HomeBible TechBible StudyTop 10 Best Bible Study Apps for 2018

Top 10 Best Bible Study Apps for 2018


If you want to do Bible study on the go or on your computer, we've got the top 10 best simple Bible study apps available today. This round-up of apps work on iPhone, iPad, Android, and in some cases the Kindle Fire. Many of them also offer Windows, macOS or Linux versions, and a few have online websites dedicated to studying the Bible.

This round-up is not focused on scholarly Bible study by professors, grad students or pastors, but rather on lay people. If you need a powerful Bible study tool to do scholarly research or more advanced Bible study and sermon prep, then take a look at 5 Best Bible Study Programs on the Market Today.

First, let's get a brief look at the ten apps and then a recommendation of our favorites based on which operating system or device you use and on what you want to do with the app. Finally, we'll name an overall best and a couple of runners-up.

1 – Bible by Life.church

Bible app from Life.church. LEFT: Highlight verses, share them and more. CENTER: Find predefined reading plans.  RIGHT: Watch Bible related videos.

The most downloaded Bible on any device comes from Life.church. They own the website Bible.com where users can do most of what they enjoy in their app right on the web, including downloading modern translations as well as other languages.

They also include a slew of Bible reading plans and users can share inspirational Bible verses online through social media in either text or as a visual meme. There is a social media feel to this app too since users can follow other Bible readers from within the app. Keep friends accountable by tracking their daily reading while you share your progress with others. You can search for Bible verses by topic or text and it includes highlighting, copying to other apps, adding bookmarks, and notes too. Watch Bible related videos within the app and your church can even use the website to create live worship service presentations that run inside the app.

life church Bible website

Find links to your chosen platform on their website.

PLATFORMS: iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Online

2 – Bible.IS

When I wanted to listen to the Bible in the past, I used to pull out a sleeve with a dozen CDs of Max MacLean reading the Bible like a Shakespearean actor. Now I fire up the Bible.IS app and listen to the Bible reading inside the app.


The Bible.IS app does more than reading you the Bible. It functions like a simple Bible reading app. You can download multiple translations and search the Bible. Share your favorite verses online, bookmark or highlight them, and record notes. This all works on their mobile apps and online.

PLATFORMS: iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Online

3 – Bible Gateway

Bible Gateway is one of the best online sites for Bible study and also offers a useful app. Bible Gateway is free but advertising supported, which knocks it down the lower end of the recommendation list. However, users of the website should definitely look at Bible Gateway for mobile Bible reading and simple study. They do offer subscriptions that remove ads.

Bible Gateway provides multiple modern and international language translations. While reading, you can create bookmarks for passages, highlight them, add notes, and share them with others using social networks or your phone, tablet or browser's sharing features.

You can search the Bible, set up reading plans, and open other resources from the menu found by opening the menu button in the upper left corner. There's also an audio Bible to listen to the scriptures. Users can listen to the Bible in NIV, CSB, and KJV to name a few.

The Dashboard is the main screen when you first launch the app and it shows a verse of the day, the audio Bible, and your reading plan links. Access other parts of the Bible app from the dashboard too.

bible gateway ipad app

Bible Gateway offers a subscription service called Bible Gateway Plus with a library of reference books for more advanced study. Also, this removes the ads in the app and on the website. The books come from the site's owner, Harper Collins, who also owns Olive Tree Bible Software, although they don't give access to Olive Tree books you might own. You get the following:

  • NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible
  • NIV Study Bible Notes
  • NIV Quest Study Bible Notes
  • Mounce's Complete Expository Dictionary (advanced language study of Greek and Hebrew meanings)
  • Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary
  • New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology

The list above isn't exhaustive but shows some of the excellent resources available with a subscription. Subscriptions cost $3.99/month or $39.99/year. There's a free trial for 30 days. Sign up and check it out for yourself for free to decide if the price is right.

PLATFORMS: iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Online

4 – Bible Hub

biblehub website

The Bible Hub app is a favorite for many users. I'm not a huge fan of the user interface, but it's included in this list because they do have a great online Bible study website. The site's users will want to get the free app, so they can use Bible Hub on the go. The app's really just a wrapper for their website, so you'll need an Internet connection to use it.

You can read multiple modern and older translations and it has Strong's dictionaries, topical Bibles for studying a topic like grace, and some public domain commentaries like Barnes Notes, Matthew Henry, and Clarke.

I created the video below as part of a review of the 6 best online Bible study sites for my personal website a few years ago.

The reader view on the iPhone app will remove all the clutter and let you see just the basic text without distractions.

Bible Hub is free on all platforms including mobile apps and online.

PLATFORMS: iPhone, iPad, Android, Online

5 – Blue Letter Bible

Blue Letter Bible also takes their online site and brings it to your mobile device with a simple interface. Like the others, it lets users read the Bible in a few different translations. The app includes fewer modern translations than some of the other apps.

In addition to reading the Bible, users can add notes, bookmark verses, and highlight. It also adds a few languages study tools like an interlinear Bible with Greek and Hebrew texts displayed along with the English text.

Blue Letter Bible integrates an eBook reader, something few of the other apps have. You import your PDF files via iTunes, which can get complicated, but it's there for users to take advantage of. The BlueLetterBible.org website includes some files in their Digital Books section.

Check the BlueLetter Bible site for a link to get the iPhone/iPad apps or their Android app. The Kindle Fire app is in the Amazon App Store.

PLATFORMS: iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Online

6 – eBible

ebible app for ios

eBible marries a social network with Bible study, sort of like the Life.Church Bible app and website. In addition to the Bible study site, there's also a Q&A section where users can post thoughts and answer other people's questions. eBible has some modern translations, but not as many as others. A subscription also adds other study tools. The subscription offers commentaries, dictionaries, and Strong's dictionaries for only $24. The books are public domain works, so I can't recommend paying for the subscription since you can get the same for free elsewhere.

The mobile app is nicely laid out and easy to use. Sign in to sync with the website so you can access all of your reading plans, bookmarks, notes, and highlights. Here's the iOS app. They don't offer apps for Kindle Fire or Android.

PLATFORMS: iPhone, iPad, Online

7 – e-Sword

e-sword for windows

One of the oldest and best tools for studying the Bible comes from e-Sword. It's free on a PC, but users can add premium add-ons. They also offer versions for other platforms:

If you use all three, you'll pay $16.97. That's pricey compared to the other apps, most of which come free. However, the app is worth it for people who want something simple enough for basic Bible reading, but also need a tool that can do a little more advanced Bible study with commentaries, dictionaries, advanced searching, and Greek and Hebrew tools. Get extra books from eStudySource.com or BibleSupport.com.

The above video shows off the e-Sword X user interface on the Mac. The app's been updated since I created the video for a review I wrote, but this gives you a good idea of what it can do on Mac. The iPad and iPhone version looks similar, but are more compact for mobile screens.

You can read, search, and highlight the Bible and e-Sword has a great notes editor on the Mac and PC that you can sync with the iPhone and iPad too.

PLATFORMS: iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, PC and Mac via Website

8 – Just1Word Bible


Just1Word offers one of the most attractive of the Bible apps in this roundup. The Bible study website and app has a subscription service that costs $.99/week that lets you download any of their Bibles including a decent collection of modern translations, but again, not as many as the more complete options from other apps.

If you don't want to subscribe, you can buy individual Bibles for as little as $.99 (KJV, ASV) or as much as $6.99 (ESV, NIRV). You can also listen to the Bible, take notes, highlight, and bookmark verses.

The app offers a split screen mode, but strangely requires the reader to rotate their phone to landscape mode or it won't turn on in the app. That's a strange requirement since many other apps work in portrait mode, the more natural way to hold a phone.

PLATFORMS: iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, PC (both Windows Store and web) and Mac via Website

9 – Laridian PocketBible

laridian pocketbible for macos

The most advanced of these apps come from Laridian, which helped pioneer mobile Bible study with apps for Palm and Pocket PC devices a long time ago. Then when the iPhone and iPad came out, they jumped on the bandwagon and made one of the best iOS apps before many others. It's improved over time. Now they offer apps for both the PC and Mac.

Laridian has some free content, but you will need pay for more advanced tools and modern translations or reference books. They offer competitive prices on Bibles, commentaries, dictionaries, lexicons and more. The free app often gets free updates.

laridian pocketbible for ipad

I love that PocketBible lets the user display more than just two window panes and to customize the user interface better than most of the apps in this round-up. On a large screen, you can have a bunch of them open at once. On a phone, more than two might be too much. But while using my 12.9-inch iPad Pro, I like to open up four windows and show a couple of translations and a commentary with a dictionary all at once.

The app has a great user interface that's both simple and works well. The toolbar across the bottom of the mobile phone app has everything you need. There's also a nice feature that grabs all your library info about a passage and presents it in an easy-to-find way to save you time. This feature costs extra. Laridian offers an advanced feature set that will cost $9.99/year for each platform or $17.99/year if you buy the bundle that includes all the platforms. That'a much better deal if you're going to use two or more platforms.

PocketBible handles all the basics well like reading, searching, bookmarks, highlights, and notes. Sync those with other platforms to keep them ready to use on your phone, tablet or computer.

PocketBible doesn't come in the Amazon Kindle Fire app store, so you'll need to download the file to install it as a “side-loaded” app. That means you manually install it. The video below shows how to do this or go to their help site to get instructions.

Laridian also has a book creation tool. Book Builder ($19.99) or Book Builder Pro ($49.99) helps you make books for your own use. Find links to each version at the bottom of their home page.

PLATFORMS: iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire (not through their app store, but by side loading), PC and Mac apps.

10 – Sword Project Bible Apps

There's an open source Bible study platform called the Sword Project and multiple apps support books of this format. You can find mostly public domain books, but there are a few modern translations. Get Sword Project books from the Crosswire.org website. If you're daring enough and have the skill, you can create your own Sword Project files.

xiphos for linux

Some of the best Sword Project apps for each platform include the following:

  • Linux – Xiphos (also runs on Windows)
  • BibleTime – Linux
  • Eloquent – Mac
  • Sword Project for Windows – Windows
  • PocketSword – iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch
  • MySword – Android
  • SWORDWeb – Online

While all of the above work nicely, the Android version of MySword is one of our favorites. It has a nice setup user-interface.

PLATFORMS: iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, PC and Mac via Website

Best Bible Study App Based On Use

Which of these Bible apps should you use? We've got recommendations based on your usage. We'll name our first choice and a runner-up in each category. First here's our list of apps based on platform:

  • MySword Bible – Android App
  • Laridian PocketBible – iPhone, iPad and Mac Apps
  • Kindle Fire App – Bible Gateway
  • e-Sword – Windows PC App
  • Bible Time – Linux App
  • Bible Gateway – Online Browser App

Now let's look at the best apps based on usage. All of the following work on a smartphone or tablet:

  • Life.church Bible – Daily Bible Reading
  • Bible.IS – Audio Bible Listening
  • Laridian PocketBible – Advanced Bible Study
  • Life.church Bible – Sharing to Social Networks
  • Laridian PocketBible – Multi-platform Usage

Finally, here's the overall best Bible study app with a pair of runners-up. in case you try out our favorite and don't like it.

By a slight margin, we choose Laridian PocketBible as the best overall app in this category. It is a simple Bible study app, which is the focus of this roundup. We purposely left out the very complex apps from other vendors. PocketBible gets the overall nod because of the:

  • Simple user interface
  • Rock solid and speedy performance
  • It syncs easily with multiple platforms
  • Users can grow in their study and PocketBible will grow with them since they offer a nice library of basic and advanced books
  • They offer nice packages which make it economical to get a decent library for not a ton of cash

The runners-up include e-Sword, which also runs on multiple platforms and has a great selection of books. It also has a simple user interface and one of the best notes editors in the Bible study software marketplace, not just in this category of simple apps.

However, not everyone wants more than a simple Bible reader that tracks your devotions and lets you share your favorite verses online. That's why we add the Life.church Bible app (also called YouVersion) as our second runner-up.

What's your favorite app and why? Leave a comment below.

Kevin Purcell
Kevin Purcellhttp://www.kevinpurcell.org
Dr. Kevin Purcell is a pastor, writer, and tech enthusiast. He serves High Peak Baptist Church as pastor. He is passionate about digital Bible study and enjoys helping others delve into God's Word using tech tools. Kevin is married to Barb, an elementary school teacher, and is father to two college-age sons. Pastor Kevin blogs at https://www.kevinpurcell.org/


  1. I have logos, olive tree, Bible is, and My sword, the Bible I use the most is My sword, Logos is good, but in some features you have to be online and sometimes that can be a problem, also with logos you can’t organize you notes, and highlights in the app, don’t get me wrong logos is a great bible study tool, I like the highlights and markups, and the books I have over 200,
    Olive tree I have also its a good app, I use this sometime depending on what book I need to use, when I had my iPad I use this is app all the the time, it’s good and you can organize your notes But it doesn’t have markups as logos.
    Bible is, is a good great for listerning to the Bible has a great audio with normal listening or drama I preferred the drama, I use Bible is just for listening to the Bible.
    Now, My Sword is the one I used the most, matter of fact this app is what I study from, teach from, and preach from, I found out this app is a very good app, What I like Most about this app that can make journals, notebooks and more while you taking notes you are able to attach pics and more, you also can add notes to verses and you can create tags and add them to the scriptures, this make bible studying fun and creative, the highlights are awesome, This is my favorite app, also in this app you can create bookmarks, a section for your favorite bible verses and more, and most of all it doesn’t use alot of space, don’t get me wrong logos, olive tree are good, and if you have a multi window tablet its great because you can use my sword, logos, or olive tree together which makes bible studying that much greater, or in My Sword Im excited because I just create a prayer journal it’s awesome, well I can go on and on, but try The My sword App it’s really good

  2. That does look like a nice app. I’ve not used it before, so it didn’t make this list. However, I’m not sure it would have since it’s kind of a niche app focusing on MacArthur’s content. I’d need more time to look at it to make a judgment. Maybe in an updated version of this post sometime in the future.

  3. I find this list a bit odd. No Logos, Olive Tree, You Version, or Tecarta?. I have all four of those although I generally only use three. I also have the Bluee Letter Bible but I have opened it maybe twice. the first one you listed looks interesting.

    I don’t care for Logos much. It just seems like work trying to learn how to get the most out of it. Olive Tree is like Logos if it was simpler to use IMO. You can buy extra resources (and even Christian ebooks) to read within the app but it gives you several free of charge. I use it the most for daily study.

    You version, it is great for daily devotionals and has the best highlighting options. Olive tree lets you customize colors but they are always … how should I say it desaturated? With You Versions what you pick is what you get and you can still read the text underneath. It may be my favorite thing about it. It also has a social element you can invite others to do reading plans with you and like verse images they create. It also gives you badges but I don’t care about that personally.

    Tecarta, This was the first bible app I used on the regular and I still haven’t been able to let it go. I use it to take notes during Sunday service. You can take notes in Olive Tree as well. The way it works is very different between the two apps though. In Olive Tree you select a spot in the text (Bible) and it puts a little notation icon there. You can also access it through your library and search for it with keywords and such. With Tecarta you take your notes more notebook style. there’s a note section that lists all your notes by date and they can be further categorized as you see fit. By default, they are all saved in my content. I have a section for Sunday service and a section for Bible study notes. I actually like both ways but for note taking in church I prefer the way Tecarta does it especially for multi sermon lessons. Also, it’s easier to share passages and verses on social media or via text with Tecarta than with Olive Tree. the biggest downside to Tecarta is the skeletal high lighting options. there are 4 colors and underline and you can’t combine underline with a highlight (I believe you can with Olive Tree.)

    Overall Tecart and Olive Tree are the two I can’t part with.

    • The reason some of the apps you mentioned didn’t make the cut is they are more for advanced study. This app list was focused on the very simple apps. Logos and Olive Tree are more advanced study tools and I put them in my list of Bible study tools that I linked to early in this post. Find that link and go check at that other post for those and other more advanced tools.

    • Thanks for your comment. ChurchTechToday has done full-length reviews on many of the programs you mention. In this particular article, Kevin reviewed ‘simple’ Bible study apps – light programs/apps for simple study from your mobile device. I hope this clarification helps. Thanks for your readership!

  4. I’m with the conclusion that the Laridian PocketBible is the best of the products under consideration. I also like the fact that personal books can be created and shared across devices.

  5. OK so I clearly didn’t make it very clear what the purpose of this post was. I didn’t include the more advanced Bible software apps like Logos and Olive Tree specifically because they are not simple Bible software apps.

    At the very beginning of the post there is a link to more advanced Bible software apps that I previously posted here on ChurchTechToday.com. You will notice that both Logos and Olive tree are in that list.

  6. All of your suggestions and evaluations are great, just surprised you didn’t include Faithlife – was known as Logos. Their free version of their software is top tier. I personally have used the paid version of Logos since version 1.0. I recommend the free version to people all the time. Again, I don’t disagree with anything written above, just think you needed 11 apps, not 10.

  7. I find it hard to believe that Olive Tree was left off this list. It offers a lot more resources in a pay as you go format, like Logos but much much more affordable. Note taking, highlighting, reading plans, all available out of the box and some very good modern translations like NIV and ESV available for free.


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