Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Bible VS Bible Apps

By: Jenifer Metzger

Growing up in church, I remember seeing Bibles everywhere. Everyone carried their Bible tucked under their arm to church on Sunday and Wednesday. During service Bibles would lay open in laps and you'd hear pages flipping as the Pastor would give a Scripture reference. Bibles were preached from. Bible reading and study was deeply encouraged. Bibles were precious and important.

Fast forward and Bibles are rarely carried to church anymore. Many pastors don't even use a Bible when they are preaching, which breaks my heart. Everyone has a Bible app on their phones. Now please do not get me wrong, Bible apps are amazing! I love the convenience of a Bible app and I love reading plans and devotions that many Bible apps offer. I even love that you can have a Bible app read to you. I have YouVersion and She Reads Truth apps on my phone and do use them from time to time.

This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth;
you are to meditate on it day and night so that you may
carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will
prosper and succeed in whatever you do.
Joshua 1:8

In this very digital age, a Bible app can be a help, even a great blessing, but it can also be a hindrance. Should we use an actual Bible? Here are a few reasons why using a physical Bible is important.

Carrying a physical Bible is a witness. When your neighbor sees you walk out of the house with your Bible, when your co-worker sees you open a Bible at lunch, and when strangers see you reading a Bible in a waiting room, you are witnessing! Even if you don't have a conversation with them, you are planting a seed.

Using a physical Bible helps you learn where the books of the Bible are. Learning the books of the Bible is important! When using a Bible app, you just type in the Scripture you want and it pops up. Super easy! However, you don't see the books before or after. Learning the books in order can aid in Bible study.

Using a physical Bible helps you read verses in context. When you type in the verse you want and it pops up, you miss the verses before and after. Often this can lead to reading a verse out of context.

Using a physical Bible can avoid distractions. We all know the pings and dings a phone constantly produces. When reading the Bible through an app or using a Bible app at church, we can easily be distracted. People are using their phone during church for their Bible, but one bubble pops up and they feel the need to quickly check or reply. Before they know it, they are scrolling through social media only half listening to the message.

Using a physical Bible teaches our family. When you are reading or studying the Bible through an app, you could literally be doing anything. Your child sees you and for all they know, you are on Facebook or Amazon. Yet if they see you with your Bible, they know you are in God's Word. You are teaching your family the importance of the Bible. I would much rather my family look back over my life and remember me with my Bible instead of my phone.

I want to reiterate, there is nothing wrong with a Bible app. Over 100 million people have downloaded the YouVersion app and I am sure a large of them were reading the Bible for the very first time. How amazing is that!

I am a paper girl. I much prefer to write things down than make notes in my phone, use a paper planner over the calendar app, and read a physical book over an ebook. Yet I know not everyone is this way, especially a younger generation. Phones and tablets are convenient, easy, and that is okay. But when it comes to God's Word, there is something so powerful about opening the pages of the Holy Bible and reading this living Word.

Your turn:
1) Do you prefer a physical Bible or Bible app?
2) Do you carry a physical Bible to church?
3) What are your own thoughts on a physical Bible VS a Bible app?

It's time for Share A Link Wednesday! Each Wednesday we invite you to leave a link to your latest blog post in the comments. We still desire to connect women of God with one another and encourage each other in Christ. So grab a cup of coffee or glass of sweet tea, sit back and visit a few blogs. Be encouraged and share your own stories.


  1. I prefer a physical Bible, but that's just what I have been used to for 40+ years. I do use my app for a quick looking up of cross references during Bible study, instead of flipping my big study Bible back and forth. I carry a physical Bible to church as well, but my husband uses his tablet. As you say, I think it's fine to use a Bible app. Especially for younger people who are more used to devices, they'd prefer the portability and ease of having it handy, having a way to make notes in it, etc. But you give good reasons to use a physical Bible.

    I wrote this week about my journey with the Bible and how it was like learning to enjoy Handel's Messiah. At first both were like drinking from fire hydrants for me, but with repeated exposure, I grew to know them better and gain from them:

    1. Barbara, this is what I do. The app is easy for quick cross references or look up but I prefer my physical Bible. Thank you for stopping in and sharing your thoughts and your link with us.

  2. I prefer a physical Bible however I use an app when at church because my physical Bible is too heavy to carry. The one reason that stood out for me was reading the verses in context. Yes, I can do so on the app, however, it's much easier to do with a physical Bible open in front of me.

    I wrote a post this week titled Thinking About Marriage. You can read it here

    1. Yvonne, thank you for stopping in and sharing your thoughts and link with us. ♥

  3. I love my physical Bible - because it is mine - God's Word to me. Just me :) My physical Bible is personal to me, so yes, I do carry mine to church. I have a Bible app on my phone but hardly ever use it. Apps are good, but my concern is that we are losing a love for the personal connection with God's Word.
    My post today:

    1. Joanne, YES! This is how I feel, it is mine, God's Word to just me. It is so personal and so precious. Thank you for stopping in and sharing your thoughts and link with us.

  4. I love my Bible because of its familiar feel, but I also take advantage of the features of an app.
    Writing today about loneliness and the way God meets us there:

    1. Michele, thank you for stopping in and sharing your thoughts and link with us. ♥

  5. I am old-school and need the physical book to read. But I use the Blue Letter Bible app and website to do a lot of research on or to read other versions of a verse or to get commentaries. ~ linda @ Being Woven

    1. The Word of God post @

  6. I love the feel of a REAL Bible! However, as much as I say that, I do not carry a Bible to church except the one on my smartphone. Sometimes, I feel guilty but I can do so much more with the one on my phone. I can take notes, highlight, refer quickly to other passages, tag verses... the list goes on and on. Even my 80+ year old parents only take their phone and tablet to church now. It's a kind of crazy world we live in.

    I will tell you this though... My grandmother's Bible with all her red pen, handwritten notes in it is one of the most precious things I own. I realize that my grandchildren will most likely never be able to say that, and that makes me very sad. :-/

  7. I am a real Bible girl all the way, though I do use apps to look up different translations of a passage or to do a word search.


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