Less is more, when it comes to the Bible
Growing up through the church, I remember being given a Bible when I had learnt 50 bible verses – a now battered copy of the of the Rainbow Good News Bible. A few years later, I was given a metal-cased NLT as a baptism gift that was a faithful travel companion for many years, even after its magnetic clasp fell off!
Transitioning to a more paper-less existence, I wrestled with the concept of reading the bible in digital form, missing the touch and feel of the pages, along with the ability to re-find verses solely by where had I read them on the page.
That said, there are numerous advantages of having a familiar, easy-to-read-and-search translation with you at all times in your pocket.
And while there are so many good offerings in both App Stores, my personal favourite HAS to be Crossway’s ESV Bible, a permanent resident of my Dock (along with Apple’s Phone, Safari and Settings apps).
It’s quick to load, taking you straight to the passage you were last looking at with a clean and simple interface to search and access the verse/chapter selection menu, although this doesn’t mean it isn’t feature-rich; with red letters, the ability to hide verse numbers for a more fluid reading experience and a choice of fonts and text sizes.
The app offers a selection of reading plans, along with the ability to add notes, bookmarks, favourites and highlight passages. It also offers in-app purchases of the highly acclaimed ESV Study Bible for those who would want to delve deeper into the text. Whilst I haven’t purchased this yet, I really like the way they have tackled the challenge of including footnotes and related verses into the text in a subtle and non-distracting way, and would fully expect more of the same in the Study Bible.
Crossway haven’t taken full advantage of 3D touch as of yet, although it’s hard to imagine what you want to access so desperately that you wouldn’t want to open an already-speedy app. Maybe a direct link to ‘search’ would be useful, but I feel like I’m splitting hairs at this point.
Granted it only serves one translation, which would rule out many users including those who would want to cross-reference other versions, or refer to the original Greek or their mother tongue, and while it would be very interesting to begin a discussion as to what’s the best English bible translation, this is neither the time or the place.
In all, this is an excellent bible app, and a worthy install, especially if the ESV is your main bible translation.