So I managed to find two great apps for Bible reading and study on Android. When I was looking I ended up deciding on one that is easily the best for online (Internet connected) study and another that is a clear winner for offline study.
YouVersion by LifeChurch.TV is easily the best online Bible study program I have ever seen. A wide selection of translations and reading plans, an online user driven commentary and discussion, synced reading between multiple devices and the web and the slickest, smoothest running Android app I’ve seen all combine to make this a very wonderful reading Bible. The main disadvantages are the slight additional power usage of requiring a cellular connection, the connectivity requirement itself, and the unavailability of good research quality resources that integrate with the program. This is now my general reading Bible of choice.
CadreBible, while not quite as neatly refined as YouVersion, is a very solid offline study/research Bible with a good selection of free and fairly priced translations and other resources (like concordances, commentaries and the like). The selection is not as good as Windows Mobile’s e-Sword yet, but the app is very actively developed by a team in Australia. I did have some issues getting my paid content downloaded, but an e-mail to the company was returned within minutes and as it turned out they are working on replacing the part of the system that was causing me trouble. This is now my research Bible of choice.
I’d gotten in to looking in more detail because we have been starting a length study of Romans at Terra Nova and when I was giving the book a read through in preparation, I started noticing just how much of an improvement Today’s New International Version is over the original NIV translation. The higher quality of the translation led me to notice several things I had not noticed in previous readings and caused me to decide to make another full read through of the Bible with TNIV. I’ve always found that Bible apps with reading plan guides help this kind of a project to go smoother, so that is what kicked off really looking in to it. Maybe when I get done with this read through I’ll finally get around to trying to make it through the Koran so I can be better prepared to discuss the differences between what the Bible says about Christianity and what Muslims believe Christianity is about from their teaching. (For those not familiar, Islam holds that Jesus was a teacher and a prophet, but never claimed to be God. This can lead to some great discussions with Muslims, but I don’t really know as much as I should for those discussions with more scholarly Muslims.)