Using Bible apps can boost discipleship thanks to five specific tools built into these three best Bible apps for maximum personal growth rounded up here. The following Bible apps run on your phone and tablet in both iOS and Android. Use them on an iPhone, iPad or an Android phone, tablet or Amazon Fire tablet.
There are five ways these apps can support a believer’s personal growth:
- Devotions – read your daily devotion in a Bible app and keep track of the reading progress.
- Reminders – the apps usually offer a reminder that you can set at a specific time each day or on certain days to help you remember to read your Bible.
- Reading Plans for Christian Books – not all Bible apps will let you create a reading plan for other Christian books, but this can benefit you especially if you don’t really love reading. Set up a reading plan for the latest from John Piper or a classic from C.S. Lewis.
- Church Use – bring your phone or tablet to church and open the app so you can follow along, take notes, look up word definitions or read study Bibles and commentaries.
- Listen to Audio Bibles or Books – most of these apps offer audio versions of the Bible and you can even get audiobooks for Christian books.
Here’s a brief video overview of this article:
And now, here are three Bible apps for maximum growth:
#1 – Olive Tree Bible App
Olive Tree has been around since the days of the Palm Pilot and Pocket PC. Now they make one of the best mobile Bible apps for iPhone, iPad or Android.
Olive Tree Bible includes multiple ways to do devotions. Do you like to use a devotional book that also includes scripture? Devotional books include Scripture and some thoughts from an author to help inspire or challenge you in your faith.
Find one of dozens of reading plans. They offer devotionals for…
- Books of the Bible
- Entire Bible
- Topical collections of Bible verses
- Bible passages with devotional thoughts
- Portions of a book of the Bible
If you need a reminder, then set it when you first start a new plan.
The Olive Tree Bible app works great for church use as well. I preach most Sundays. When I’m not the one preaching or teaching, then I use my iPad Pro or Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 to open the Olive Tree Bible app. On one side of the screen I have my Olive Tree app and a note-taking app on the other side.
This lets me read the text used by the speaker. I can take notes in the note-taking app with the pencil on my iPad or my Galaxy Tab. Sometimes I like to look up the Greek or Hebrew behind a word. I will search for other passages with that topic. I’ll also use the great Resource Center to view other content in my library about the book. Olive Tree Bible arranges your commentaries, dictionaries, cross-references and more in the Resource Center. You can find all the content about a given passage without opening each book individually and searching for them. It’s fast and easy.
Finally, Olive Tree just added audio Bibles and books. You can download an audio version of many of the most popular translations and listen them in the car, while working out, or at your desk. They also offer many audiobooks like Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts ($13.99).
#2 – YouVersion Bible
The most popular Bible app on any app store comes from Life.Church known as the YouVersion Bible app. It’s free and will help you keep up with your daily Bible reading. You can set up a reading plan with devotional thoughts from modern authors. Plus, it contains the Bible or just a pure Bible reading plan that has only the Bible itself. The app also supports setting up reminders to prod you to read your Bible and/or devotional.
The Bible app does not include much more than the Bible and devotions. They do have audio Bibles and videos from the Jesus film, the Bible Project and Lumo. This lets you not only read the Bible, but hear it and watch it. You can’t add other audiobooks like you can with Olive Tree above or Logos below.
People who want a simple Bible app for reading the Bible and sharing it online via social media should take a close look at the Bible app. It’s great for these simple tasks. You won’t find reference tools like commentaries or language studies. It doesn’t include any other Christian books either.
Use the app for church use and follow the worship service if your church uses Life.church’s Events worship tool. Think of it as an in-app church bulletin and sermon notes.
The Bible app and their companion online site, www.Bible.com, have a social interaction built into the app and service. Follow other users and see their Bible reading progress, notes added to verses, highlights and verse visuals that they create with the app.
The folks at YouVersion also offer an app for kids. The Bible App for Kids focuses on young Bible readers.
#3 – Faithlife Bible App Suite
People who want more advance Bible tools should take a look at the suite of apps from Faithlife. You may recognize the name Logos Bible Software (we have reviewed it before).
Faithlife makes that desktop program, as well as Logos Bible App. They also make companion apps Faithlife Study Bible, Faithlife eBooks, Verbum Catholic Bible and the Spanish version Biblia Logos. Find those links at the mobile app site on Logos.com or search the iOS App Store, Google Play Store or Kindle App Store. For our purposes, we’ll focus on the flagship Logos Bible Study Tools app.
You can create your own reading plans in the app or add pre-programmed plans. They will set up a daily reading plan and send reminders when you want them. The app works like the desktop program, where you can also set up a reading plan for Christian books that you purchase from Faithlife.
The app works great for church use, as well. Open your Bible and read along. If your church uses their worship presentation software Proclaim, which we previously reviewed, then you can follow along inside the app. The app interfaces with Proclaim to see the lyrics, verses, and images. It also lets you give offerings in the app.
Which one of these three apps should you use? I’d go get all three and try them out. They each offer free options. People who use Logos on their computer will want to get the Logos app for their mobile device, although it’s not my favorite mobile app. I like Olive Tree’s more. It’s simpler and looks better. However, Logos users will probably go with Logos as their primary tool.
People more concerned with cost should go with the Bible app from YouVersion. It’s totally free and simple to use. I’m using it right now for my daily Bible reading.
If you want a healthy balance between simplicity but also need more advanced features like commentaries, language study and more, then go with Olive Tree and buy some add-on books. Also, if you want audiobooks and Bibles this might fit best in your spiritual personal growth plan.