How to get a good bible app for your iPhone

Like any other area of interest on the iPhone, when it comes to the Bible there are thousands of applications out there but the new kid on the block the ‘ESV Bible‘ is easily the best and here’s why…

Up until now, ‘Bible‘ has been my favourite iPhone Bible reading application. – it is simple to use and has pretty much every version you would want – NIV, CEV, NASB, ESV The Message and so on. The problem however is that it requires an Internet connection to work, and for that reason, it’s also a bit slow to use.

But having just tried out the new ESV Bible application, I have instantly fallen in love with it. Sometimes it takes a really good application to comes along to make you realise what you were missing and this is definitely the case with ESV Bible.

The navigation system is simple to use. You select a book of the Bible, it slickly pens out to give you a list of all the chapters. It’s so smooth it’s actually fun to use. To me that’s what makes the Apple experience and this app is an Apple style bible! Click on a chapter and the Bible opens at that chapter.

Click on any verse and a window slides open with cross-references to other similar verses that you can click on and navigate to, as well as a button to add your own notes to any verse, or post a verse to twitter or send averse to the e-mail app!

Click on the bottom of the screen and you have access to a ‘history’ of all the passages you’ve looked at recently – I’ve already found this very useful – and favourites section where you can add any Bible passage to your ‘ favourites’ and look it up instantly.

Of course there’s the standard ability to search the Bible, but again I like the way it is implemented with ESV Bible. The results are displayed by book of the Bible, giving you the first two results in each book, with a ‘more’ button should you wish to see more results.

You can grab it for free from itunes here: here.


5 responses to “How to get a good bible app for your iPhone”

  1. Craig

    Hey that looks like a good program. What other Bibles are available? I like the ESV and its literal style is great for word study, but does they also offer the NIV or NLT or another of the more natural-sounding translations for casual reading?

    How about Strong’s numbers for when I want to dig into the Greek or Hebrew a little bit, along with a good Greek/Hebrew Lexicon. I like AMG’s Complete Word Study Dictionaries for that purpose. Do they have those?

    Of course there are scholars out there who know Greek and Hebrew way better than I ever will, so what I want most of the time is a good multi-volume commentary. With all the memory on an iPhone I can actually get dozens of commentaries on my phone at the same time. I wonder what commentaries are available with this ESV program? Of course there’s the ESV Study Bible notes (I don’t think those are included free in this app) but what about a nice multi-volume set like the IVP New Testament Commentary series?

    Finally, a lot of my Bible reading is devotional in nature. What daily devotionals are available for it? The classics like My Utmost for His Highest and Spurgeon’s Daily Treasury of the Psalm’s would be great, but John Piper also has some good devotionals out like Taste and See, and A Godward Life. Can I get any of those?

    If it’s just the ESV, then free is nice but it’s not very useful. PocketBible for iPhone is also free and comes with about 40 free Bibles, reference books, and devotionals. Hundreds of additional Bibles and reference books are available for it at And like your ESV, no internet access is required once you have the books installed, so you can read or study anywhere you go!

    Thanks for the good review.

  2. Hillary Morris

    Wow thanks for the gracious words. Your description perfectly encapsulates what we were aiming for in this app.

  3. Wayne

    Yes I have used PocketBible. It certainly has some advantages, namely the extra Bible versions, the ability to search a word easily, and more customisable.
    And it’s actually QUICKER to find a verse with it’s button style interface, but the button style interface is just so ugly I don’t enjoy using it. It’s not a mac experience. It’s like it’s been well programmed but not graphically designed. To me, it’s a computer program not an iPhone app.

    What I most use on ESV, is the history window to flip between 2 or 3 passages I am looking at together. PocketBible doesn’t seem to do that either.

    PocketBible is easier to navigate through a passage with, you just click on the right side of the screen and the page turns, like kindle. ESV you need to scroll which is a shame.

    So let’s see what happens first, can ESV add some little features like easily searching for a word and turning a page, or can PocketBible can fix up their graphics to look better.

    Neither of them work with the built-in ‘Voiceover’ screenreader so they are no good for partially blind people.

  4. Kindle lover

    I also like the ESV Bible very much, just because of its easy to use.

  5. chapter summary

    I just got a kindle for Christmas and need to put it to use to decide if I enjoy it. I use to read in high school. I enjoyed a few Dan Brown books and David Baldacci books also. I like any book that has a interesting story. I am a twenty year old male if that helps with suggestions. Twilight would be an example of something I would not want to read.Herman Melville stories.Well I have plenty of classically styled horror tales. I also have some sci-fi and a couple novels. Just search Kindle for “Chris Robertson” if you would like to take a look.

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