter in the Bible.
The Bible app also offers the ability to highlight verses for yourself or save verses to add them to images to share them with others via email, text or social media. They have a large assortment of images you can use as a background for your verse.
The “Plans” function of this app is what really hooked me. Most of the plans include devotionals and scripture and allow you to listen to them, kind of like a podcast.
There are hundreds of plans to choose from. I am currently doing a Bible in a year plan along with 2 others that are much shorter in duration.
There are so many topics to choose from and all are led by Christian leaders and authors. The daily plans range in length and media. Some come with a video and all have the option of listening or reading the text.
The Bible app tracks how many days you log in. They usually have challenges that make for a nice incentive, in case you need a gold star for reading God’s word.
The Bible app doesn’t have commentaries but it does have a way to share plans with others and complete the plan together. You can also share notes and verses with friends in the app and the plan.
Oh yea, it’s possible to connect with others on this app as well. I can’t say I have a lot of friends through the app, but I really like this option for studying with others.
For me, the best part of this app is finding books and authors who create plans to help Christians with their walk with God. The plans are a way to sample the writing style of the books and find new authors for me to read.
Best of all, both of these apps are completely FREE!
I know that there are a lot of other Bible apps out there. These are the two that I use the most that have helped me. Both BlueLetterBible and YouVersion have a lot to offer. Both of these apps work on donations, so they are able to bring the Word to people all over the world without charging fees or ads.