So I am all about connecting you with great resources. I have come across another FREE resource that I have spent the day using and really, really like. (the link and coupon code are at the bottom of this insightful review). It is called the Faithlife Study Bible. It is made by Logos Bible Software (which is a very respectable company that produces quality ministry and linguistic programs).
We have all used a study bible. This app combines all the notes and scholarly writing of that study bible but without the 10 pound workout of lugging it around. Also, I believe it actually does an even better job with those notes that a hardcopy study bible because of the interactivity built into the program. As you read a passage of the bible in the frame below you can read the corresponding notes to help you go deeper. If you are really interested you can click on the “+” next to a particular note and bring up a window of more study on that topic. You can even go a third level into that particular note and bring up archeological and scholarly writing and support all in an interactive way. Wow. Super cool and super efficient. I love how you can keep going deeper and deeper as you study the scripture, but you don’t have to sift through all that info if you just want to read surface-level commentary on that particular passage. It is all there right at your fingertip when you are ready to dive in.
Another feature which promises to add a whole new dimension to your bible study is the “community” capabilities. Built into the Home screen is the ability to setup and connect with groups of other users with the app. You can get your small group at church to all interact on the scripture from the latest bible study. You could make accountability groups and do a bible reading plan. The possibilities are almost endless! I can’t wait to try this feature out and see if it is as good at it looks.
Other features it has are devotionals, a bible dictionary, full mobility on your devices, and the one I love the most: it is always growing with updated information, articles, research and usefulness. This is the joy of a interactive, web-linked study bible.
One down side is they (eventually) will be making money off this app. First off, you can currently download a free subscription for usage lasting 2 years, ending March 2014. Just long enough to get us totally hooked and dependent on the technology. But hey, 2 years is pretty generous. And I don’t mind paying for a quality bible, so lets see if it really takes to the church scene and becomes a must have addition to your bible study routine. Secondly, there is only one bible translation available in the free download. The Lexham English Bible is the sole default version. To get any of the primary bible translations used in most churches you have to pay roughly $10 per bible and download it to your Faithlife app.
Overall, I rate this resource as a must have for anyone serious about combining the technological age with biblical truth. I will be testing its effectiveness in my own student ministry, because teens thrive off technology yet I want them to thrive on the Word. This app could bridge the gap between the two.
Let me know what you think! To get the app for FREE go to www.faithlifebible.com and in the coupon code enter: JoshGriffin . I had no trouble getting it set up on my iPad in just a few minutes.
Your fellow worker in the field, Adam