Smartphone applications help believers keep their Bible-reading resolutions
Jan 03, 2013 (The Fayetteville Observer - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
One of the most often uttered, and least kept, New Year's resolutions by well-meaning Christians is to read the Bible from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21.
It can be a daunting task. Thankfully, today's world offers some electronic help for divine inspiration. This year, the word is as close as your phone.
Depending on your choice of smartphone and Biblical translation, an online app to help you with those daily devotions can be found for free -- or at the most, a widow's mite.
If you're like most, the spirit is willing, but the free time is short. Consider getting an app with audio options, so you can listen while commuting or taking the kids to school and sports practice. It helps get through some of those hard-to-read portions, like some of those "begat" streaks or genealogies of people lost in the backwash of history.
Just remember: there may be stories you've never heard. And you never will, unless you start reading.
Here are some of the more popular, free or low-cost apps available:
If your resolution is to read the book from electronic cover to cover, then Faithlife's app may be what you're looking for. The Christian social network offers an application that helps users do just that.
Faithlife's Study Bible App allows people to join small groups to build an online community to encourage one another in their studies. It also provides shared reading plans and notes and prayer requests from fellow users.
There's no charge for the app, but users must register with the Faithlife community at faithlife.com.
The Granddaddy app of Bible studies comes from LifeChurch, and it remains a solid choice for students of the word.
The app recently celebrated its 50 millionth download, all free, and is available in just about any platform: Andriod, BlackBerry, iPhone/iPad, KindleFire, even Windows Phone. The app also is available in audio in languages other than English. Some serious students complain about the app's lack of commentaries and study options, but for a comprehensive, free program, it's hard to beat. Click on itunes.com to download.
A comprehensive collection of apps to help make your Bible journey easier can be found at a.youversion.com/free-bible-apps. The site has a collection of free apps on a variety of platforms, each with special features.
Jesus loves me, this I know, for the smartphone tells me so. Two interesting offerings for children are ICB's Illustrated Bible and Barcelona Multimedia's Children's Bible.
Don't be fooled by the "free" promise: the free download only allows you to purchase portions of the material (and downloading everything from both can get expensive) but additional content is added without charge weekly. As you might expect, the content comes in comic form, which is perfect for younger readers. Both are available at itunes.com.
Staff writer Chick Jacobs can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 486-3515.
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