Ever try to snuggle up with your Bible, an unabridged commentary, Bible dictionary, and a couple other resources? It makes me thankful to live in a time when we can hold an entire library in our hands.
With the advancement of the internet and smart phones, I’m thrilled to have an app for that. I feel so free!
Here is a list of my top five favorite Bible Study apps in no particular order:
1. Blue Letter Bible (BLB)
Click here for BLB iPhone/iPad App
Click here for BLB Android/Tablet App
Description: BLB app is packed with Bible study tools linked to every verse in the Bible making personal Bible study easier.
It contains over 30 Bible versions, audio Bibles, text and audio commentaries, Hebrew/Greek lexicon, interlinear, concordances, cross references, translation comparison, dictionaries, advanced word searches, free downloadable books and more.
In addition to reference materials, the app offers other features such as note-taking tools.
The autoscrolling option continuously moves the text up at a comfortable pace for reading.
I fell in love with BLB long before I discovered they have an app. I’ve used their website nearly every day for a few years.
I began using the BLB app at church a couple of weeks ago. I took notes right into the app. No more having to write in the corners and edges of the church bulletin. Plus my notes are now always at my fingertips.
App Tip: Save your Notes before exiting. I didn’t click “save” the first time and lost the first few teaching points. Oops!
We don’t have to “save” written notes on paper, but we do have to save all those sheets of paper — if they didn’t fall out of our Bibles on the way to the parking lot.
One of my favorite features of BLB that I don’t think you’ll find anywhere else for free is David Guzik’s commentaries. He offers a modern commentary written in wording someone new to studying the Bible can understand but takes the reader deep in understanding.
All the Bible study apps have commentaries, but the BLB carries some the others don’t, like Guzik.
App Tip: To access the commentaries and other helpful features, tap the screen to make the menu appear.
As of this writing (8/26/15), the BLB App doesn’t have a split screen, which would be a great feature. It’s not a big issue for me because I study with my Bible in my lap, but I’d love to see them add that in a future update.
My overall opinion:
New Bible Students: I highly recommend this app for you. If all you do is take notes in it and read the Bible along with a commentary, you’ll begin to grow in your love and understanding of the Bible every day. But don’t miss the other great resources such as Bob Hoekstra’s Growing in the Grace of God and others.
Seasoned or Seminary Bible Students: This app is rich with resources to help you get the most out of your study. I think you’ll find this an excellent tool.
I love this app just as much as I love their website. If you want a fairly detailed description of the BLB website, check out this post:
The Blue Letter Bible: 7 Reasons to Use this On-line Bible Study Tool
2. Bible + by Olive Tree
Click here for the Olive Tree Bible Study App
Description: The Olive Tree Bible Study App provides Bibles, commentaries, maps, dictionaries, and more.
The app allows you to take notes, highlight verses, bookmark passages, and sync all of these things between different devices.
There are over 100 free downloadable resources available on this app. You can purchase many more, but for the average person, the free resources are plenty.
This app has a split screen. Yay. The Bible passages are displayed in the top screen (or left screen, depending on the way you hold your device — vertically or horizontally.)
The bottom screen (right screen) reveals any downloaded resources (such as commentaries, related verses, notes, etc.) that apply to whatever verse is in the top screen. Simple but brilliant, and my favorite feature.
App Tip: Access the split screen by dragging the half circle located in the bottom right corner up as far as you want.
My overall opinion:
New Bible Students: This app has great resources perfect for beginners. It also has lots of resources you’ll enjoy checking out as you become addicted to studying the Bible. It’s a fairly easy app to use.
Seasoned or Seminary Bible Students: This app is advanced enough to be useful to you.
3. Bible! by Logos
Click here for Bible! by Logos App for iPhone/iPad
Click here for Bible! by Logos App for Android
Description: Logos is highly regarded as a premiere Bible study resource. It’s no wonder that their free app is also premier.
Like the other Bible study apps, Bible! by Logos is packed with study tools.
This app also offers a split screen feature. It works differently than Olive Tree’s, though, and takes some working with to get the hang of.
App Tip: Access the split screen the same way as the others by dragging the half circle located in the bottom right corner up as far as you want.
The bottom screen (right screen) displays the passage and offers the options to hear the audio version if available and other helpful tools.
The top screen (left screen) offers many options, such as their selection of Guides: Passage Guide, Exegetical Guide, Bible Word Study, and Topic Guide.
In the Passage Guide, once you click on a commentary to read, it displays in the bottom (right) screen instead of the passage. After you’ve read the commentary, click on the back button on the bottom (right) screen to return to the passage.
App Tip: If back button isn’t displayed, tap on the screen to make it appear.
Logos caters to the serious Bible student, so you’ll find many seminary grade resources as well as some less heavy-duty ones.
If you enjoy Warren Wiersbe (why wouldn’t you?), Logos carries a full collection of his “Be . . .” series studies, such as “Be Comforted,” “Be Equipped,” and “Be Satisfied.”
Did I mention you get all this for free?
Of course they offer you plenty of opportunities to purchase more resources, but they offer much for free.
My overall opinion:
New Bible Students: You may find this app a bit overwhelming, offering more than you’re interested in at this time.
If you choose to get it (it’s free, so why not try it out), I recommend you start with the Bibles and the Passage Guides to read some commentaries. Plus, check out some of the free books, like Wiersbe’s.
Seasoned or Seminary Bible Students: This app was made for you. It’s loaded. The only down side, besides the time it takes to discover all it offers, is the plethora of resources that are not free. You’re probably going to wish you could buy them all, but no worries, there’s enough free resource to keep you busy and happy.
4. Faithlife Study Bible App
Click here for Faithlife Study Bible App for iPhone/iPad or Android
Description: The Faithlife Study Bible App is created by the makers of Logos. (In fact, the Faithlife Study Bible is available in the Bible! by Logos App in the Passage Guide.) Not surprising then is the similarity in the looks and features of Bible! by Logos.
The Faithlife Study Bible App offers the expected standard features like commentaries, dictionaries, and other resources, as well as a split screen and note taking abilities.
What makes this app unique is its community feature.
You can create or join groups, allowing communities to read the Bible together, share notes, and prayer requests with each other. It’s a unique tool for Bible studies, small groups, and accountability partners.
I haven’t used the community feature of the app yet, so I can’t give you an opinion of its capabilities. If you’re reading this and you’ve used it, I’m sure we’d all love to hear your opinion.
My overall opinion:
New Bible Students: The Faithlife Study Bible app is much less overwhelming than Bible! by Logos, and offers community.
It may still possibly be more advanced than you’re interested in at this point, but definitely worth checking out for the community feature, if that interests you.
Not only is it free, the Faithlife Study Bible offers commentary built in, as it is actually a study Bible, not just a Bible app. I like the commentary, but I don’t personally find it as helpful for a new Bible student as David Guzik’s commentary. (See BLB app description above to read more about why I like David Guzik’s commentary.)
Seasoned or Seminary Bible Students: If you’re looking for a less overwhelming version of Bible! by Logos, or you want the community feature, this is the app for you. If you want all the bells and whistles or you don’t do social media of any sort, skip this app and go straight to Bible! by Logos.
Click here for SermonAudio for iPhone/iPad.
Click here for SermonAudio for Android.
Description: SermonAudio doesn’t offer commentaries or even Bibles, but it’s a great tool for studying the Bible because it offers excellent sermons which teach the deep truths in the Bible. “Faith Cometh by hearing” is their motto.
If you want to hear a sermon in person, the church locator feature guides you to registered churches near you. The MyChurch tool gives you quick access to your own church’s sermons, if your church is registered with SermonAudio.
Are you fluent in, or learning, a foreign language? Listen to sermons in 40 other languages, including American Sign Language, which would not make sense to do in audio so it’s visual, of course. Impressive.
There’s also their 24×7 Radio Stream and three daily devotions by Charles Spurgeon. (Spurgeon’s devotion is also available as text.)
If you like the classic sermons (I do!) there’s lots of transcripts and audio of classic sermons by great theologians like Charles Spurgeon, Hudson Taylor, AW Tozer, Billy Graham, George Whitefield, EM Bounds, and DL Moody.
There’s over 10,000 different speakers on SermonAudio. This is great, but use discernment. We can’t assume every speaker on a list this large is on target. None will be infallible, but check each speaker’s statement of belief (you may have to google them) and study the Word of God to see if what they’re teaching agrees with Scripture.
I’m excited about having great teaching to take with me whether I’m on the go or relaxing at home.
My overall opinion:
New Bible Students: This is a great app for everyone — from someone brand new to the Bible to the seminary professors and pastors.
Seasoned or Seminary Bible Students: This is a great app for everyone — from someone brand new to the Bible to the seminary professors and pastors.
I can’t pick a favorite app because each has features the others don’t.
Upload one of these free apps (or all five) today and play wiht them for awhile. Studying the Bible is vital to our lives.
God’s Word will transform us as we study them and let Christ live them out through us. These apps just made it easier — and even more fun!
Keep the Words of Life at your fingertips.
“Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life”
~ John 6:68 (ESV)
What’s your favorite Bible study app? Know of one I haven’t listed? I’d love to hear from you about your experience and tips.