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. GG

    If Jesus was the all powerful all knowing god/son god of good and love that believers say 'He' was, why would he have allowed a gang of Roman thugs to string him and many many others to the crucifx. Why didn't he do something about this cruel, torterous form of execution which was the method of the Roman Empire? Why didn't he zip over to Rome and confront the Emperor? Of course he could have levitated himself over the imperial soldiers and zapped a few just to keep them in line and make the point that he was, after all, the "Son of God'. He would then have been recorded in actual Roman records and the events would have been indisputable. While he was at it, he could have taught the Romans a thing or two about science and technology, perhaps showed them how to build an electrical generator, a microscope, telescope just to make the point that that his contemporaries could not have just conjured him up. Who knows where we'd be today?

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

      In the garden before crucifix, Jesus asked GOD to remove the cross if possible. The only way to save humanity was death a sacrifice of a pure innocent man. Being that Jesus is the only perfect man he had to die to save you and me. So he came as a lamb to be sacrificed, not as a warrior king.

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

      To pay for your debt to the law of God. So you wouldn't be punished for your unbelief and sins that would otherwise doom you to eternal separation from God and punishment. Turn to the Saviour, that through His sacrifice of Himself is able to save you to the uttermost.

      November 19, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
    • Terre


      It doesn't make any sense at all.

      November 19, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
  2. iTexan

    Just having a bible doesn't make you a better Christian. It's not like buying 'Heaven tickets'. You actually have to read it and understand it and use it loosely as a 'guide' for its good moral lessons and not follow it blindly. There are some great moral stories in there, but it's not perfect. The same is true of the Quran and Torah. The problem is...the parts that were not actually written by God (i.e. all of it) is full of human errors.

    November 19, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
  3. iTexan

    This book is like that awesome movie that all of your friends talk about being the best movie ever. Then you actually see it and it actually kind of sucked and you wonder why you're friends with these people at all. Although it's great to have yet another version of this book that people will talk about but not actually read.

    November 19, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
  4. shawbrooke

    The Bible is the story of God's interaction with people. Understanding is easier once you grasp the centrality of Christ and the fact that Christ's followers are advised to follow Christ and not the Jewish law. Another thing that helps is to read the quotes in context with the stories of which the quotes are only a part.

    Having done that, the scorn the guidance teacher has starts to look a bit suspect. It becomes obvious that he actually knows very little despite all the quotes and the criticism. Freed from school ideas, a person is free to read the Bible just like you read anything else. And realize that some people just have an axe to grind.

    November 19, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
    • Observer

      Since people are advised to follow the New Testament and not the Jewish law, it will be good to not hear Christians whine about the Ten Commandments anymore.

      November 19, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
  5. Aezel

    That is 10 million confirmed brainwashed suckers trying to figure out what the imaginary magical man in the sky wants them to do next. Meanwhile, everyone else tries to solve real problems facing humanity.

    November 19, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
  6. Suzanne

    God bless you all. The bible is not a regular book containing just facts, you have to read it with an open mind and let God talk to you through it. Go to church this Sunday, join a Bible study, give it a chance. You will not be sorry. *** But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

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

      So, all open-minded readers will come to the same conclusions? Who knew...?

      November 19, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  7. iTexan

    Hey, that's good news. The more people actually read it, the better. Then they can find out for themselves the crazy stuff that is actually in there. But then I'm assuming that people will actually understand what they are reading. Am I still allowed to stone people to death for wearing two different weaves of cloth?

    November 19, 2010 at 3:19 pm |
  8. Beelzebozo

    It took Apple this long to approve a -FREE- bible app? I guess Apple would tell the Gideons where to cram it, to, if they come out with iMotels. Besides, surely somebody would stick them in vending machines, surely.

    Hmm, i wonder if I have enough space? I-Ching... Dianetics... Tom Jones Autobiography... damn. Apple, how about an SD slot? I suppose Jesus hisself cain't talk ol' Steve into that one.

    Gawd, I prey that you fix all the bugs in this app. May I suggest a quick spell-check this time?

    November 19, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
  9. JohnnyRyalle

    The only good use I ever got out of the bible is when we were in a hotel and out of rolling papers, we used a page from Gideon to roll a joint.

    The problem with the bible on an iPhone, is that it does NOT allow you to roll joints with it. What a waste of time!

    November 19, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
    • Og the caveman

      OMG! There are people who still roll joints? You haven't heard of pipes, bongs, or anything modern? What are you, a caveman?

      November 19, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  10. AnhTuan

    Romans 10:17 – So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

    The prophecy of "preaching the gospel to every creatures" is being fulfilled. Once it is done, second coming of Christ!

    November 19, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
    • asrael

      Actually, the second coming was yesterday; you must have missed it...

      November 19, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
    • Jesus

      Actually I am going to come and come again til I get it right.

      November 19, 2010 at 11:19 pm |
  11. look_a_squirrel

    Wow, after all these years...er...decades...er...centuries...wait no, I have it...millenniums! People still find it necessary to ridicule those who think differently than they do. Ah yes, that's what makes life so inspiring! Kudos to all of you who feel intellectually superior (or holier) than the other. You make CNN actually entertaining. NOW, let's have some pithy or dogmatic responses to this, eh? Oh yeah, as for me, I am a great target, so take time to aim well. Psssh!

    November 19, 2010 at 3:03 pm |
    • Brighteyed and bushy-tailed

      Squirrels are the AntiChrist! They seek out religious nuts and eat them! It's a sign from God!

      November 19, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
    • look_a_squirrel

      Careful! I heard that PETA trolls CNN. haha!

      November 19, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  12. MikeyNYC

    Why does there have to be a debate about the existence of a supreme being every time even the word "bible" is mentioned? If you don't believe, then don't download the application and be happy! If you do believe and you additionally think that the judeo-christian bible is the word of your God, then download to your heart's content! Bashing each other because of our faith (or lack of faith) is childish!

    November 19, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
    • Lou

      Because teaching your children to believe in an imaginary God is both delusional and dangerous.

      November 19, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
    • Mike

      "delusional and dangerous"....Ha, I got a chuckle out of that. So melodramatic.

      November 19, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
    • iTexan

      I'm not religious, but you are absolutely right, my friend.

      November 19, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  13. Scott

    Very Cool! ~ This shows me that the United States is still a nation of Believers of Christ. Yeah, baby, Yeah!!!!!

    November 19, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
  14. lolomgsh

    lol! All the insecure hippies are throwing a fit over this app............ LOL! OMG!

    November 19, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
    • asrael

      "LOL" always a convincing commentary...

      November 19, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
  15. Lou

    Here are my favorite commandments of the Bible that apparently every Christian does not abide by and vigorously avoids.

    Kill everyone who works on the Sabbath
    Exodus 31:15
    Isaiah 40:8
    1 Peter 1:24-25
    Psalm 19:7

    Kill everyone who does not believe in God
    Deut 17:2-7
    Deut 13:13-19
    Lev 24:16

    Children who curse their father or mother must be put to death
    Leviticus 20:9

    November 19, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
    • Look_a_moose!

      Without having read those anytime recently, I'll take your word for it right now. Oh crap, I'm gonna die!!!!!

      November 19, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      Just to be nitpicky, not "every" Christian has avoided following those and similar passages.

      Many people have killed their children for Biblical reasons, have killed non-believers for being non-believers, and plenty of Christians have killed others who "worked" on the "Sabbath", regardless of what was considered "work" and which day / hours / dusk / etc. constltuted the "Sabbath" and whether they were killing other Christians or other people...

      In short, avoid the use of infinitives, as they are frequently unworkable and incorrect.

      November 19, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
    • Maybe

      Sum Dude,

      I agree - "every" and "always" do sometimes get used incorrectly, perhaps as hyperbole.

      Also, not to be "nitpicky", but just a tiny FYI - as far as I know, the word, "every" is not an infinitive. An infinitive is a form of a verb, such as, "to go", or "to be".

      Maybe you are looking for the phrase, "universal quantifier" – (Philosophy / Logic) a formal device indicating that the open sentence that follows is true of every member of the relevant universe of interpretation.

      Sorry to go OT, but it seems as if you like facts.

      November 19, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      Wow, I had no idea how messed up my definition of "infinitive" was until you made me look it up. Thanks.
      I guess I don't make a very good Grammar Nazi.
      I did not study English enough, I guess. I had always thought of the "infinite" sorts of words, like: forever, never, always, etc. to be "infinitives".
      At least it was an honest mistake. Like burning people at the stake or something. 😛

      November 19, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
  16. Ellen

    To The person who is impersonating God with their posts: God Almighty knows who you are, and has known you before you were born. If you believe you have the power to speak for God, maybe you should think again. To put it a better way, I pity anyone who is standing next to you during the next lightening storm!

    November 19, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
    • Lou

      So this is how God responds to someone imitating him to strike them dead. That sounds very evil and childish.

      November 19, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
    • asrael

      I just spoke with God, Ellen, and She isn't very happy with the way you spell lightning...

      November 19, 2010 at 3:36 pm |
    • God

      BUWAH HA HA HA!!!!

      November 19, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
    • GOD 2

      Ellen, you are not acting correctly. Please check your brain for errors and try your post again.

      November 19, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  17. freetime1

    Religion is like a drug to many. I am not surprised at the number of down loads. It's like crack for the cult members.

    November 19, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
  18. Jim

    They should have had this verse shown on the phone. Not that I agree at all but it is in the Bible.

    "For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man." (I Corinthians 11:8-9)

    November 19, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
  19. Religion is poison

    The real irony is that while the religious parasites claim that everything is created by their god and that science is wrong, they don't mind using science for their convenience and to distribute their propaganda. People died for making assertions in the past that nobody would question today i.e. the earth revolving around the earth. Bible thumpers enjoy the use of modern innovations achieved by the very same science which they mock and spit in its face.

    November 19, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
  20. Watchman

    "I would rather live as if there is a God and die to find out there isn't, then to live as if there isn't and die to find out there is."

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

      Right at the top of my "Silliest Quotes in the World" list...

      November 19, 2010 at 3:34 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.