Many of my readers have asked1 for recommendations of good apps for reading and studying the Bible. These aren’t the only good ones out there (I’m sure there are hundreds) but they’re a few of my favorites, and they’re all free.
BibleGateway– This app has the whole Bible in many different translations and languages. Several of the translations are also available in audio format so you can listen to the Bible as you drive or do other activities. Additional helpful features include footnotes, cross references, and parallel panes for viewing a passage in several different translations at once. There are Bible reading plans and other study resources such as commentaries, Bible dictionaries, encyclopedias, and study Bibles. Not all of the devotions and “translations” (e.g. The Message, The Voice) are trustworthy, but if you stay away from those, Bible Gateway is excellent.
Faithlife Study Bible– A wonderful study Bible with copious notes, charts, articles, maps, photos, and even videos. It comes with several free translations (the Lexham English Bible is their default translation, and a good one), an audio feature, and community groups you can join.
The Study Bible– A great little Bible study app from Grace to You. The entire text of Scripture (ESV, KJV, or NASB), search, audio, highlighting, notes, and you can synchronize your account across devices. Access John MacArthur’s daily devotional and tons of sermons. And, if you’ve always wanted a MacArthur Study Bible, but cost was an issue, all of the study Bible notes and features are available as an add on for just $5.99.
Bible Hub– Bible Hub has so many helpful resources I tend to forget that you can just read the full text of the Bible on it, too (in dozens of different translations – mostly decent ones). Tons of commentaries, sermons and thematic/topical outlines to accompany every Scripture reference, daily devotions from Spurgeon, Tyndale, and others, Strong’s lexicon, parallel passages and chapters, interlinear, Bible book overviews and outlines, a timeline of the Bible …and so much more. It’s like having a theological reference library on your phone. There are literally thousands of resources – impossible for me to vet them all – so if you choose a devotion, commentary, sermon, etc., be discerning.
Blue Letter Bible– Sort of the “diet” version of Bible Hub, but it still has a number of great features. Several translations and languages are available, notes, highlights, audio, parallel, reading plans, interlinear, sermons, commentaries, Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias, and much more. This one also has an interesting feature: you can auto scroll (instead of scrolling manually) as you read through the text of Scripture. I imagine this might be very helpful for folks with arthritis, tremors, or limited manual dexterity. Be discerning about any sermons, commentaries, etc. you might choose.
The Olive Tree Bible– A good, basic Bible app. The Bible portion of the app is ESV default, though there are other downloadable versions. Good cross references, audio Bibles, and a number of Bible reading plans are included along with standard notes, highlights, and other features.
Literal Word– Literal Word is a very simple, streamlined, NASB-only (New American Standard Bible) app. It has the typical notes and highlighting features, but that’s basically it, except for one handy feature: integrated Hebrew and Greek lexicons. What does that mean for you? Simply click on a word as you’re reading, and the info box will tell you the Greek or Hebrew word and its definition(s). A great app if NASB’s your jam, and you just want to read the Bible without all the bells and whistles.
Legacy Standard Bible– This one’s great if you’re an LSB geek. But even if you haven’t had the pleasure yet, this is a super, no-frills Bible reading app that will help you get acquainted with this new, rock solid translation. The full New and Old Testaments are now available (LSB only). In addition to standard notes and highlighting, the LSB app does have a unique interlinear feature available, as well as a handy word click Greek and Hebrew lexicon feature. Syncs with your Accordance account if you’ve got one.
ReadingPlan– All Bible reading plans, all the time. There are literally hundreds of plans to choose from (there was no way I could vet even a fraction of them, so be very discerning) in this great little app. Download the one you like, set your start date, link up your favorite online Bible, and start reading. You can even sync and share your progress and set a daily reminder for reading.
1Some of the requests were from readers who wanted an alternative to YouVersion (Bible.com) and The Bible Recap, neither of which I would recommend.