In this post we’re looking at the top Bible study tools you can use to get more out of your Bible reading.
We’re looking at apps and software mainly, but we’ve suggested a few other things too. There’s plenty of tools on the market so we’ve selected some of the best, including free and paid options.
YouVersion (The Bible App)
You’ve probably already heard of this app with over 450,000,000 downloads and counting. Most people wanting the Bible on their phone will usually turn to this app.
And there’s a few reasons for that. ‘The Bible app’, created by Life.Church is completely free for a start.
They’ve also done a great job of creating an engaging, accessible, and fun app which makes reading the Bible a simple daily habit.
From study plans you can do on your own or with friends to the highlighting and note-taking options provided by the app there’s quite a lot on offer.
Platforms: iOS, Android, Kindle, and Web
Best for: Everyday Bible reading, devotionals and life application. For those wanting a more in-depth study companion, see some of the tools below.
Another great portal for the Bible, Bible Gateway is one of the go to sites on the Internet for referencing the Bible. We use it a lot too.
Its simple interface and search function is accurate, responsive and will help you find exactly what you’re looking for.
It’s got all the translations and versions you could possibly want and also has often ignored study resources. Some of this content is a bit wordy and not quite as neatly presented as the YouVersion app but is still incredibly useful, and most importantly free.
There is a paid subscription version which gets rid of ads on the website and provides additional access to reference books, devotionals, and other useful tools plus there’s a handy app.
Platforms: Web, iOS and Android
Best for: Everyday use and reference.
The Olive Tree Bible Software offers an attractive and powerful cross platform Bible software with a growing list of premium features and resources.
The clean user interface allows you to just read the Bible alongside commentaries, notes or other passages and translations.
Much of the features on offer here will be available in similar programs but Olive Tree does it well and the basic software is free.
Text can be highlighted, looked at in greater depth and exported. It’s also got a mobile app which can be used in conjunction with the software as a study tool and has similar features to other Bible apps such as plans and devotionals.
Best for: A resourceful but accessible Bible study tool for casual and intensive users alike.
Both the Logos Bible software and app are popular platforms with an extensive range of features and provide access to an enormous library of resources.
It’s a powerful bit of kit that allows you to search across your entire library for information and references, as well as integrated sermon and study planning features.
For those just wanting a well-made Bible software for casual use, the basic version is free. If you want a collection of fundamental resources and some added features the price increases and then increases again with the addition of more resources.
Serious users would be looking at a hefty investment all in but if you were planning on buying a lot of resources in print, getting them through Logos would work out cheaper.
They have pretty flexible pricing plans so you should be able to find a package that works for you. The mobile app has a wider audience and offers many of the features you would expect.
Best for: Casual users may find its list of features too extensive but it’s perfect for pastors, students and those who want a powerful study aid.
This offers many of the same features as the software above and whilst it was originally developed just for Macs it now has versions compatible with PC, Android and iOS.
Its strong features include allowing you to simultaneously view different versions and translations of the Bible. Scholars and interested users can cross reference a modern translation with the original Greek or Hebrew and find out more about what the scripture is saying.
Clicking on text will open other features within the app including impressive data visualisations, charts and even 3D maps.
Best for: Intermediate to scholarly users who want a powerful and dedicated software.
E-sword is a Bible study tool which has been around for a long time. Many places cite it as the ‘original’ Bible software, having been available on the Internet since 2000.
It’s not the most polished, slick looking software in this list but it’s reliable and free for PC users. The Mac and iOS versions aren’t free but are still affordable at around $15. Of course, you can buy further resources to expand your study.
It offers many of the same features as some of the programs above so if you’re not looking to spend as much this could be a good option.
Platforms: PC, Mac and iOS.
Best for: People wanting a cheap, in depth study tool, particularly those new to creating sermons or studies.
Dwell Audio Bible
We’re big fans of listening to the Bible. Dwell have created a great app which helps you listen to the Bible through various playlists and content for different books, themes, moods and life events.
Different narrators and translations make it accessible to all.
Platforms: iOS and Android.
Best for: Those who want to listen to the Bible on the move or to give your study an extra angle.
Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning our own app, Glorify App.
The app includes daily Bible readings, devotionals, and commentaries as well as the ability to read and annotate parts of the Bible. There are also thoughts for the day, declarations and other audio content for wherever you’re at in life.
We’ve given space to make notes and journal your way through the Bible and you can listen to specially curated music whilst you do it.
Platforms: iOS and Android.
Best for: Casual and experienced readers of the Bible who want a new way to integrate the Bible into their daily lives.
The best Bible study books to have at your disposal
Of course, you can’t beat a good old study Bible. Sure, these hefty tomes don’t have many of the fancy features that a lot of the apps above have but they’re certainly invaluable resources for anyone wanting to explore the Bible in greater depth.
If you fancy stepping away from a screen why not pick one up. There are popular study Bibles available in NIV, ESV and other translations.
Bible commentaries expand on a book or theme in great depth and help you to understand what’s being said in the pages.
These will be available as additional purchases in the software we mentioned above and probably for a cheaper cover price but sometimes a paper book is what you want.
A concordance is basically a Bible index. Find a word or theme and see where the Bible talks about it. Each entry will usually have a dictionary definition and the locations of where that term occurs throughout scripture.
The Infographic Bible
Infographics and data visualisation are an increasingly popular way of learning and there are an increasing number of Christian resources jumping on this trend.
If you’re a coffee table book lover, we highly recommend checking out the Infographic Bible which is full of gorgeous visualisations of key themes and narratives within the Bible. It could be a helpful Bible study tool helping to explain certain parts of the Bible in a new way.