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A Comparison of Three Bible Apps: Bible (Logos), Bible Study (Olive Tree), and Bible Gateway (Zondervan)

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Many institutions of higher education include courses and degrees in the areas of religious and biblical studies. The assignments for courses in these areas can often include close study and analysis of biblical passages. Reference collections in academic libraries have long included many different types of resources to assist in researching the Bible. With the advent of digitization and the proliferation of electronic devices, several apps are available that can be used to do anything from simply reading a particular translation of the Bible to more complex functions, such as Hebrew and Greek word analysis. This review will compare three free apps that are available for both Android and Apple devices: Bible Gateway (Zondervan), Bible Study (Olive Tree), and Bible (Logos). This review focuses primarily on the free aspects of these apps, including the free resources available and the apps themselves. No additional resources were purchased in order to evaluate the Olive Tree and Logos apps.

The primary advantages of these apps are the variety of resources that are offered and the integrative features that set them apart from simple e-readers. In regard to the academic study of the Bible, the resources generally fall into two main categories: Bible translations (English and otherwise), and biblical studies resources (such as Bible dictionaries, commentaries, etc.). Logos and Olive Tree also provide several free devotional classics and other books (mostly ones in the public domain), as well as hundreds of other for-purchase titles. In addition to the resources accessible through these apps, each app has features that enhance the Bible study experience, such as the ability to bookmark or highlight particular passages, or to view a side-by-side comparison of resources.

Publication date: April 1, 2013

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