iPad for Bible Study: Bible Apps Part 3

iPad for Bible StudyWith the debut of the iPad 3 happening this week, it’s a good opportunity for us to explore some Bible study apps that’ll put that shiny, new device to good use.

We previously explored Bible study apps for the iPad here and here. Today, we’ll add several more to the list, including a couple of apps that have received significant updates since this series began.

Most of these apps are free, so there’s no harm in trying them out. Keep the ones you like. Delete the ones you don’t. And let us know about your experience in the comments section below.

Read the Bible for Life Bible ReaderRead the Bible for Life Bible Reader

The first app to make the cut has a name longer than an Old Testament saint, but Read the Bible for Life Bible Reader is definitely one worth checking out. (The abbreviated name is RBL, so this is how we will refer to it going forward.)

RBL is a LifeWay product built on the OliveTree BibleReader platform (which is arguably the best mobile Bible study app available). In fact, any free and premium OliveTree resources that you already own (Bibles, commentaries, dictionaries, etc) are accessible within RBL. Nice!

In addition to all the features found in OliveTree BibleReader (see here and here), RBL also sports a Media Center. The Media Center opens in a second pane (while you read the Bible or another resource in the first pane), which gives you access to audio and video teaching as well as other LifeWay and OliveTree resources.

Note: When you first click on an audio or video resource, it will take a moment for it to download to your iPad. The title will turn bold when it has finished downloading, at which point you can click the title again to begin playing it.

RBL will be especially useful for new Christians and for discipleship purposes. It is structured enough to guide users through a systematic study of the Bible and also robust enough to allow more advanced learners to go even deeper.

The RBL app is free. Visit the RBL website for more information and a video introduction. You may also want to follow RBL’s Facebook page or Twitter account for daily Bible readings (audio podcasts), news, and encouragements.


Although we mentioned the Logos iPad app in our original list, it has received several updates since then, including:

  • Note-taking capabilities
  • Extensive highlighting options (over 80 colors and symbols!)
  • Sync with your Windows PC or Mac version of Logos

For more information on these features, take a look at this post. (The fantastic array of highlighting options is a welcome addition to those of us who use the inductive Bible study method.)

The Logos family of apps (iPad, iPhone, Android, Kindle Fire, Windows PC, Mac) are all free, so be sure to give this one a test drive.

WordSearch BibleWordSearch Bible

WordSearch is well-established in the world of Bible study software, boasting an extensive library of resources and support for Windows PC and Mac. Only recently has WordSearch jumped into the mobile arena with an iPad app, but many were the cheers when it finally did.

Although the first iteration of the WordSearch iPad app isn’t quite on par with top-tier Bible study apps like OliveTree, Logos, and Accordance, I imagine it will only improve with time. And it’s free, so it’s a no-brainer to give this app a whirl, especially if you already own a library of WordSearch resources.

Features include:

  • Option to download WordSearch resources that you already own to your iPad
  • Dual panes for viewing two resources simultaneously
  • Search
  • Highlights, bookmarks, notes

More on WordSearch version 10 and the new iPad app here.


meBible is a fascinating newcomer. It functions quite differently from other Bible study apps. Rather than providing you with a catalog of familiar Bible study resources (commentaries, dictionaries, maps, etc), you locate relevant resources using the built-in search tools and web browsing features. Then you can anchor them to the word, verse, or passage you are studying for future reference, building up your own library of content over time.

Here’s a snip from the app’s description:

The articles, photos, videos, audio sermons, blogs, and more are right at your fingertips in meBible’s built-in browser. When you find an article of interest, you can either “anchor” a link to the book and chapter you’re reading (and verse and word if you choose), or you can select the text of interest and automatically generate a properly cited note in your notebook. Notes that cite a web page provide a link back to that page, making the original source material just a tap away! You can type in your own personal notes as well.

Needless to say, an Internet connection is required to browse the web for resources, but everything, including audio and video resources, work right in the app. Sweet!

Other features include:

  • Numerous Bible versions: Some are installed with the app for offline reading. Others are only available when you have an Internet connection.
  • Lexicons for original language study of the underlying Hebrew and Greek words
  • Read parallel Bible versions
  • Highlight text
  • Email notes
  • Eight pre-defined search engines (such as BibleGateway.com, SermonAudio.com, and BibleStudyTools.com), seven of which you can change to suit your needs

meBible isn’t free. At the time of this writing it costs $4.99. So, you may want to walk through the feature list, instructions, and tips at the meBible website prior to purchasing the app to see if it suits your needs and learning style.

Laridian PocketBible 2Laridian PocketBible 2

We looked at Laridian PocketBible previously, but it has since received an optional, premium update with new features.

The free version of PocketBible is essentially the same as before. However, you now have the option of purchasing an advanced feature set ($4.99) that includes:

  • Automatic verse studies, which locates everything in your library related to the selected verse
  • Automatic word studies, which locates everything in your library related to the selected word
  • Synthesized voices that read any Bible or book aloud to you (Voices must be purchased. Choose from six voices, $1.99 each.)
  • Tabbed viewing for multiple resources
  • AirPrint support
  • Improved text selection and verse highlighting

If you are using the first version of PocketBible and choose to upgrade to the second version, you may want to review this article for instructions on how to move your notes, highlights, bookmarks, and daily reading progress to the new version.

Blue Letter BibleBlue Letter Bible

The Blue Letter Bible app interfaces with the popular Bible study website of the same name. The BLB app is free and includes the following Bible study features:

  • Several Bible versions (some are available offline, while others require an Internet connection)
  • Hebrew and Greek resources for original language study
  • Cross-referencing
  • Notes, highlights, and bookmarks
  • Advanced search options
  • Nifty auto-scroll feature for reading (you can adjust the scrolling speed)

Tecarta BibleTecarta Bible

Tecarta Bible is another free app that interfaces with a Bible study website.

It has the same feature set as the Blue Letter Bible app above, but it also allows you to sync your iPad data with your free online account. This means you can move back and forth between your computer and your iPad seamlessly.


eBible is yet another free app that interfaces with a Bible study website.

It has essentially the same feature set as the Blue Letter Bible and Tecarta Bible apps above, even allowing you to sync your iPad data with your free online account. However, it does not have an auto-scroll feature, and its original language study tools seem to be limited to Strong’s Concordance.

The app and the website are both clean and well-designed. The app functions very much like Apple’s iBooks app.

Other articles in this series:

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One Response to “iPad for Bible Study: Bible Apps Part 3”

  1. After this article was written, meBible has become a free download (it’s no longer $4.99 as stated above). The new version allows users to purchase commentaries, lexicons, and topical notes if they desire, but the app itself is fully-functional with no limitations.

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