Bible apps are a dime a dozen. I mean like you could literally spend hours scrolling through the various options (especially if you start reading the reviews). And the truth is we tend to choose the “safe option”.
Let me explain, the first time I put a Bible app on my phone I chose the same one that my husband had simply because he had been using it for some time and had no complaints. Never mind the fact that it was the King James Version (not my preferred Bible translation but his).
At that time I had been reading the New King James version and had been feeling very liberated from the “thees” and “thous” of the KJV during my bible study time only to be thrust back into it when I wanted to read on the go.
Needless to say I was not happy. I began to feel as though I was living a double life, there was the life where I read the Bible at home and was excited about the word and what I believed God was showing me about his character.
But then when I was away from home and wanted to read, I felt like a teenager all over again and the Bible was boring and un-understandable.
I had to re-read everything when I came home anyway because I just couldn’t get it. And so began the search for a new Bible app. The first thing I did – yup, you guessed it, I deleted the KJV app and installed a NKJV Bible app. But now I wanted more.
I kept exploring, what other Bible app could I find? It had to meet my two criteria: free and not KJV.
Enter Bible Gateway app. Now there are actually two apps on Google Playstore so you have to choose the right one. It’s the one that was created by Harper Collins.
As long as I have a working internet connection this app seemed to have everything… so here are five reasons why you should have Bible Gateway app on your phone:
1. Bible reading plans – One of the things that most Christians start the year with is a determination to read the Bible in a year. The Bible Gateway app offers a number of reading plans to make this possible: Old/New Testament, Chronological, Beginning and Historical.
There are also additional Bible reading plans: Bible in 90 days, Lent and New Testament in a Year.
After choosing your plan, you then select your preferred translation. There is even the option to add a daily reminder so that you don’t forget. What this means is we’re not stuck trying to find the “perfect” plan online … it’s all built-in. We only have to choose.
2. Built-in commentary – Choose from eight commentaries including Mathew Henry’s commentaries and the Bible Panorama. These commentaries shed new light on scriptures that we have read time and again.
Here’s the real deal: sometimes we are reading the Bible from a twentieth century perspective and just don’t get the point of the passage that we’re reading.
This is where commentaries help. Like for years I couldn’t get that whole “kicking against the goads” thing in Acts 26:14. Like what are goads and why was Paul kicking against them?
By highlighting the verse in the app and clicking “view resources’” a whole plethora of information became available (don’t believe me? Try it for yourself. Isn’t that cool?)
3. It comes with its own devotional - Now I admit I don’t use this feature but I love the idea of having a devotional right at my fingertip any time I want to read one.
The good thing about this devotional is that there are two readings each day – one to be read in the morning and the other at night.
4. Multiple translations (some available for download) – I have to tell you something huge … it’s kind of a shocker but don’t laugh okay?
Until about maybe five years ago I didn’t know about the other Bible translations.
My church only used the King James Versions.
My mom bought me a King James Version.
Pretty much every body in Jamaica was reading the King James Version (as far as I knew) and so I never gave it a second thought.
I actually thought the Bible was meant to be boring. My mother kept telling me to read the Bible but it was so hard because I just couldn’t understand it. I felt like I was reading Shakespeare (which I actually had to do in college).
Hamlet only started making sense after I had read the book about nine times. I didn’t have capacity to read the Bible that many times!
It wasn’t until 2016 that I learnt that my mom had a New International Version of the Bible in the house since 1995, sigh.
This app lets you know right off the bat that there are oodles of different translations from ‘thought for thought’ translations to literal translations.
The best part is that there are a number of versions that can be downloaded to your phone for you to read when you don’t have an internet connection.
5. Audio versions – My family loves, loves, loves this feature! Thanks to the dramatized version of the NIV Bible my son knows pretty much all the stories in the Bible.
To tell you the truth it’s a little embarrassing cause he’ll be telling me about this story in Judges and I’ll be like, “Is that in the Bible?” only to check it and see that he had recounted it exactly as it was written.
The benefits of being able to listen to the Bible are many. It frees our hands to do other things while allowing us to engage with the word of God.
It seeps into our subconscious and becomes a part of our psyche. And if you’re listening to it dramatized – it brings the characters and the stories alive and gives new insight into stories you’ve thought you knew everything about.
What are you waiting for? Go download Bible Gateway app.
What’s your favorite feature about the app?
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