Saturday, April 11, 2015

A Quick Survey of Bible Apps for Android and iPhone


A Quick Survey of Bible Apps for Android and iPhone



For more detailed study, check into the offerings from Accordance, Laridian, Logos, or Olive Tree. If you already have purchased desktop versions of these programs, then you have access to most of your resources through the apps as well.
There are many free Bible apps from which to choose for both Android and iPhone. Things to keep in mind:

  • Note that some of these are actual apps. Some provide access to web versions optimized for mobile devices. If your mobile device has a web browser, you can, of course, always go to some of the better sites' web pages. Check out the Lumina Bible site or the Tyndale House STEP Bible online (also downloadable for Win and Mac).
  • Some of them work by 'streaming' Bible versions to you. That is, you must have access to a data stream, and you won't be able to use that version when you don't have data access. The benefit of this approach is that you can often have access to Bible versions for which you would otherwise need to pay. (E.g., for NRSV)
  • Most of them will allow you to download some Bibles to your device and use them offline or without a data stream. Many are free. Some you will need to purchase. Some common free and useful Bibles include:
    • English: ESV, NET (without full notes), KJV, Lexham (from Logos), LXX Brenton English (an older English translation of the LXX)
    • Hebrew: Westminster Leningrad codex
    • Greek: SBL Greek New Testament (from SBL and Logos), Westcott-Hort, Scrivener, some also offer the Greek LXX
  • Some apps offer a variety of related resources: dictionaries, maps, commentaries, Bible reading plans, etc. One thing to look for are Bible versions that are linked with Strong's. This provides the quick and free way to get some lexical and parsing help. Note that you can find versions in English, Hebrew, and Greek (both LXX and NT) linked to Strong's. Most of them have search capabilities. Some have audio versions.
  • Some of them offer all sorts of options for highlighting, social sharing, and note keeping, and often these can be synced with an online version.
With those things in mind, here are some suggestions.

ANDROID

  • If you have already purchased the program, check into Laridian, Logos, or Olive Tree.
  • Among the free ones I recommend:
    • MySword: This is one of the fastest loading programs, so when I'm in church and want to get to the lesson quickly, I use this one. Lots of free modules including: LXX and an analytical LXX, Brenton's LXX English, NET (no notes), Hebrew Westminster, Lexham, KJV, SBL GNT.
    • YouVersion: Many, many English versions, and many can be downloaded including NET (with notes), CEV, CEB, ESV, Good News, Holman, KJV, Lexham, Message, NIV, NIrV, NLT, etc. Westminster Hebrew, SBL Greek NT; hundreds of other non-English versions.
    • BibleGateway: If you are familiar with the BibleGateway web site, this is an app version of it.
    • Textweek - The Text This Week: Many of you are doubtless familiar with the rich Textweek site. Here's an app that will give access to all its riches.
iPhone / iPad
  • If you have already purchased the program, check into Accordance, Laridian, Logos, or Olive Tree.
  • Among the free versions, I recommend:
    • YouVersion: Many, many English versions, and many can be downloaded including NET (with notes), CEV, CEB, ESV, Good News, Holman, KJV, Lexham, Message, NIV, NIrV, NLT, etc. Westminster Hebrew, SBL Greek NT; hundreds of other non-English versions.
    • BibleGateway: If you are familiar with the BibleGateway web site, this is an app version of it.
    • Lumina Bible Study: This is an app version of the Lumina Bible site.
    • Textweek - The Text This Week: Many of you are doubtless familiar with the rich Textweek site. Here's an app that will give access to all its riches.
    • ESV Bible App: ESV only but does include ESV Global Study Bible for free
These are my recommendations. There are doubtless many more apps out there, and I know less about the iPhone ones. If you have a favorite to recommend, please leave a comment. Thanks!

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