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January 05, 2011

IPhone -The Bible Proves Popular As App, Too


Bible.is, the audio-based Bible app created by Faith Comes by Hearing, has reached one million downloads in just five months, according to officials of the Digital Bible Project. 

Faith Comes By Hearing has established its Bible.is app as an expression of its DigitalBibleProject, calling it “a platform like none other in the world, combining the latest technology with the world's largest digital library of both Bible text and audio recordings.” The free app is offered on iPhone (News - Alert), iPad, iPod Touch and Android devices. 

DBP officials say it is marked by its “unique combination of text and audio,” as well as “the large number of languages offered to listeners, with more being added regularly.” The ministry reports that people from 166 countries have engaged in God's Word through Bible.is, with a remarkable average listening time of 36 minutes per person.

"I am new to the whole 'techy' thing," wrote a Bible.is mobile app user, "But, I love that you can read and listen at the same time. You can have your very own Bible study anytime, anywhere."

Another user commented, "It is almost impossible to find an Audio Bible app for Mandarin!" Currently, the ministry has Scripture recordings in 500 languages, with a goal of 2,000 by 2016.

As opposed to Bible apps, which merely provide text, the distinctive feature here is the streaming audio, available in numerous languages. “That sets Bible.is apart – which is by design,” DBP officials say, adding that providing audio “keeps with Faith Comes by Hearing's mission to record audio Bibles for every nation, tribe, language and people.”

The ministry believes this technology will eventually allow every people group to listen to God's word in their own language.

Leaders of a local church want to see the power of social media connect with the power of the Gospel on Christmas Day.

Around Christmas, TMCnet reported that LifeChurch.tv's Global Share the Bible Day kicked off an initiative that tied in with the church's YouVersion mobile Bible application.

The Rev. Bobby Gruenewald, pastor-innovation leader of the Edmond-based church, said at least 100,000 people across the globe are expected to share the Bible in some way as part of the Dec. 25 effort. He said more than 4,000 people on Facebook (News - Alert) have indicated they will participate in the Bible-goes-viral project.

Troy Carl, the DBP ministry's national director and architect of the DBP, said “we really see them as a part of a larger strategy to fulfill the Great Commission. We are excited by this rapid growth, and especially the worldwide reach this technology has produced."

Ministry officials say this rapid start “will only increase as the app is localized into other languages.” Localization refers to the language used when downloading and navigating within the app.


David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Tammy Wolf
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