My website recommendation for July is BibleGateway.com. I thought I would partner my book recommendation of the month with my go-to bible website. I use BibleGateway regularly, especially when I’m trying to reference a phrase I’m thinking about and see how particular verses are different in other bible translations.
What does BibleGateway have on their website:
Read the bible.
- Reading Plans – There are many different options provided of who you can read the bible. For example, a passage from both Old and New Testament each day, Chronologically, a straight read from Genesis to Revelation, Historical (reading the as they were written historically. Reading the bible in 90 days (intensive style), or the Gospels in 40 days, the New Testament in a year. Or the Daily Audio Bible (by Brian Hardin). Plus several others for particular special events or following the lectionary readings.
- Advanced Search – Enter the passage you’d like to look up. And look it up in up to five different versions (which is excellent if you can’t remember which particular translation you’re phrase comes from).
- There are an enormous number of bible translations available in 74 different languages. Fantastic if you want to share a passage or verse with someone who doesn’t speak your language. (I use this a lot as I have to teach in bi-lingual locations, so I need to have both languages on my slides or in my notes. But there is also a staggering 61 versions in English, some with Apocrypha and some with Audio versions.
- Audio Bibles – you can listen to each of the different bibles available in audio (there are many to choose from in foreign languages). There’s also a one-minute radio program called The Book, which features unusual stories and interesting facts about the bible—produced by the Museum of the Bible. There’s a Devotional Audio of 7 segments telling the story of Jesus. Thirteen segments on Eternal words to bring you joy and peace. An audiobook on ‘Can I trust the Bible’ by R.C. Sproul. ‘Witness the Bible’ is a walk through the bible for your children of 23 parts in a radio theatre-style dramatisation.
- Scripture Engagement – partnering with Taylor University Center for Scripture Engagement. It is a set of practical exercises and activities you can understand to interact more meaningfully with the bible. Some of these practices include: praying scripture, picture it; journaling scripture; engage through art; contemplate; storying scripture, speaking/memorising or singing scripture, dramatising scripture and a few others.
- Additional resources – Bible Gateway Plus membership. Or further help in using the daily reading plans. There is a Bible Gateway APP (of course) and an audio version as well. Several Commentaries and Dictionaries. Plus a video lecture series by Dr R.C. Sproul on Knowing Scripture.
- Explore More – with newsletters, blogs and an excellent list of devotionals for men, women, families, leaders and other great subjects. So if you don’t want to buy books or want to try something out – here is a great place to start.
If you want to use it as your digital bible, you can sign in to a free account, keep track of your notes, and give you the book’s theme and overview (just like some bibles have). But the study tab is only available for those with a Plus account.
You used to be able to pull up two bible translations simultaneously to compare them (or have two languages available at the same time) – a feature I loved. But this sadly seems to have disappeared (I wonder if that is still available in the plus version?). But in the settings section, you can click to see Cross-references/ footnotes/ verse numbers/ headings/ red letters – if you’d like or not prefer, which is still helpful. And, of course, you can copy the highlighted text to use elsewhere, which is nice not to have to type out a verse you want to quote (like I do in my blogs/ notes).
The BibleGateway Plus – after 30 days costs $3.99 per month or $39.99 per annum. It gives you access to a complete bible study library, other reference books, chapter studies, maps and sermons. If you are studying Hebrew or Greek, this might be great for you since the video show’s you great tools to study the bible in these languages. I’ve not tried it yet, so I can’t say any more. (although it will get rid of the ad’s which appear around the site too).
What else I like
I’ve found it very helpful to search for the verses with, e.g. Patience mentioned and then do it with other translations, so I can find all the other verses which contain ‘patience’ so I can do a topic or word specific bible study. This is very helpful when teaching on, for example, a particular characteristic of God or character trait or topic. The results list of searched for words then gives you the options of seeing the verse ‘in context’, ‘full chapter’ or in other ‘translations’, which is quick to see and find particular verses you need for whatever purpose. You can also select to only see ones from, e.g. the Old Testament or a specific book which can make things easier in your search.
It’s also nice that the homepage has a verse of the day, which you can sign up to receive by email too.
So there you go, mostly what you’d expect, but with a few added extra’s all blessed to access for free. What an incredible resource for us to have instant access to. Thank you, BibleGateway, for giving us so much for free.