There are a plethora of Bible apps out there, and I have downloaded one or two to my Palm Pixi. But the one I use the most is YouVersion, and apparently, I am not alone. The popularity of this web interface and mobile app has exploded over the four years they have been live, starting with the iPhone and spreading like wildfire to other mobile platforms.
Since its start in 1996, LifeChurch.tv’s purpose has been to lead people to become fully devoted followers of Christ. They have used different strategies and methodologies to bring this about, all with the focus of how God’s Word relates to everyone, no matter where they are in life.
YouVersion is the latest (and I say, best) incarnation of this mission. Launched in 2007, this Free Bible App has been installed on more than 22 million mobile devices, and according to their stats, it has been downloaded every 1.1 seconds. The Bible App is installed on 1 in 17 Android devices ever sold, and 1 in 23 iOs devices ever sold (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, etc.)
With partners such as Tyndale House Publishers, NavPress, and Thomas Nelson it touts over 100 versions of the Bible. For a free app, that’s no small change–even some of the paid Bible apps don’t have that much juice.
YouVersion‘s thriving Community offers a place where users can share what they are reading, discuss particular verses and passages, collect badges, and participate in Live events. It also has study tools and reading plans, such as reading through the Bible in a year, and One Minute Daily Devotionals. The YouVersion community has spent 7 billion minutes engaging in Scripture with the Bible App.
But the hallmark of YouVersion is its offering of the Bible in a 113 versions and 41 languages, all translated by a volunteer corps of workers from other countries. And the language numbers are increasing weekly. YouVersion recently doubled the number of Bible versions and languages available in the Bible App, and more than 25% of the new installations of the Bible App occur on phones that are set to a language other than English.
And here’s a fascinating factoid: Korean is the fastest growing language in the Bible App. From the YouVersion newsletter: “We’re a global community, and our goal is that every person would be able to use the Bible App in their heart language. We’re working together to take big leaps toward that goal this year, and we just added our fifth fully supported language: Russian. Thanks to the efforts of hundreds of volunteers, now individuals can enjoy the full Bible App, as well as communication, tech support, and more in Russian.”
This company is working hard to fulfill Jesus’ prophecy in Matthew 25:14: “And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.” (emphasis mine)
Many churches in the Los Angeles area have latched on to this mobile interface to not only bond their congregations in the Word, but to each other. Grace Unlimited Ministries on South Figueroa and University Christian Church of Los Angeles are just a few who are taking full advantage of this 21st Century format.
You can download YouVersion for iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, Android, and Windows Mobile, as well as Palm OS. It also has Java, Symbian and Mobile Web capabilities.
You can follow YouVersion on Twitter or “Like” them on Facebook.