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Bible app hits 10 million downloads
November 19th, 2010
10:45 AM ET

Bible app hits 10 million downloads

Editor's Note: CNN's Katie Glaeser brings us this report.

Can your cell bring you closer to God?

Oklahoma based LifeChurch.tv thinks so. Tuesday the church announced more than ten million smartphone users worldwide have downloaded its free Bible application. LifeChurch hopes by having a copy handy, people will be more likely to read scripture.

The app, which is based on the church-funded website, YouVersion.com, launched in July of 2008. Since then, users have spent 3.5 billion minutes trolling through Bible passages. Yes- that was billion.

During a webcast on YouVersion.com, pastor Bobby Gruenewald announced what he called a “revolution” taking place.

“Could this be the generation that’s more engaged with God than any other generation in history?” he asked.

YouVersion’s mission is to make God’s word more accessible and they seem to have done just that with their pocket-sized psalms.

Tuesday, Gruenewald declared a challenge. He wants his app’s users to generate one billion minutes of Bible reading during January.

“We really believe if God’s words can be part of our everyday life… that in itself will transform lives.”

Enhancements are expected to roll out over the next few months on the mobile app. Users will soon be able to keep journals, highlight passages, and take part in reading programs broken down by topics of interest. The LifeChurch app is available on Apple, Android, BlackBerry and Palm platforms.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Technology

soundoff (533 Responses)
  1. Mike

    Jesus Christ!!

    November 19, 2010 at 2:38 pm |
  2. Mudak

    Almost as many downloads, but nowhere near as useful, as the iFart app.

    November 19, 2010 at 2:33 pm |
  3. MandoZink

    I would download it if it had a function that would answer some basic questions. Such as:

    Why would an "all knowing" being try to get figs from a tree when he, and EVERYONE else in the region, knows they are out of season? Why would he then get angry and use his powers to kill the tree? Why didn't he do something positive, like make it bloom? Didn't he create the tree and seasons in the first place? Now this tree cannot feed anyone anymore. Was it somehow the tree's fault?

    This only shows the guy to be ignorant, intolerant, dangerous and malicious. Is having a proactive emotionally unstable god something admirable? Good lesson, this here story!

    This is only one of a few hundred immediate questions I would like answered. I have seen the bible completely rearranged by topic and it was utterly contradictory – one conflicting message after another. It does indicate the deep level of conviction the faithful must need to possess.

    November 19, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
  4. Sifu

    I am a non-believer but have had versions of both the Bible and the Quran on my iphone for some time now as I find the search functions useful in pointing out the particularly absurd or contradictory verses. Don't assume everyone who downloads these apps is a believer.

    November 19, 2010 at 2:29 pm |
    • veggiedude

      You are not alone, I have them to and I'm atheist. But remember, the study last month said we are more knowledgable about religions than the religious!

      November 19, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
    • David

      “Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.” – Isaac Asimov

      November 19, 2010 at 7:48 pm |
  5. Dan

    Have you ever noticed that no one talks about God as much as atheists? Methinks they do protest too much.

    November 19, 2010 at 2:29 pm |
    • Observer

      Have you ever noticed that atheists and agnostics seem to know more about the Bible than Christians? That was shown in a recent test/poll.

      November 19, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
    • Mike

      True Dan. I'm hardly threatened by Santa Claus, yet some people are obsessively threatened by the "myth" of God. Says more about them than it does the Christians.

      November 19, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
    • SC

      Really and where would this fake poll of yours be found? Funny how people like you have soooo many statistics but never seem to be able to back them up.

      November 19, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
    • asrael

      A simple search on "atheists biblical knowledge" should provide all the info one needs to further the discussion...

      November 19, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
    • Q

      Non-believers do consider these topics very frequently. It's a characteristic of a mind which scrutinizes what they hold to be true rather than one which once accepting, only seeks to confirm. For myself, I'm willing to change my non-believer status if only someone could offer a decent, rationale not dependent on the circular reasoning of belief first supported only by belief-dependent apologetics. Still waiting...

      SC- That poll was featured on this very blog.

      November 19, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
    • Greg

      @Q,

      A Case for the Creator by Lee Strobel. Discusses 5 or 6 topics with some very smart people, believers and non-believers. May not change your mind, but something to chew on.

      November 19, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Dan: Have you ever noticed how far from accurate you are? Are you really trying to say that all the non-believers in the world discuss god more than all the priests, ministers, nuns, imams, rabbis, etc etc? You're making yourself look a bit silly, aren't you?

      November 19, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
    • Q

      Greg- Read it. With all due respect, from memory the arguments were still very circular in nature (i.e. requiring a priori belief) or rather weak. For example, the idea that no one dies for a lie argument doesn't address that people willing to die for beliefs is not actually evidence for the validity of their beliefs (e.g. Branch Davidians, Heaven's Gate, Islamic Terrorists, etc).

      November 19, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
    • Q

      Greg- 3 tries and 3 awaiting moderation. I confused "Christ" for "Creator". Still, ID and fine-tuning arguments are very flawed. There's no legitimate arguments against biological evolution and fine-tuning presumes humans are primary purpose for the universe. First cause arguments for a creator are still very much faith-arguments not founded in logic or reason.

      November 19, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  6. SC

    Fantastic APP. I love it and have been using it for a long time and it sounds like I am not the only one!!! 10m users can't be wrong!! Kudos to the developers and everyone else who made it available, AND FREE!!!. A breath of fresh are in polluted world.

    Thank you GOD!!

    November 19, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
    • asrael

      10 million users can't be wrong? If breathing weren't necessary, I would ... never ... stop laughing...

      November 19, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
  7. Carla Best

    It's hard to understand why people would be so interested in theology in this day and age. I can understand Muslims being taken by the Koran – after all, they (like Christians, Hindus, Bhudists, etc) probably draw a lot of comfort and wisdom from the teachings – after all – that's quite a help to people that are poor and illiterate. However, the USA generally provides its citizens with a degree of wealth and prosperty so that religion should become more and more of a side show . Science and reason should allow affluent western societies to finally kick the crutch that we know as religion. If mankind fails to mature and remains childishly enslaved to religion, whatever its brand, the human race may not make it. The practice of religion based on childish beliefs, poverty, and ignorance, could doom mankind to an ending similar to that of the dinosaurs. I remain hopeful however that religion will eventually be discarded as a fringe philosophy as we move out to space and colonize the universe,...

    November 19, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
    • Ficheye

      I love you Carla!! Now we are talkin'!!

      November 19, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
    • SC

      Because your "wealth and prosperity" is a sham. It is cast on you by those that wish to control you and you are so weak minded you allow it to happen. Of course you are so happy because you have a job (slave) bills(slave to the job) and you suck up all the propaganda like a chocolate shake.But because you have all these things you think you are superior to those that don't. If you wake up tomorrow completely broke what would you have? Absolutely nothing.

      Just because you live a lie doesn't make the truth stop being true.

      Billions of people over thousands, maybe millions of years have found the truth but of course they were wrong. It turns out you had it all figured out. What do you think the odds of that are? pretty dang slim

      November 19, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
    • Dave

      SC is apparently another blind follower...yes, and ignorant too

      November 19, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
    • SC

      Dave, its ok. I know you have no control over yourself. Its sad to see someone like you suffering the way you are but its your own fault. God gave you free will, its up to you to use it seek wisdom, something you haven't been told yet apparently. But don't give up so easily. You don't have to be the angry, hopeless little shell of a person that you are, there is still hope for you, but you better hurry. Tomorrow is a promise to noone.

      GOD BLESS YOU DAVE!!!!

      November 19, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
    • Observer

      SC,

      It is science that seeks wisdom. The Bible certainly is not seeking anything new. It is religion that has hampered scientists, astronomers, geologists, etc.

      November 19, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
    • SC

      Observer, you obviously know nothing about any of the topics you talk about. Those that try to spin science as an argument against God are just as wrong as those that try to spin God as an argument against science. Science is just a window into Gods world. They are all converging.

      Take all your "scientists" and put them in a room with unlimited funds, unlimited resources and they couldn't create a single blade of grass from scratch, but God does it everyday.

      November 19, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
    • Observer

      SC,

      Educated people know how religion has persecuted people like Magellan and Galileo. Rather than ignorantly tell people they don't know what they are talking about, do some research for a change.

      November 19, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
    • SC

      You haven't countered any of my points. You only resort to name calling and postering because you have nothing else, nothing at all.

      November 19, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
    • Observer

      No one should pretend than Magellan and Galileo weren't persecuted by religious groups. They turned out to be right and the religious groups wrong. FACT. Education is critical.

      November 19, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
    • Observer

      "The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church."
      – Ferdinand Magellan

      November 19, 2010 at 3:33 pm |
    • SC

      so they were persecuted by "religious groups" not by God. For all the "education" you think you have its sad you don't know the difference. Those persecutors were no different than you. Self serving people full of hate who will use anything to control others. But of course since you are so "educated" you know that all ready. You know most "educated" people also recognize that childish name calling is a sign of weakness and immaturity, but of course you know that too.
      GOD BLESS YOU!!!

      November 19, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
    • Greg

      @SC
      swaping venom for venom hardly helps any situation. You can make a point and not degrad people, even if they are doing it to you. I liked most of your points, but the sarcasm further entrenches people...

      November 19, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  8. raju thomas

    Whoever don't believe the Bible, please start reading it and with a genuine heart ask God, "God if you are real, please
    reveal to me that you are real". Surely God will change your belief and you may start believing and will start loving
    Bible. If you don't trust me, I urge you to try atlease. Thanks, God bless you.

    November 19, 2010 at 2:22 pm |
    • holycow

      you are funny...you were kidding right? .....if you were serious, I think you are REALLY funny.

      November 19, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
    • holycow

      If you think god has a better place for you then why not kill yourself and get there quicker? I know why....because you have doubts.

      November 19, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
    • Frogist

      @raju: You seem very sweet and genuine. Thank you for that. But you are making some assumptions. A lot of non-believers, and people who are not Christian, have already done what you ask. And they are still non-believers and not Christian for different reasons. There is beauty in the Bible and other holy books as well, but it's still not proof that god exists, or that god exists as a christian god. Thank you for being so polite. That is proof that people, believer or not, can disagree and be respectful.

      November 19, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  9. Badmojo

    I downloaded it so that I would have a handy reference to respond to Christians who like to misquote the bible, or leave out facts, for their own purposes. Most Christians don't know the bible very well to begin with. It's always fun to show them what their twisted god really says.

    November 19, 2010 at 2:22 pm |
  10. Reverend Killjoy

    I believe I downloaded this app. I'm like the pope of atheism. It's much easier to mock the bible when it's readily available on my handy dandy phone.

    November 19, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
  11. WhiskyIsMyReligion

    It still amazes me that even today, in 2010, there are so many people who believe this good-for-nothing story book. I don't need religion in my life to have morals. They can exist seperately.

    November 19, 2010 at 2:16 pm |
  12. Dave R

    Wow...that's a lot of blind faith followers...did they get god's cellphone number with that? Oh wait, how can they call someone that you can't even prove exists!

    November 19, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
    • Kevin

      There must be a god, the priest told me so when he was undressing me!

      November 19, 2010 at 2:17 pm |
    • HeyMary

      God and Hell were invented to make sure people follow the rules when the government isn't looking.

      November 19, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
    • 2tone

      God didn't create everything, he only created the aliens that came to earth and started the human race. They are going to come and check on us soon.

      November 19, 2010 at 2:22 pm |
    • holycow

      I think we should start another war in the name of religion, I'm sure god would be on OUR side.

      November 19, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
  13. Brian

    I'm glad this app exists. Now when I'm debating christians on how awful their book is, I'll have all my arguments and examples with me at all times. Thank you nice christian who created this!

    November 19, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
  14. Mike

    Ok, so this church makes an app available, downloaded by millions. So what? Yet, peope here feel the need to make snarky little comments, feeling all clever. Good for you. Strange thing to get off on, but whatever. If they believe in God, that's their choice. If you don't, that's yours. What do you care?

    November 19, 2010 at 2:09 pm |
    • Badmojo

      I care when they are trying to legislate their morals, or force their religion in the public schools that I also help pay for and my children attend. If Christians simply believed in God and kept to themselves it wouldn't be an issue. But they feel they have to inject their beliefs and opinions on everyone around them, some through love and some through force. I have time for neither.

      November 19, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
    • Mike

      Oh, but it's ok for you to? Please. Enough with the violins.

      November 19, 2010 at 2:33 pm |
    • asrael

      OK, Mike, I'm thoroughly convinced: you're a superior being...

      November 19, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
    • Mike

      asrael, if you believe that, knock yourself out. No skin off either our noses.

      November 19, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
    • Badmojo

      Yes! It is absouletly okay for me to defend the rights of myself, my children and everyone else (inculding you) to believe and worship who and as we wish.
      You absolutely do NOT have the right to try to force your beliefs on others through law, government or community pressure. Take a look at Afghanistan to see how well a government-sponsored religion works out for everyone.

      November 19, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
    • Mike

      Ha, you make me laugh. And likewise, it is absolutely okay for Christians to defend the rights of themselves, their children and everyone else to believe and worship who and as they wish.
      You absolutely do NOT have the right to try to force YOUR beliefs (atheist or otherwise) on others through law, government or community pressure.

      But of course, this isn’t a story about that is it? It’s a story that talks about a church, an app, and the millions who have downloaded it. Again, what do you care? What are they forcing on anybody? Why does it strike a nerve with you? The fact that it does is telling and says more about you then anything else.

      November 19, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
  15. Ficheye

    The bible directly contradicts itself over 400 times, much like the Koran. We will, eventually, have to fear the followers of God, much like muslims, because there is no logic that directs their actions, just a belief in a contradictory book that, in the end, says we're going to die in an all out conflict, or be tortured for eternity. Oh. I forgot. Now a lot of christians don't believe in hell. How convenient. Why did god allow satan to live and tempt us? Wouldn't it have been Godly to allow less temptation? Was satan the 'serpent' in the garden of Eden? It doesn't say that in the bible. Remember, he cursed the snake to travel on it's belly the rest of its days. That means... God was mad at one snake, so he cursed them all. Seems fair. Or it was Satan, in which case you think he would have mentioned it. No. Didn't do that. No, the bible is THE most inconsistent, contradictory book of philosophy known. You could spend days pointing this out, but it wouldn't matter. This world is so screwed up that people will believe anything. The leaders of the major religions have always known that.

    November 19, 2010 at 2:07 pm |
  16. adenied

    A revolution? Really? 3.5 billion minutes. 10 million downloads. Since July 2008. I'm not going to do the math to figure out a download trend vs. minutes used, but for the sake of argument lets call it 24 months. 3.5 billion minutes / 10 million downloads = 350 minutes per downloaded copy. 350 minutes / 24 months = 14.5 minutes per month. Even if we wanted to be extremely generous and say 12 months that's still just shy of 30 minutes per month. At best 1 minute a day.

    Until the average person spends more time reading the bible per month than it takes to evacuate their bowls I can't see calling this a "revolution".

    November 19, 2010 at 2:03 pm |
  17. AmericanDoc

    Amen brother. I heard a physicist on NPR try to describe antimatter the other day. Between the two or three facts she espoused, she quickly reverted to the "Big Bang" and stated "we believe" at least 10 times. She stated that before the big bang there existed about the same amount of antimatter as matter. But now theres only a small amount of antimatter which "we don't understand," but "we believe." How is this any different than any other belief system or "religion?" Science is the exposure of a set of rules, but who made the rules? If you wish to bash the Bible, go ahead, God gave you free will. Just don't expect to find the answers somewhere else. You'd have to have the same blind faith in a less proven doctrine. It certainly doesn't exist in the halls of science or in the Hollywood self help books.

    November 19, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
  18. Dan

    3.5 billion user minutes equates to an average of 27.8 seconds per day for ten million users over the two and one year life span of the app. WOOOOO big numbers there!

    November 19, 2010 at 1:58 pm |
  19. HeadOfState

    Is this more than the # of downloads for Angry Birds?

    November 19, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
  20. Mary

    Very nice idea

    November 19, 2010 at 1:54 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.