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My favorite digital bibles and why I went digital

A wise man once said “The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible”. Whether you read the Bible or just listen to it being read to you, it’s absolutely vital that you get a helping of God’s word on a regular basis. After all, it’s food for your soul and you don’t want to be spiritually malnourished, do you?

If you haven’t already made a habit of spending time in God’s word every day, I encourage you to commit to spending 15 minutes in the bible and prayer for the next 7 days. By then you’ll have developed a habit that I think you’ll learn to enjoy. I know you’re busy. We all are. But without spending adequate time in God’s word, there can be no spiritual growth.

Going Digital

You probably already own a bible, or maybe six of them. If you’re the kind of person who prefers the feel of paper in your hands, I totally understand. I own several printed bibles myself. They rarely get used anymore, though, since I’ve gone almost entirely digital.

There are several reasons I prefer digital bibles over the printed ones.

  • They’re more mobile. I can carry dozens of translations of the bible as well as study bibles, bible commentaries, and more than 100 books on a tablet that weighs less than any of my printed bibles. It’s great when I visit a friend or go on vacation because I can take my whole library with me.
  • I can make the text as small or large as I like. This may seem trivial to some, but with my poor eye sight, this is very important to me. Besides, those large print bibles weigh a ton.
  • Some digital bibles will read the bible to you. I rarely use this feature, but I know people who prefer listening to the bible being read to them more than they like reading it. Also, with a digital bible on a tablet or smartphone, you can listen to God’s word while driving to work or when you’re doing chores around the house.
  • You can read one or more translations side-by-side. I know there are bibles in print that do this, but the print tends to me smaller than I’m comfortable with. Also, it’s a good practice to read a passage of scripture in several different translations because it can help you pick up on things you might have otherwise missed.
  • Easier to look up cross references. I can see the full text of bible verses that are cross referenced with just a click or two, without losing my place.
  • Built in linguistic tools. Some digital bibles (I list one below) will show you the original language word that was used and its meaning in that language. This is useful since the original meaning is sometimes lost in the English translations of the bible.
  • Search. Have you ever tried to remember a bible verse but could only remember a few words of it? You can use search in a digital bible to find it quickly. By the way, Google is also pretty good at this as well.

My favorite digital bibles

Here are some of my favorite digital Bibles. The best part is, they’re all free!

Free Bible apps

John MacArthur Study Bible
(Available on iPad, Android tablets, and iPhones)
You can download the John MacArthur Study Bible for free from https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-study-bible/id992237916?mt=8. It provides three free translations of the Bible that you can read or listen to, even when you’re not connected to the internet. It includes the ESV, NASB, and KJV. Of the three, the ESV (English Standard Version) is my favorite translation. For $6.00 you can buy John MacArthur’s Notes from iTunes, which plug into this app to make it a full-fledged MacArthur Study Bible. That’s why this is my favorite bible app and the reason I bought an iPad in the first place.

YouVersion
(Available on iPad, PC, and smartphones)
This free app gives you 50 different translations of the Bible. Many of them can be downloaded to your iPad so you can read them even when you’re not connected to the internet. I’d recommend the NET (New English Translation) because it’s easy to read and more accurate than some of the other easy-to-read translations. Some of the translations will also read the bible to you. For example, you can listen to the NLT (New Living Translation) with this app.

Note: I didn’t review any apps for Android tablets because I don’t own one.

Bibles in your web browser

There are many free Bibles that you can read or listen to right from your internet browser. They provide dozens of English translations of the Bible and some of the translations will read the Bible to you. They provide the ability to show one or more translations side-by-side. You have to be online to read some of the bible translations but you can also download some of the translations so you can read them even when you’re not connected to the internet.

BibleWebApp
This one’s my favorite of the browser-based Bibles because you can click or tap on a word in a bible verse and it shows you the word in the original language (for example, Hebrew or Greek) as well as a description of the word’s meaning in the original language.
http://biblewebapp.com/study

BibleGateway
Provides about 50 English translations of the bible and several more in other languages.
www.biblegateway.com

If you have a favorite that’s not listed here, please tell me about it in the comments section below.

May the Lord bless you richly as you grow in His word,
Daniel Evers

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Superfood for the soul

I first professed my belief in Jesus as the Son of God and accepted Him as my Savior more than 40 years ago. Since that day, I’ve never doubted that Jesus is who He claims to be. However, that belief didn’t keep me from living my life on my own terms for several years, which resulted in repeating the same sins over and over. In 2013, I became determined to make Jesus the Lord of my life. It was then that the Holy Spirit gave me an insatiable appetite for God’s word. As I turned more and more of my life over to Jesus and cooperated with the Holy Spirit, He has helped me break free of the sins that once enslaved me. Since then, I’ve been strongly compelled to share God’s word and to warn others that we need to get ready because Jesus is coming soon.

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