Put up your hand if you find consistent, thoughtful daily Bible reading easy. I didn’t think many hands would go up. Bible reading can be tough, but considering it’s the written word of God, given to us in order to know him better, how can we not persevere?
I am not a pro at Bible reading, but I’ve found technology really helpful in the daily fight. Yes, I just said technology is helping, not distracting, me as I read the Bible!
I am going to suggest three types of app that I think are helpful — and tell you the ones I’m using. (I should say that this is not a sponsored post, and lots of other apps are available — I just happen to think these ones are the best!)
A Reading App
Believe it or not, I haven’t really read a paper Bible in nearly three years. All of my daily reading, study and most of my reading in meetings or services has been on my phone or iPad. It’s super quick for finding passages and cross-referencing (especially if you’re using a tablet that can do split screen). The one drawback I’m really aware of is that I’m now slightly slower at finding passages in a paper Bible (no sword drill wins for me!).
I’m using Logos on my phone and iPad. It’s a well built Bible reading app (part of a much bigger theological reading experience, it’s worth noting). It syncs to your logos account, so whether you’re reading on your tablet or phone, you can pick up where you left off and see all of your highlights, bookmarks and notes.
A Planning and Tracking App
I aim to read the Bible through once a year (which is much easier said than done). But as they say, if you aim for nowhere, you’ll get there. I’ve found it helpful to have an app that tracks both what I need to read each day and what I’ve read already.
I’m using ‘ReadingPlan’ from the App Store. It’s really basic and boring, but does the job. It has built in ‘Bible-in-a-year’ plans, and you can download loads of others (I’m using the Ligonier plan for 2019). You can get it to sync if you’re using the app across multiple devices, but it’s quite hard to set up. It doesn’t actually have the passages in it, it just lists the verses you need to read (which you can then tick off). However, you can connect it to your Bible reading app, so that when you click on a passage it opens the Bible (Logos, in my case) at the correct place.
A Listening App
Something I have never really done until this year is listen to the Bible. I started at the end of last year, and I have enjoyed it so much. Partially because I’m using what must literally be the most beautiful app ever — Dwell. It has the whole Bible (well nearly, they upload new books most weeks), read in four voices. You can adjust the speed, add background music and follow a vast array of plans and playlists.
I’m using the ‘Chronological: Bible in a Year’ plan. I’ve really enjoyed how the insertion of Job during Genesis means my listening is about one week behind my reading, which serves as a nice refresher. The only downsides are that you need to pay to unlock 3 of the 4 voices and remove ads (I paid it during a heavily discounted Christmas sale, and it was well worth the money), and you can’t download, only stream (but I think it’s in the works).
None of these are the magic key to successful Bible reading, but I’ve found these three types of app really useful as I read the word. Whatever way you do it (apps, paper, scrolls…), just make sure you do!
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16–17, ESV)