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The Best iPhone Bible App

As much as I tried to resist the urge, I finally broke down and bought an iPhone back in March. Since this article isn’t intended as a review of the iPhone, I’ll simply say that the iPhone is far and away the best phone available. Nothing else even comes close.

The iPhone is a powerful tool and there is an application (app) for just about anything you can imagine. One of the first applications I installed was an iPhone Bible app. Since then I’ve tried several Bible apps, each with it’s own set of unique features and tools, and each with it’s pros and cons.

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There are free iPhone Bible apps and paid Bible apps. For the average user the free version will more than suit your needs. Here’s three of my favorite iPhone Bible apps, all which are free:

iphone-bible-appYouVersion includes 18 different English Bible translations, including the American Standard Version, Contemporary English, Holman Christian Standard, New International Version and The Message. A ‘Next’ and ‘Previous’ button at the top of the screen allows easy navigation between chapters.

My favorite feature of YouVersion allows you to simply touch a verse to bring up a menu with the options to email the verse, bookmark the passage or read user commentaries. You can also contribute your own commentary on verse or passage.

The settings option allows you to adjust the font style, size and background color for easy reading.

Finally, you can use the ‘Daily Read’ option to read through the Bible in one year.

Olive Tree’s iPhone Bible software probably offers the most full featured package, but only the basics are free. The free version allows you to download the American Standard Version, the King James, the Bible in Basic English, along with a few others. If you want to add the NIV, New King James or other licensed version you will have to pay a fee for each one.

Olive Tree also includes many other paid ad-dons such as a Greek and Hebrew Lexicon, Bible dictionary, maps and study notes.

Two features really stand out with Olive Tree. A small arrow at the bottom of the screen allows you to view a split screen so you can compare translations. But my favorite is the option to add notes on any verse of the Bible by clicking on the verse number. Once saved, a small paper icon appears next to the verse showing that a note is available.

iTourSoftware.com’s KJV Bible Audiobook is packed with features, but the one that stands out is the audio reading by Alexander Scourby. You can choose the daily Bible reading plan or select from any passage using the quick search feature. You can then read the text or listen to the reading. I’ve used this feature many times on my drive to and from work.

This Bible app also includes a note feature, bookmark option, maps and a history of your Bible readings.

I would recommend this Bible app in addition to any other Bible apps you may choose to run.

There are many iPhone Bible apps available. Let me know your experiences with other Bible apps.

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19 Comments

  1. I will have to agree with you on this. I have searched the entire App store and I too fell in love with Olive Tree's app. I've shared this app with so many of our iPhone friends. Good job.

  2. I like YouVersion, but a MAJOR drawback is their poor (IMHO) implementation of search. The results come back in a disordered fashion. It is not sorted by book, chapters or even OT or NT.

    Laridian makes a free bible. I used to use them back in my Palm days, and had to pay for the NKJV back then, which I understand. Now that I have iPhone, nearly 7 years later, Laridian still has me registered with them, and I get to download the NKJV on my iPhone for free, because I already paid with them even though it was for a different device! Talk about customer service!

  3. for me a crucial feature for a bible app is copy and paste. As far as I can tell, the olive tree app only allows you to copy one verse at a time. I need to copy whiole passages into text file. Maybe I've missed something but to me that is a setback, though I love the generall visual feel of their app

  4. http.//www.TheBibleScholar.com

    The Bible Scholar iPhone App:
    The Bible Scholar App Features and Content:

    Features:
    1. Books: The app has more than 20 volumes of Bible Dictionaries, Church History, and Bible Commentaries.
    2. Bookmarks: This feature ensures that you never lose your place.
    3. Notes: You can make and save your notes for future reference.
    4. A multicolor table of content: This attractive table of content makes navigation easy with scroll functionality.
    5. Page Elongation: Tap on a book from the table of contents, then select a desired chapter. Once within the book, tap on sub-header within the book to elongate the screen.
    6. Font size: You can adjust the font size by using the font adjuster or by simply pinching the screen.
    7. Copy and Paste: You can copy and paste into documents, emails, and research papers etc.

  5. Andy – OliveTree's bible app recently had an update available that allows you to copy multiple verses. There are several other new features, too.

  6. Hi!

    Thanks for diving in to reviewing the Bible apps out there. Since your post a number of awesome ones have entered the scene. Bible by YouVersion is still a really great one, keeps getting better, too–but not good for serious study. Logos is good, AcroBible capable, Paul Avery's "Holy Bible" is probably the best functionally but not a great user experience in my opinion. Bible.is is actually a really cool one that bases itself off a listen+read approach. It was a pretty immersive experience that I enjoyed right off the bat, having the two features highly integrated like that.

    @Kevin, search is a tough one for sure.
    @andy, copy/paste I think is hard for devs to do per copyright restrictions by most of the translations. I know ESV Bible app does that because they allow most anybody to use it.

    Blessings fellahs!
    -T.J.

  7. I like the ESV app from Crossway the best for just reading. For study the ESV Study Bible on Olive Tree is wonderful (but carries a price tag).

    Note to Alex: I am downloading My Bible Pro to test it now. I will review it in a few days. Whether or not I like the app, thank you in advance for the work you did on it. I hope Christians in China can benefit from it as well (wihtout being prevented by the government).

  8. KidBible – The best children bible story book in iPhone and iPad

    KidBible HD has
    1) Stories well supported by high definition cute pictures and animations
    2) Simple and clear summaries of the stories
    3) Prayers for love
    4) Original texts from bible
    5) Bible quiz
    6) Bilingual lines (Chinese and English)
    7) Prayer / message sharing in Facebook, it also can act as an e-card.

  9. Thanks for this; I can't wait to download KJV Bible Audiobook. I do like the YouVersion bor devotional reading, as it is clean and easy to use.

    For study, I highly recommend TouchBible. It is KJV, with every word linked to the Strong's entry. It is far easier than flipping through pages.

    I also just downloaded the Blue Letter Bible and it looks good so far. It can display two translations on the same page, has tons of on and off-line study resources, and also has translations such as Vulgate, TR, LXX available.

  10. I used youversion for a while and then found Mantis. The draw back with you version was you had to be within cell phone range or wifi. mantis downloads to your phone in compressed files. It is a pay bible with a king James version free. They have many bibles to choose from. they also have the KJV with strongs concordance for every word at the tap of a button which is invaluable to me. And the fact that it is all right there on your phone without connection makes it priceless. Great copy paste functions, memorization aides , notes, highlighting and more. you wont be sorry I guarentee! aloha!

  11. I have owned an iPhone since last December and have found it to be a good platform for study during those in-between moments of your life when studying God's Word is the best thing for you. I personally like the Laridian Bible since I have been familiar with it since the days that I used the Palm (Palm IIIxe, Palm Zire 72, Palm Centro) when it was my first smartphone. I use the Laridian PocketBible in conjunction with two other programs: Daily Tracker (to keep quiet time notes) and iBlogger (to upload the notes to my journaling blog at. The Daily Tracker gives me a simplified journal capability which allows me to think and add changes to my quiet time notes for a period of time before copying them and sending them to my blog. I have used Laridian quite extensively in studying for teaching an adult Sunday School class for many years. In particular, I switch between NASB and the Amplified Bible for study, use the Complete Word Study Dictionary and Vines for looking up word definitions, and have a host of commentaries that I use including JFB, Life Application Bible Notes, Robertson's Word Pictures, and MacArthur Study Bible Notes. These are all accessible within the Laridian structure. I also use the Olive Tree Bible Reader but only for the Greek New Testament with morphological tags. I just recently downloaded the Blue Letter Bible but I have not used it enough to say good or bad about it yet. My main reason for retaining usage of Laridian is their policy of allowing purchases to be used across different platforms, including their excellent PC based study platform. You do have the opportunity with Laridian of having multiple windows but I find that to not be effective if you are trying to quickly find something. Their search function is sorted by book, chapter, and verse and I find it very easy to use. It does lack a compound logic search however so I would say that is the only drawback. Copying a range of verses is as simple as holding your finger on the verse, selecting the copy range function, then using the spinner to select the range to copy. Switching Strong's numbers on and off is easy as well. Tapping at different places on the screen take you to next verse, previous verse, switch page, switch book, etc. Hopefully these comments will be important to someone out there who reads them.

    Kim

  12. Bible.is
    Brought to you by Faith Comes by Hearing

    This App in my opinion, is one of the best Audio Bible Apps in the store You can Highlight Multiple Verses, copy and paste, take notes, Go to any Chapter, Verse with just the scroll of your finger You can read or listen to the bible with Dramatized reading with multiple People portraying the Characters in the bible! Great Study Tool!

  13. Great post! Also check out NRT Match. It's a brand new Christian music game that we just released available for iPhone and iPod Touch, and the first Christian music game available on the iPad! http://www.newreleasetuesday.com/iphone/nrtmatch….

  14. Ryan, Thanks for making me aware of this app. I installed it on my iPad and I love it. I use the audio ESV Bible every day. I Highly recommend this app and will feature it in a write up at a later time.

  15. I really like the YouVersion Bible app & OiveTree Bible "BibleReader" app.
    I also wanted to tell you guys about a new website I helped create called http://www.BibleLockScreen.com – It has retina display lock screen backgrounds with Scripture verses on them.
    I hope you guys like them!
    God bless you guys!
    Ryan

  16. We love Little Halo Games Bible games for kids! Our kids really love their interactive Noah's Ark game for the iPad. Check out: http://www.littlehalogames.com/games/noahs-ark/ According to their website they are working in iPhone and Nook support now and plan to release a David & Goliath game in August.

  17. I like the new approach of Bible Exclusive. Gives me tailer-made passages straight out of the bible for any given situation (calculates my position in the world/universe relative to holy GPS positions). Oh yeah.. it's free!

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