The YouVersion Experience: Now Available Completely in Russian

Bible App™ Icon on Russia Map YouVersion.com and the Bible App™ (on iPhone/iPad/iPod touch, BlackBerry, and Android) are now available entirely in Russian. What this means is that for every interaction you have with the YouVersion community, if you like, you may connect completely in Russian. Whether it’s reading high quality translations of the Bible, using menus and other tools, reading recent blog posts, requesting and receiving technical support from native speakers—even in direct communications with YouVersion through Facebook and Twitter or email—YouVersion’s incredible volunteers are bringing Russian to you.

Russian represents our fifth complete language launch, after Norwegian, Spanish, Chinese, and of course English. But this is only the beginning. YouVersion’s vision is to make the Bible freely available to as many people as possible, no matter where they live or what language they speak. If you have friends and loved ones who might enjoy engaging with God’s Word in Russian, please let them know about YouVersion’s exciting new options. And keep checking this space—we’ll be sharing more Russian language news here in the coming weeks!

In Their Own Words: Awesome Volunteers from YouVersion’s Chinese Language Launch

“Thank You!” in Simplified and Traditional ChineseToday we’re sharing some inspiration from a few world-changers, volunteers who worked on translating YouVersion tools (like the Bible App™) and services (like technical support) during our recent full Chinese language launch, into both Simplified and Traditional Chinese.

Together, we want to make it easy for all people to engage with the Bible, no matter where they live, no matter what languages they speak. But the work that YouVersion does is only made possible by an extraordinary, literally worldwide community of key volunteers just like these. These are regular people—people just like you—who simply make the choice to use some of their gifts and talents to help other people learn about the story of God’s love. We can’t thank them enough for all they’ve done and continue to do.

If you’d like to help, we always need translation as we build new features for our current apps and expand to new mobile platforms in Chinese…as well as plenty of other languages. If you’d like to see YouVersion.com, the Bible App, and our other tools translated into your heart language, let us know how can help on our volunteer sign-up form.

Now let’s hear from just a few of the people making a huge difference in God’s kingdom, real-life YouVersion volunteers, about their passion for participating:

“I hope that more and more young people will spend time every day reading the Bible and devotionals. I’d love to see the Bible come to life in their lives as it has in mine. YouVersion is a great name—when the Bible becomes my own version, I truly live out its words.

“It’s been so exciting to see our young Christian technology members unite together. When the things we do work, we praise God. But even when they don’t, still we praise Him. Either way, we always try to honor Him with our actions and our attitudes. We work together as a team, and we’re thrilled to get to share in seeing our Chinese speaking community discover this great Web 2.0 Bible App!”

—“Isaac,” Shanghai


“Just as God is the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Bible is the Book of books, the Best of the best. Cyberspace may be virtual, but its influence on people is genuine and deep. We hope that God’s Word spreads all over the world—and that includes the Internet.

“YouVersion seems to be one of the most successful online platforms for spreading God’s Word, so it’s my great pleasure to get to contribute to the Chinese version of the Bible App. Although those of us on our team haven’t met face to face, we’re all in the same family—God’s family.

“Everything we’re doing is for God’s glory and for His people. May God bless His Word and other Scripture websites!”

—“Albert,” Beijing


“People are so connected now through the Internet that it’s become an important part of their lives. God’s Word should be part of their lives as well. Thank God that with YouVersion’s help, people can easily use the Internet and mobile devices to read the Bible every day. It is such a beautiful ministry.”

—“Black,” from Taipei


“I have worked for YouVersion projects because I hope my contributions will make it possible for more and more young readers to be able to spend time daily reading the Bible and devotionals.”

—“Leo,” Shanghai

New in the Bible App and at YouVersion.com: Segond 21

We’re happy to announce that the Segond 21 version of the Bible, published for the first time by the Geneva Society in 2007, is now available at YouVersion.com and in the Bible App­™.  We hope you’ll be as excited as we are—Segond 21 is one of the versions most requested by the YouVersion community!

The Segond 21 version took 12 years of dedicated translation work based on original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts, but it also incorporates more recently available information. According to Wikipedia, this Bible’s sponsors describe it as “L’original, avec les mots d’aujourd’hui”. Segond 21 has been a top-selling Bible among French speakers, making an appearance in the top 200 books sold at Amazon France. In fact, in their category for spirituality/Christian books, it’s even number one!

At YouVersion, we’re passionate about making God’s Word freely available to as many people as possible, wherever they live. And engaging with the Bible in the language of your heart provides a deep, rich connection with God’s great story of love, and with your faith. If you have friends and loved ones who you think might enjoy reading the Segond 21, please let them know!

YouVersion Users Bookmark More Than 20 Million Passages

Last November, we added the ability for you to use your free YouVersion account to sync your bookmarks from the Bible App™ with YouVersion.com. In that short period of time, millions more people have joined our YouVersion community, creating free accounts and adding bookmarks of their own. Just recently, we reached a new milestone we wanted to share:

Together, we’ve saved more than 20 million bookmarks
in the Bible App™ and at YouVersion.com.

Whether you want to remind yourself of one of God’s promises, regularly re-read a special passage to help you memorize it, or even just have your favorite verse to share always close at hand, bookmarks are a reliable, effective memory assistant. We’ve prepared the following infographic to tell you everything you might want to know about how the YouVersion community is using bookmarks. Enjoy! 

(Click the infographic to enlarge.)


Thanks to YouVersion Partners, Several Chinese Bible Translations Available Now, More on the Way

If you have friends or loved ones who might enjoy engaging with God’s Word in Chinese—whether Traditional or Simplified—please let them know that YouVersion has something just for them. YouVersion would like to take this opportunity to formally thank the publishers of the Chinese New Version for making their Bible versions available to our community, both in Simplified Chinese (CNVS) and Traditional Chinese (CNV). We’d also like to express our gratitude to Biblica for making available the Chinese Contemporary Bible (CCB), and to Holman for their Chinese Standard Bible (CSB). And we’re very happy to announce today a new partnership with Hong Kong Bible Society that allows us to soon offer you updated punctuated versions of the Chinese Union Version (CUV) and the Chinese Union Simplified Version (CUVS) as well as their Revised Chinese Union Version Simplified Bible (RCUV and RCUVS). Be on the lookout for these great additions, coming soon for offline access as well!

YouVersion’s simple mission has always been to make the Bible freely available to as many people as possible. Each of these generous partners understands the tremendous opportunity God is giving us to together reach this generation of Chinese speakers and readers: with the story of His love. We are honored and deeply grateful for them to join us.

YouVersion: Reaching Chinese Readers—Wherever They Are

The Bible App™ Icon in Chinese, with MapIf you’ve been keeping up with recent announcements in the YouVersion community, you may have noticed some significant developments in our Chinese language efforts: more Bibles in Chinese, translating the Bible App’s interface into both Simplified and Traditional Chinese, and communication and technical support in both languages. Here’s why we’re especially excited about all of these things:

  • Number of People. YouVersion’s simple mission is to make it easy for as many people as possible to freely engage with the Bible, no matter where they live. And Chinese speakers represent one of the largest people groups in the world. According to The World Factbook, the population of mainland China alone is now more than 1.3 billion people. Wikipedia estimates that some 40 million additional “Overseas Chinese” live outside the country. Although large concentrations of Chinese are present in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the United States, and Singapore, the truth is, a lot of Chinese people live almost everywhere in the world.
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  • The Written Word. Several decades ago, in an effort to raise literacy, the Chinese government “simplified” the way that many Chinese characters are formed. Their hope was that if characters were less complicated to write than the “traditional” forms, more people would learn to read and write them. Today, both of these written forms are now practiced by Chinese, depending largely on how they were taught as children, and also on their personal preferences. Because these two written forms are now the most popular among Chinese the world over, YouVersion’s amazing volunteers have worked tirelessly to translate YouVersion’s interfaces and services into both Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese. This even includes technical support! (Check it out in Simplified or Traditional.)
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  • Spoken Languages. The most commonly spoken Chinese dialects are Standard or Simplified (Mandarin) and Yue (Cantonese). Now, just to be clear, these are spoken languages, independent of the various forms of the written characters. Native speakers often use both of these most common dialects, although they may also use other variations, typically representative of their family’s traditional origins in their ancestral homeland. As we enter into new partnerships for audio Bibles, we intend to offer as many spoken options as we can. In fact, we’re honored to already offer the Chinese Standard Bible (CSB), as read in the Mandarin dialect.

We’re thrilled to be able to expand what we offer to Chinese readers and speakers, especially considering the enormous potential to reach out to millions of people with the life-changing story of God’s love.

Latest Release of the Bible App for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch Now Available!

The latest release of the Bible App™ for iOS (iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch)—Version 3.2—is immediately available! You can get yours now in the iTunes App Store.

For this release, you’ll find several improvements and tweaks all around. For example:

  • The way you interact with reading plans is streamlined and much more intuitive, with a progress bar, calendar, and easier sharing options. When you’re looking for a reading plan, now you can sort by language. You can even listen to audio Bibles directly from your reading plan!
  • When selecting a Bible version, you can filter versions by language, so it’s easier than ever to find just what you’re looking for.
  • YouVersion Live works more smoothly, too, with a refresh option and some other improvements under the hood.
  • There’s also an assortment of bug fixes and performance enhancements.

Even more language options. Thanks to our always-awesome community of YouVersion volunteers, the Bible App and YouVersion are literally reaching the world. With this release, the entire interface is now available in Czech. And if you need help with the Bible App or YouVersion.com, you can find what you need in Simplified or Traditional Chinese (not to mention in English, Spanish, Korean, and Russian).

Spread the word. If you have friends or loved ones who use an Apple mobile device, please let them know about this new release. And we’d love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter.


Get Your Update Now:

If you already have the Bible App installed:

  1. On your Apple device, tap the App Store icon.
  2. When the App Store opens, tap the Updates icon.
  3. Tap Update for the Bible App.
    OR
    Tap Update All.

If this is your first time installing the Bible App:

  1. On your Apple device, tap the App Store icon.
  2. When the App Store opens, tap the Search icon.
  3. Search for “Bible”.
  4. Tap the Bible App from LifeChurch.tv.
  5. Tap the FREE button.

 

YouVersion.com and the Bible App: Now for the First Time, Completely in Chinese

Now you can experience both YouVersion.com and the Bible App™ entirely in Chinese! While we’ve offered both Simplified and Traditional Chinese as individual language options at YouVersion.com for months, what we’re announcing today is much more than that. When the YouVersion community formally launches an additional language, what that means is that every single interaction you can have with YouVersion’s tools and community is now available completely in that language. Chinese is our fourth total language launch. (English was first, followed by Norwegian and Spanish.)

Specifically, here are all the ways that the YouVersion community (that’s you!) can now engage with God’s Word in Chinese:

  • Great Chinese Bibles. YouVersion’s partners have graciously provided our community with several high quality, widely read Chinese versions of the Bible. (To see the full list, check 简体中文 and 繁體中文 near the bottom of the Versions page or, in the Bible App, click to change your current version and scroll to see the available Chinese versions.)
  • Entire User Interface. Thanks once again to our world-changing community of YouVersion volunteers, when you select Simplified or Traditional Chinese as the default language on your device—whether on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Android, or BlackBerry—the Bible App displays all of your controls and menu options in that language.
  • Communication in Chinese. Volunteers now make relevant YouVersion blog posts available in Simplified and Traditional Chinese. And when you initiate communication with YouVersion in Chinese, your email and other responses will be in Chinese as well.
  • Support in Chinese. Now, you can even get help with the Bible App and YouVersion.com in Simplified or Traditional Chinese! When you have questions, YouVersion volunteers who speak Chinese will be happy to assist you.

The Bible App™: Chinese Language Launch

YouVersion’s vision has always been simple: To help people connect freely with God’s Word, as easily as possible, no matter where they live or what language they speak. If your friends’ or loved ones’ heart language is Chinese, please share this great news about YouVersion.com and the Bible App with them. And be sure to come connect with us on Facebook and Twitter. We love hearing from you!

Keep checking back… To all our new Chinese speakers: Welcome to our YouVersion family! We’re thrilled to have you join us. Over the next couple of weeks here on our blog, we’ll be providing more details about each individual piece of the complete Chinese launch. We’re excited to share with you all that our community has to offer!

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!