More and more, Bible apps are dominating the landscape of churches and small groups over physical Bibles.  At least in the circles that I run.  And you’re welcome, as a church or small group, to fight against that.  Maybe it’s a battle worth waging.  For me…I’m happy that people are interacting with the Scriptures, whether it’s on tablets carved from stone or on a mobile device they carry with them all of the time.

I’ve been using my computer and phone to read and search the Scriptures for some time now, and thought I’d highlight for you the two options I believe are the strongest.

YouVersion (developed by Life Church in Oklahoma) has quickly become the industry standard for Bible apps.  It’s interactivity, combined with the depth of translations and resources available, leave nobody questioning why over 350,000 people subscribe to one of their reading plans.  The unofficial poll that I conducted via Twitter was overwhelmingly dominated by YouVersion.

YouVersion (desktop HERE, mobile app HERE)

  • 41 different translations in 22 languages
  • Free
  • Sync with desktop client
  • Multiple reading plans (I’m currently using the Chronological Plan)
  • Share verses easily via Twitter and Facebook
  • Post notes for others to view (desktop client only)
  • Audio Bible (desktop client only)
  • Interact with Live Events (when using YouVersion Live, and when the event you’re attending has posted notes)
  • Share verses easily via Twitter and Facebook


I’ve used Crossway’s (publishers of the English Standard Version Bible) app for less time, and though it only contains one translation, I have found great value in it.

ESV Bible (iPhone app HERE)

* Available whether you’re connected online or not
* Free
* Quickly and easily find a specific passage/verse
* Record personal notes/highlights and save for future use
* Share verses easily via Facebook and Twitter

What Crossway’s app lacks in power (as compared to YouVersion), it easily makes up for with its ease of use and beauty. It’s incredibly simple to jump to various passages, and the user interface improves readability (as compared with YouVersion and other apps). The font and style of the app matches the font and style of the ESV Bible (my translation of choice), so when I’m reading this app on my phone, I almost forget that I’m looking at an electronic device.


When I’m in small group, or just needing to look up a specific verse, I use the Crossway app. When I’m reading through the Bible on my own (daily), I use a combination of the desktop and mobile versions of YouVersion.

Do you use a Bible app?  Or do you think it’s better to use a physical copy of the Bible?