The Bible App: YouVersion Reading Plan Brings Hope, Joy, and Inspiration

A YouVersion reading plan is a great tool to help you engage with the Bible, giving you a manageable portion of Scripture to read each day. Some reading plans cover the entire Bible, some focus on specific topics, and still others offer devotions to help you reflect on what you’re reading. When one such devotional plan, Fostering Hope, launched in May in honor of Foster Care Awareness Month, it received an immediate response, with thousands of people subscribing to read it.

As people in the YouVersion community—people just like you—use the tools in the Bible App™ to connect with God’s Word, He softens hearts and changes lives, literally all over the world. The stories you share with the rest of us—about what God is doing in your life—are an integral part of the revolution taking place in how people are connecting with the Bible. In the coming months, we’ll be sharing some of your stories right here. Today, we have an email from Nigeria, specifically about the Fostering Hope reading plan:

Dear Doctor Deb,*

I wanted to let you know what an inspiration you were to me when today I stumbled onto your Fostering Hope Bible reading plan. Something about it struck me, and before I knew it, I had read all 31 days—just this morning. I couldn’t put it down. I wept in some parts and prayed in others, but reading it changed my life. My prayer is that just as you have been a ray of hope and joy to many helpless and hurting people, God will help you too.

I just had to tell you that today.

God bless you,
Bola A.

P.S.: We’ve been considering different options for women’s ministry in our church, and more than ever I see we need to include adoption. I trust that God will show us the way.


*Doctor Deb is the author of the Fostering Hope reading plan.

Do you have a story you’d like to share with us? Here’s how:

  • Video. Upload a video of 4 minutes or less to YouVersion’s Vimeo page. (Please include your first name and last initial and tell us where you’re from.)
  • Facebook. Even if you tell us your story on video or through the form below, please consider sharing at least some of it with the whole YouVersion community, right on YouVersion’s Facebook page. We love encouraging one another to daily seek God and engage with the Bible.
  • Right Here! Tell us your story in 400 words or less:



New in the Bible App for BlackBerry: Dashboard, Notifications, and Support

We want to make connecting with God’s Word as simple and as fast as possible for the YouVersion BlackBerry community, no matter where you are. The Bible App™ for BlackBerry offers you several exciting new features in the latest release, version 3.3, available immediately in BlackBerry App World or as a direct browser download:

  • Dashboard. The brand new Dashboard launcher gives you instant access to the features you use most, directly from the completely redesigned welcome screen!
  • Notifications. New Notifications help the Bible App communicate with you how you want, letting you know when you reach milestones like completing a reading plan, or sharing important YouVersion news with you, right inside the app.
  • Support. Now you can get assistance fast, connecting directly with YouVersion’s Support team—again, from right inside the Bible App.

Let us know what you think on Facebook and Twitter, and please be sure to spread the news to all your friends who have BlackBerry devices!

2 New Afrikaans Translations for the Bible App and YouVersion.com: NLV and DB

YouVersion Versions and LanguagesAs part of a partnership with Christlike Uitgewersmaatskappy, YouVersion is very pleased to offer, for the first time, the Nuwe Lewende Vertaling (NLV) and Die Boodskap (DB) Afrikaans translations of the Bible, available right now through the Bible App™ and at YouVersion.com. Simply look under Afrikaans on the Versions list in the Bible App, or select Bible, Versions at YouVersion.com.

The Bible App is spreading across the entire planet, being added to literally thousands more devices every single day. And yet, of the many requests we receive at YouVersion for languages people would like to use to engage with the Bible, Afrikaans is consistently near the top of the list. We’re thrilled to be in a position to share these excellent translations. If you have friends or loved ones who would like to experience the Scriptures in Afrikaans, please be sure to share this exciting news with them.

If you’re in the YouVersion community, you’re part of a worldwide revolution of people connecting with the Bible—and with each other—anytime, anyplace, in more than 40 languages (so far). YouVersion’s driving purpose is to make God’s Word freely available to as many people as possible, wherever they are in the world. When we get to do that in their heart language, we consider it a tremendous privilege.

To our brothers and sisters joining us in the beautiful Afrikaans language, welcome to our global YouVersion family!


2 Nuwe Afrikaanse Vertalings vir die Bible App en YouVersion.com: NLV en DB

YouVersion Versions and LanguagesAs deel van n vennootskap met Christelike Uitgewersmaatskappy, is YouVersion verheug om vir die eerste keer die Nuwe Lewende Vertaling (NLV) en Die Boodskap (DB) Afrikaanse vertalings van die Bybel, beskikbaar te stel deur die Bible App™ en deur YouVersion.com. Kyk onder Afrikaans op die lys van weergawes in die Bible App of selekteer Bybel, Weergawes by YouVersion.com.

Die Bible App is besig om dwarsoor die hele planeet te versprei. Dit word by letterlik duisende toestelle bygevoeg elke dag. Van al die versoeke wat YouVersion elke dag ontvang vir vertalings, is Afrikaans konstant naby bo aan die lys. Ons is dus ongelooflik verheug om nou in n posisie te wees om hierdie fantastiese vertalings met julle te deel. As julle vriende of geliefdes het wat graag die Woord in Afrikaans sal wil beleef, deel asseblief hierdie opwindende nuus met hulle.

As jy deel is van die YouVersion gemeenskap, is jy deel van n wêreldwye revolusie van mense wat elke dag met die Bybel – en met mekaar – enige tyd of plek, in meer as 40 tale (tot dusvêr) verbind word. YouVersion se missie is om die Woord van God vrylik beskikbaar te maak vir soveel mense as moontlik, waar ook al hulle in die wêreld is. Ons beskou dit as n geweldige voorreg om dit te kan doen in hulle moedertaal.

Aan ons Afrikaanse broers en susters wat by ons aansluit, welkom by ons wêreldwye YouVersion familie!

A Look at the Passages Interactive Bible Exhibit

At YouVersion, we love the Bible. If you love the Bible too, or even if you’re just trying to understand it more, you really should make it a point to check out the Passages Interactive Bible Exhibit. This extraordinary collection includes such rare pieces as cuneiform tablets, unpublished biblical and classical papyri, Dead Sea Scrolls, beautiful illuminated manuscripts, and even a large portion of a Gutenberg Bible! The self-guided tour leads you through the history of the Bible, from its earliest beginnings in the hands of Jewish scribes, to early Judeo-Christian culture, through the struggle to get the Bible into the common language of the people, all the way up to modern printings and the influence of technology. Along those lines, our very own Bible App wraps up the exhibit! In Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, until October, the Passages exhibit will be traveling to Vatican City in Rome, then later to New York City.

Passages Exhibit Website

The driving passion of the YouVersion community is to help as many people as possible experience and engage with God’s Word. The Passages Interactive Bible Exhibit offers a unique opportunity to fully explore the sacrifices and dedication of the countless people who made possible the Bible we enjoy today, spanning thousands of years, many of them literally giving their lives to ensure that the story of God’s love would reach us. Don’t miss your chance to see firsthand these one-of-a-kind antiquities!

God’s Words, Your Heart Language: YouVersion and the Bible App

As our special live webcast mentioned last week, of all the people currently installing the Bible App™ onto their devices, 25% of them have their default language set to something other than English. (Just two months ago, that number was 12%.) When a person is able to read or listen to the Bible in their heart language, God uses that opportunity to connect with them in a truly special, unique way. We have a short video for you today about one such story, an opportunity where a Bible App user got to share God’s Word with a woman who was able to experience it for the very first time in her own language:

When people in the YouVersion community (like you!) use the Bible App™ to engage with God’s Word and share it with others, He softens hearts and changes lives, literally all over the world. The stories you bring back to the rest of us—about what God is doing in your life—are an integral part of the revolution taking place in how people connect with the Bible. In the coming months, we’ll be telling more of your stories right here.

Do you have a story you’d like to share? Here’s how:

  • Video. Upload a video of 4 minutes or less to YouVersion’s Vimeo page. (Please include your first name and last initial and tell us where you’re from.)
  • Facebook. Even if you tell us your story on video or through the form below, please consider sharing at least some of it with the whole YouVersion community, right on YouVersion’s Facebook page.
  • Right Here! Tell us your story in 400 words or less:

The Top 5 Reading Plans from the Bible App and YouVersion.com

With more than 150 reading plans representing 10 languages (so far!), YouVersion has phenomenal tools to help you engage with God’s Word. Reading plans are a simple way you can read just a little of the Bible each day, growing your knowledge and helping you connect with your faith in deeper, more meaningful ways. So just what plans are people reading? Here are the five plans with the most subscriptions in the YouVersion community today, whether in the Bible App™ on mobile devices, or at YouVersion.com:

  1. Life Application Study Bible ® Devotion. The most often-read plan on the Bible App will help you learn to apply God’s Word more fully to your life each day. Each day’s reading includes a Scripture verse and a brief devotional taken from the Life Application Study Bible. Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for providing this plan.
  2. The One Year ® Bible. The second plan is the world’s most popular annual reading Bible. Daily readings of less than 15 minutes provide you with excerpts from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs – guiding you through God’s Word in one year. Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for providing this plan.
  3. Bible in 90 Days. This next plan leads you through the entire Bible…in just 90 days! While it’s certainly an intense commitment, reading this much in such a compressed time will help you understand the big picture of God’s story in ways you may have never experienced before. Thanks to Bible Gateway for providing this plan.
  4. Chronological. Taking into account the order of historical events and the latest research, this plan takes you through the Bible in chronological order in one year. This is a great plan if you want to add historical context to your study. Thanks to Blue Letter Bible for this plan.
  5. First Steps Reading Plan. Plan number five is ideal for those new to reading the Bible. Based on the Life Journal Plan, this plan includes just a few, brief readings each day to build your consistency and confidence, both in reading the Bible, and in your faith. Thanks to Wayne Cordeiro for this plan.

Here’s the breakdown of YouVersion’s available reading plans, by the numbers:

Of course, each item on this list represents only what we have today. We expect each one of these to climb dramatically in the days and months ahead, as we continue partnering with passionate content providers to bring you more and more entry points into God’s Word.

Ask your friends what reading plans they’re using, and which ones they like. Share the reading plans you’re following. Be sure to let us know on Facebook and Twitter which ones are your favorites, which ones we can improve, and what reading plans you’d like to see that our YouVersion community doesn’t have yet.

What would you like to read? There’s a plan for that.

YouVersion Support is All-New!

As the next step in our plans to continue improving your support experience with the Bible App™ and YouVersion.com, we’re pleased to announce the launch of the all-new YouVersion Support website. How different is it? Well, if you haven’t been to YouVersion Support lately, then you haven’t seen all the helpful new stuff. You’ll find: Comprehensive answers to Frequently Asked Questions, organized by platform and topic. Video tutorials for common tasks. Live feeds from @YouVersion and @YouVersionHelp. Links to the many ways you can contact Support for help. And comprehensive search.

 

 

As excited as we are about this relaunch, it represents just one piece of a much broader strategy. Our goal is to provide world-class support every bit as good—and even better—than you can receive for products and services that you pay for. But with the YouVersion community growing by literally millions of people every month, welcoming all those new members to our family means we rely heavily on your active participation. We can accomplish so much more when we all work together.

The Bible App is truly a worldwide resource, but most of what we’re presently able to offer is written in English—a fact that doesn’t accurately reflect the demographics of who’s actually using YouVersion tools. If you can help us translate into your language, we’d be honored to have your help. Also, we receive many requests every month that require individual responses. Even when these are short, they really add up. If you’re tech savvy, answering platform-related questions for the Bible App is a great way that you can get involved. (If you don’t know what “platform-related” or “tech savvy” means, probably this volunteer option is not for you.) But don’t let that stop you: Let us know what you can do at http://support.youversion.com/how-can-i-help/.

Although we’re always happy to respond to your requests on Facebook and Twitter, our new YouVersion Support site lets us serve you better, providing answers tailored to your specific needs. Perhaps best of all: It doesn’t limit you to just 140 characters!

New from YouVersion: The Bible App for HP webOS Has Audio Bibles!

Free audio Bibles are now immediately available in the Bible App™ for HP WebOS. You can even listen to audio Bibles right inside your Reading Plan! Visit the App Catalog to have the latest release, version 2.3.1, sent directly to your device. (Remember: You won’t be able to use the new audio features until you have this latest release.)

Once you’ve gotten the update, you’ll be able to listen to the Bible on your webOS device while you’re working, exercising, driving…or even reading along! Here are just a few examples of some of the audio Bibles you’ll find in this release:

  • New International Version (NIV)
  • English Standard Version (ESV)
  • New Living Translation (NLT)
  • King James Version (KJV) Listener’s Bible
  • Douay-Rheims (DRA) New Testament Audio Bible
  • Chinese Standard Bible (CSB)
  • American Standard Version (ASV) New Testament
  • La Biblia de las Américas (LBLA), and
  • World English Bible (WEB)

This release also fixes a minor bug that kept the version list from updating properly. You might even notice better performance, as the Bible App now runs many of its tasks in the background, to get you to your reading more quickly.

Our partners are constantly working with the YouVersion community to bring you as many options as possible—including more languages—so keep checking your list of available audio translations. Select the current version name to display the complete list; audio Bibles are indicated with a small gray speaker icon next to them. Then, when you choose a version that includes audio, use the basic play controls to listen, fast forward, and rewind. We’d love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter and hear what you think!

The Bible App for Android Now Has Highlights, Better Bookmarks

We’re happy to share some exciting news today with the more than 5 million of you who connect with God’s Word using the Bible App™ for Android. Version 3.2 brings one of the most requested features: Highlights! Now, for the first time ever in the Bible App, you can select individual verses, or even entire passages, and highlight them with different colors. Use them just as you would with marker highlights in your paper Bible.

Highlighting a verse is simple. When you select a verse or multiple verses, tap the arrow icon in the bottom right corner and then choose a color. (Hint: You can even create your own custom color using the color wheel.)

But that’s not all—bookmarks are better too. Now you can give bookmarks a title and/or label to keep them better organized. Simply select a verse or passage, tap the arrow icon in the bottom right corner of the reader, and select “Bookmark” from the popup menu. Then give the bookmark a title, label, and you even have the option to highlight the verse while you’re creating the bookmark.

This newest release of the Bible App for Android is available now in the Android App Market. (And for those of us who are using iPhone/iPad or BlackBerry mobile devices, we can look forward to these features on our platform soon!) Don’t forget to comment and rate the app in the Android Market. It helps increase visibility so more people can find and engage with Scripture through the Bible App.

YouVersion Webcast Recap from May 26

Thanks to the thousands of you in our YouVersion community who tuned in for our live webcast today. We loved having the chance to connect with you and celebrate all you’ve been a part of over the past few months. So many of you joined us and did such an incredible job sharing the event and asking great questions that #YouVersion became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter! What a fantastic way to raise the visibility of God’s Word around the globe.

If you didn’t get a chance to catch the webcast while it was happening, we’ve posted the full video from the event below, along with a few highlights.

Key Links

A Quick Review

We recently announced that the Bible App had been installed on 20 million devices, and in the short time since that announcement, we’ve reached 22 million installs.

YouVersion currently offers the Bible in 41 languages and one of our main areas of focus this year is to rapidly increase that selection. Today, people can read the Bible or a portion of the Bible in about 2,000 languages, but there are more than 6,000 languages spoken throughout the world. Our goal is to make YouVersion available in every single language in existence.

More than 25% of the new installations of the Bible App occur on phones that are set to a language other than English, and Korean is the fastest growing language. By the end of the year, we hope to see 40-50% of new installations happening in languages other than English.

We announced a feature that many of us in the YouVersion community have been looking forward to—highlights! The feature is newly available on Android phones and will be coming to BlackBerry and iOS devices in the coming months.

The Bible App is here to help us all make God’s Word a part of our daily lives, but we also know how meaningful it is to share what we’re experiencing with others. To make this easier, we’ve set up a way for you to create your own meetups with other people who are passionate about the Bible. We’re also planning on adding social networks beyond Facebook and Twitter, and later this year we’ll be expanding the features offered for YouVersion Groups.

We’ve been aggressively working to upgrade the support we offer the YouVersion community. A new support site was just launched and we plan on including in-app access to support in coming releases.

Improved search functionality within the Bible App will be included on future updates to make it easier to find words and phrases in Scripture.

Many of you asked how you could say thank you to the Bible societies and publishers who make it possible for the YouVersion community to engage with so many great versions of Scripture for free. At the bottom of each version of the Bible you read in the Bible App, you’ll notice a link to more information about the organization who makes that version available. We encourage you to visit that link, contact them to say thank you, or support them financially. They are truly the heroes in making these versions freely available to all of us.

Thanks again for being a part of what God is doing through YouVersion. All of this truly could not happen without you. We believe that we could see half a billion or even one billion people engaging with Scripture through the Bible App as, together, we continue to take steps toward becoming the most Bible-engaged generation in history.