I’ve been wanting to switch up my Bible study a bit, so naturally I set out to find the best online Bible study tools, and it only makes sense to share my findings here also!
BibleGateway, Bible Study Tools, and YouVersion seem to be the best options for looking up passages and actually reading the Bible on a daily basis. They all have lots of Bible versions, including audio, commentaries, and reading plans, as well as being searchable by topic. I’ve been using BibleGateway for years, mainly because it was what I came across first I guess, but after a little research I’m liking other options better.
Bible Study Tools
Bible Study Tools is still in Beta so there might be a few glitches here and there, but I am all about the way it’s designed. Very user-friendly.
- Customizable – you can choose which tools to show on your study page and the design is very clean
- The tools work together side-by-side all in one place so that you don’t have to be switching between pages
- Notes attach directly to verses, just like if you were writing in the margins of your Bible
- No option to easily share what you’re reading and learning
- Only one highlighting color
- The note tools aren’t accessible within the reading plans
- No app that I can tell, although the site itself may be designed to work pretty well on mobile
YouVersion is created with the mobile user in mind, and it’s just a really nice design all around.
- Easily share what you’re reading and learning on Twitter and Facebook
- Several highlighting color options
- Have to access your notes on a separate page from where you’re reading, not integrated directly with what you’re studying
Bible Hub is definitely most useful for studying, with many helpful tools.
- Chronological timeline of the Bible
- Biblical location list with atlas
- The four gospels interwoven as one text
- Interlinear Bible with Strongs links
- Less user-friendly because there’s so much to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start
- Not easy for simple Bible-reading – everything just kind of crams together on the page
Bonus – Other Online Tools Worth A Look
Biblia, made by Logos, has some great study tools, like summaries which include Contents, Characters, Conclusion, Key Word, Strong Verses, Striking Facts – basically Cliffs Notes for the Bible.
Bible.is allows you to listen to a great dramatized audio of the ESV Bible online, as well as gives you 3 other versions of your choice to download when you sign up. I’m especially looking forward to the kids being able to listen to the Kidz Bible.
What should you use?
I’m personally really torn between Bible Study Tools and YouVersion for my regular reading and note-taking. What it comes down to for me is whether or not I want to be able to easily access my notes and highlights via mobile + Tweet directly (YouVersion) or be more organized and see everything in one place (Bible Study Tools). My bet is that I’ll be using Bible Study Tools and wishing for parts of YouVersion… but hey, maybe some of that will still be integrated since it’s still evolving – we can hope!