4 Reasons I Quit Using My Bible App

Why I Quite Using Add heading

I never meant for my phone’s Bible app to replace my Bible. It just sort of happened.

Gradually, YouVersion was the only way I read the Bible. It started off great. I kept track of where I left off. I could listen and read simultaneously, which added depth to my reading.

Then laziness set in and I only half-heartedly listened. Here’s where it gets embarrassing. At some point I discovered all the multitasking I could do while listening to my Bible . . . like play Solitaire.

Even as I completed my reading each day, I wasn’t getting anything out of it. My mind wondered, and when I used my phone app, it wondered A LOT.

I can’t even tell you the number of times I opened the wrong app. Call it muscle memory, but my fingers seemed to always find Facebook or Twitter. And just like that twenty minutes vanished.

So I’m quitting my Bible app and here’s four reasons why:

1. I’m going back to my leather Bible because I want my kids to see me reading it. I want them to see me pacing around the house with my nose in the Book, not the app. God knows they see me often enough with my phone. I want them to know mommy reads her Bible.

2. I miss holding the soft leather cover and flipping the thin pages. I love to underline and write in the margin. I know you can do that in the app, but it’s not the same as inking a sentence I hope my grandchildren will one day read. Turns out, Crossway makes a Bible for scribblers like me. You can check it out here.

3. I want to linger on the pages. Since the app the quality of my Bible reading has slipped big time. I love the Bible app in a pinch and for those who wouldn’t otherwise read it, but I know me. I tend to hustle through. I don’t want to read the Bible the same way I read my e-mail or text messages.

4. I want to remember where stuff is. Remember Bible drills? I dominated at that game. The youth leader would usually say. “Take out your swords,” (meaning the Bible). Next we would race to whatever obscure book and verse they called.

Today, while thumbing through my Bible, I caught myself thinking, “Where is Galatians again?” Use it or lose it as they say. I’m already losing so much attention and focus to my phone. I don’t want to lose this too.

Don’t everyone go quit your Bible app. YouVersion and other apps are wonderful tools, and the app developers are pure geniuses. But for me, the decision seems right at this stage in my life.

I may still use it from time to time, when I’m in a waiting room or to listen to it in the car. I’m sure I’ll whip it out when life gets hectic, but I’m done with depending on my phone for my Bible.

I’m saving my phone for audiobooks and e-books, not for reading the Good Book. For that I want to hold it in my hands and flip the pages.

What about you? What’s your favorite way to read the Bible?

10 thoughts on “4 Reasons I Quit Using My Bible App

  1. I have a “Bible App” on my phone, but only when it’s necessary, as I, too suffer from “big -print-itis” and find it inconvenient to read off a phone except when in extremis.

    Having said that, however, I love, for nostalgiac reasons, my “print” Bibles. Nonetheless, I am almost wholly electronic now… for a number of reasons.

    (1) My computer is wired into the big TV across the room, and when the grandkids are here they can not only “see me reading the Bible”, but they can read along and help.

    (2) I enjoy my own “favorite translation” like everyone else… but to actually “study” I need access (as rapidly as possible) to parallel passages, multiple translations, and ESPECIALLY the Greek… and the Teknia.com tools to help me find the forms and contexts of critical words of the text. I can no longer imagine any serious devotional time, study, or serious prayer and focus on the Lord through the written word, that didn’t include getting back to the “original inerrant text” (i.e. Greek interlinear). And, to be frank, Greek/English Bibles are a pain to buy or carry around, not to mention lexicons.

    (3) I can look at passages and chain references nearly simultaneously through tabs, so as to get a more comprehensive look at an event from more than one perspective.

    (4) I find one of the most incredible experiences, when I’m studying or even just “free praying” and “letting Scripture carry me”, is to look over a passage, then turn to David Suchet reading it aloud in the NIVUK version on Bible Gateway. It takes on new life, especially after 2 dimensional reading.

    (5) In my own upbringing/training, I did not mark or write or note or deface any text of Scripture. Notes, ideas, comments, were written in notebooks of study and prayer. Aside from respect for the written page, my teachers pointed out that over time, we “grow”. The “same” Scriptural passage in one year, will teach an utterly new and equally wondrous lesson five years later. They discouraged “concretizing” an insight from one day, memorializing it in a margin, where the eye will see that over and over again every time that passage is read… as opposed to leaving the Holy Spirit free to teach new, and more mature, things as we (hopefully) grow over time in our understanding through the Spirit.

    For these reasons, I yet treasure my “Book Bibles”. They rest, dust free, leather bound, on their appropriate shelf.

    But when I WORK? Focus? Study? Meditate and chew upon the Words of God? Electronic tools give me vastly greater scope than I ever had from pen and paper. (And I tell you what, after you “learn your skills” in Young’s, Strongs, five or so translations, running a word or an idea through 20-30 verses manually… boy, am I ever glad God invented the internet and these tools!)

    Alleluia! Grace to you! — The Little Monk

  2. As I was writing I thought about all the people who use Logos or other types of software. Tools like this make reading so much easier, and it sounds like you have a fair amount of focus, which I lack at this stage in my life. (I sure hope it comes back.)

    Little Monk, I’m sure happy you don’t have to lug around all the Greek/Hebrew to English and the lexicons. Thank God for the internet and for genius developers.

    I like this: “letting Scripture carry me.” I’m definitely going to check out NIVUK.

    Blessings to you.

    • David Suchet, who you may know better as “Hercule Poirot”, seems to be a fairly deep man of God. His “reading” of scripture is little short of breathtaking. And he has filmed 2… BBC I think… programs, one In Search of Paul, where he actually walked, boated, etc. all the travels of Paul and documented this, and a newer one called “In Search of Peter”. (May be “In the Steps of..” on those.)

      Both programs are on YouTube and I recommend them highly. I find him… (lol, a “mere actor”…) to be incredibly inspirational. You may like these, if not… feel free to cast aside. :)

      Grace to you! — LM

      • Excellent idea. David Suchet is first of all a man and then a “mere actor.” I believe, after hearing his interview following the final episode of “Poirot,” that indeed he IS inspirational.

  3. I don’t have a phone on which I can download apps. At least I don’t think so; I haven’t much interest in finding out. I call mine a “dumb phone.”
    I am like you. I like the feel of my Bible(s) in my hand and I tell people that, when I’m gone, if they are at all curious about my spiritual journey, they can go to a couple of my Bibles. There they will find notes of all kinds, dates on which I identified with a specific passage, and quotes I’ve picked up from great thinkers along the way.
    Thanks so much for your thoughts. I hope getting back to your leather Bible reaps many blessings. For you and your children.

    • Paula, your Bible sounds like a treasure trove! Your kids will be grateful for it one day.

      No doubt, your concentration is benefiting from your “dumb phone.” I’ve been reading a bit on the neuroplasticity of the brain and how quickly our minds respond in regard to heavy use of technology. I think I might need a downgrade on my phone.


  4. Sometimes when I would listen to my Bible app, I’d fall asleep. Not because it was boring, but because it soothed me. So now I only listen to it aloud in the car, where I thankfully never doze off. My favorite is the journaling bible by Crossway. I write all of my takeaways from sermons and bible study sessions there. When I need to find a passage quickly, it is easy to find because I’ve marked it up and my handwritten notes notes guide me. It’s a great way to share wisdom with others, and my notes are handy when I use them to re-study the passage.

    • Lauren, I can totally relate to falling asleep while listening! I like your idea of writing a-ha moments down from sermons. I love to annotate my Bibles.

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