Thursday, March 16, 2017

Bible Versions in Bible Apps

In the previous post, I listed the Bible versions I like to consult when doing textual and translation work. In this post, I want to note the Bible versions that are available in six of the leading mobile Bible apps. 
A few things to keep in mind:
  • Available Bible versions is only one reason whether to choose an app or not. If there is one particular version you must have, then this list may help.
  • I do not do serious exegetical work on my Android smartphone. For a mobile app, I'm more interested in how quickly it works, and whether I can do some quick checking on a translation or the original text. I.e., I do include the availability of Greek and Hebrew texts. Bonus points for those that include Strong's or other tagging which might allow you to connect with a Hebrew/Greek lexicon.
  • If you own desktop versions of any of these programs--especially Accordance, Logos, or Olive Tree--your decision will be easier since most everything you own in the desktop version is available in the app.
  • Also note the costs. I've indicated which versions come with the free Bible app and which are available for purchase.
  • I've also noted where some versions must be streamed and are not able to be downloaded and used offline. (I'm supposing this is due to licensing issues.)
  • This chart is not nearly comprehensive. There are many other English versions available for each program. I've just listed ones in light of my previous post.
  • I also have not included the multitude of non-English versions avaialable, usually for free. BibleGateway, MySword, and YouVersion are especially notable in this regard.
  • I'll say it again: the number of Bible versions is only one aspect of a decision about which app to use. Consider what other aspects are important to you: notetaking, highlighting, parallel texts, text comparison, etc.
click to enlarge or go HERE for full downloadable spreadsheet

What do I recommend?
  • Each one of these apps is capable enough and might serve your needs.
  • Since I have a large Logos library, I'm using the Logos app most frequently. I could do full research if I wanted since I have access to critical editions of texts and the major lexicons and dictionaries like the Anchor Yale one. (I'm guessing Accordance users like their related app, but until an Android version is released I can't say much about it.)
  • If, however, you are just looking for a free Bible app with access to some good Bible versions, I think MySword or YouVersion are probably your best choices.
  • If you want to be able to consult Greek and Hebrew (including the LXX) and perhaps want to see Greek/English in parallel or even have an interlinear Bible, then MySword can do the job.
Note: I gleaned information as best as I could. If there are errors, let me know. OR, I have made an editable version of the spreadsheet on Google Docs. Go ahead and make any corrections or additions as appropriate.

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