A Bible for your iPhone (or Treo: see below)

One of the best reasons I love having an iPhone is that it provides a quick, easy way to read the Bible. It’s amazing when you stop to think about it. I always have the entire Bible right in my pocket! I can take 10 minutes to read a chapter any time I have the opportunity. I can search for a word or phrase in the Bible whenever I have need. All right there with me at all times—carrying nothing more than the iPhone I’m already carrying.

Personally, my favorite time and place to read my Bible is early in the morning on my front porch (while my dog Tucker walks around looking for rabbit droppings). An important morning custom for both of us. And often at that time, especially this time of year, it’s still dark outside. That’s when reading the Bible on my lighted iPhone screen is particularly handy.

The iPhone
There are increasingly some great Bible programs coming out for the iPhone. All of them are programs and texts you actually have ON your iPhone, rather than use as a web-based program. That means they are much faster and much more reliable to use whenever and wherever you need them. And all of them are well worth their modest cost.

Probably the easiest for most people to download and use is Olive Tree’s Bible Reader. You can purchase good translations and it’s fairly easy and straightforward to use.

For most people that attend The Crossing, I recommend Bible Reader’s NIV Family Pack, which includes both the New International Version (NIV) and Today’s New International Version (TNIV—which is more recent than the NIV and does a good job of smoothing out some of the more unnecessary gender-specific references). This Family Pack also includes a Bible translation geared more toward kids called the New International Reader’s Version. You can easily select which translation to use/read from your iPhone screen. Very convenient. And iTunes makes it very easy to purchase and download.

For those who use the English Standard Version (ESV), Bible Reader has that on iTunes as well.

Unfortunately, I still haven’t discovered if there is a way to incorporate the ESV module inside the same program with the NIV and TNIV. But that’s a minor irritant.

For more serious Bible studiers, Mantis Bible offers a collection that includes the Greek New Testament. But they don’t, as of yet, have the NIV or the TNIV available, but they do have the ESV. The downside is that it’s much more complicated to purchase and download their various translations and commentaries. But the upside is that they DO have more translations, commentaries, and devotionals available for the iPhone. For example, it’s the only iPhone Bible program I know of that offers my favorite little daily devotional called Morning and Evening, by Charles Spurgeon. To get started with Mantis Bible is free, but then you’ll have to purchase their downloadable translations, etc., from their website. Once you go through the added hassle of purchasing your modules and setting it all up, it’s very easy to download and start using. You can check out this program for free on iTunes.

Another nicely featured, straightforward iPhone Bible Program that has the ESV and the NAS translations, and has a very iPhone-ish feel to it, is BibleXpress. It’s on iTunes as well.

As the first of the iPhone Bible programs to come out, I’ve used BibleXpress the longest and like it very much. Its main downside is that it, as of yet, does not offer the NIV or TNIV, the translations I recommend to most people who attend The Crossing.

The Treo
For those who are still hanging on to your Treo, there is actually far more available for you in this area. The best, in my opinion, is MyBible. For most people who attend The Crossing, I recommend you purchase the NIV Study Bible module.

Whether you have an iPhone or a Treo, you’re not really tapping the portable, accessible, convenient power of your hand-held device without having one of these Bible programs. Don’t let the modest cost stop you. You’ll spend as much on just one meal out as you will with one of these Bible programs, which you can use to do for your life far more than that meal ever will.

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