Bible Apps

bible photoThe Word of God is ALWAYS with you when you have a Bible app on your mobile device. What is the Bible?

God speaks to us in many ways. One way God speaks to us is through the Bible. The Bible is the most important book in Christian life because it is God’s message, or revelation. The Bible is the story of God’s promise to care for us, especially through his Son, Jesus. At Mass we hear stories from the Bible. We can also read the Bible on our own. <Read more from Loyola Press>

How do I know if a Bible is an approved Catholic translation?

You can check out the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ list of approved translations of the Bible for private use and study by Catholics. In addition to the translations listed, according to the USCCB,  “any translation of the Sacred Scriptures that has received proper ecclesiastical approval ‒ namely, by the Apostolic See or a local ordinary prior to 1983, or by the Apostolic See or an episcopal conference following 1983 ‒ may be used by the Catholic faithful for private prayer and study.”

What Bible translation do we use for Scripture readings for Mass in the Roman Rite?Bible-NABRE-book

  • In United States: The New American Bible, Revised Edition (NABRE). (Note: not the New American Standard Bible which is a different translation.)
  • In Canada:  New Revised Standard Version (NRSV).

From USCCB: “Released on March 9, 2011, the New American Bible, Revised Edition (NABRE) is the culmination of nearly 20 years of work by a group of nearly 100 scholars and theologians, including bishops, revisers and editors. The NABRE includes a newly revised translation of the entire Old Testament (including the Book of Psalms) along with the 1986 edition of the New Testament.”

Want to learn more about reading and understanding the Bible from the Catholic perspective? Check out the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ web site to start your journey.

Here are our top choices:

BibleGatewayBible Gateway (Free) Apple | Android | Kindle Fire.  The Bible Gateway Bible App is the official mobile Bible reading and study experience from Bible Gateway (a division of Harper Collins Christian Publishing), offering the many reading amenities (listed below) that you look for in a Bible app. Though Protestant in origin, BG provides the Apocrypha with versions that include those books such as U.S. Catholicism’s official New American Bible (revised edition, 2010) and Europe’s old Douay-Rheims (in the 1899 U.S. version).  So, while it offers more than 90 different Bible translations, two are Catholic–  which you can download onto your device (after you give publisher access to your email address) for off-line reading. You will need to go into settings to set it as your default Bible. Features include:
• Easy-to-use and reliable Bible search, both online and offline
• Daily Bible verse in the translation of your choice
• Daily Bible reading plans
• Bible audio in a number of different translations and styles (none are Catholic translations)
• Parallel translation viewing (iPad only, currently only available when online)
• Quick Bible reading history, so you can go back and forth between Bible verses you have viewed
• Personal notes – both general notes and notes tagged to specific Bible verses can be created
• Star the Bible verses that are your favorite
• Highlight Bible verses or passages
• Easily view Bible study resources (Bible Commentaries, Bible Dictionaries, etc.) to help you unpack your Scripture reading
• And integrated sharing tools make it quick and simple to share your favorite Bible verses with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter

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Bible App (Free) Apple, Android, Kindle Fire  Developers, say this is the #1 Bible app in the world. That may be true given the hundreds of Bibles available for you to  choose from in more than 1,000 languages. Some of the Bibles are approved Catholic versions like NAB-RE and Douay Rheims. Internet connection is needed to use most content in this app, but some Bibles are imbedded in the app so you can read them off line. Unfortunately, none of the imbedded bibles in English are Catholic editions. Audio Bibles are available but not downloadable. These include Douay Rheims. Study tools include reading plans, search capability, note taking, highlighting and bookmarking capability.

Text can be sized for easier reading. Your bookmarks, highlights and notes are saved on which you must log into to use. But this gives you cross-platform use wherever you go with whatever relevant device you use to access the Bible you are in the midst of reading.

You will enjoy the added bonus of videos in which portions of the Bible are dramatized in beautifully filmed enactments as the narrator reads from Scripture.

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imissalbibleiMissal Catholic Bible for Apple [iPhone/iPad/iPodTouch] ($9.99) You get the New American Bible (NABre), the Catholic Bible readings we use at Mass (in the United States) come from this translation. No WIFI is necessary, so the entire Bible can be read offline and available for immediate use. It has all the bells and whistles you want in a Bible app. This app is from the makers of iMissal and is designed to be integrated with the iMissal app. However, even if you pay for the iMissal app, you still have to purchase this separate Bible ($9.99). That is still a great deal for a fully downloadable Catholic Bible, and the best part is it integrates directly with iMissal so that you can jump from Mass readings and Bible verses directly into iMissal Bible for full contextual reference. FEATURES: * Entire New American Bible (NABre) * No WIFI necessary * Works on both iPhone and iPad * Includes Footnotes and Endnotes * Fully searchable by word, phrase, verse. Filterable. * Share scripture via social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Email) * Multiple Display Modes (Day, Night, Sepia) * User Font typeface and size selection * Highlight text using multiple colors * Bookmarks * Book Ribbons * Verses on separate lines setting * Multiple Paging Options (flick, vertical and horizontal paging) * Create your own Notes for later reference * View FootNotes without interrupting reading flow * History tracking * Reading Plans.


Catholic NAB-RE Bible on Apple ($2.99)–This “revised edition” is the first major update to the New American Bible (NAB) text in decades. It is the version of Scripture you hear at Mass in the United States. You get the COMPLETE Bible and do not need to be connected to the internet to read it. This app is approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. This is value-priced considering the fact that the entire Bible can be downloaded to your device so you never have to access the internet to use it. This bible app comes with a bunch of useful features listed below:

– Access the Liturgical calendar for the United States
– Easily switch between books by touching book title
– Move between chapters via swipe left/right gesture
– Increase/decrease font size by pinch in/out gesture
– Search verses, filter by chapter, book, old, new, entire bible
– Bookmark verses by touching a verse
– Copy multiple verses
– Highlight verses
– Tweet verses
– Book introductions
– Hypertext footnotes
– Hypertext endnotes
– Hypertext references
– Daily Readings
– History of Last 50 Verses Visited
– Stories, Parables, Miracles, Prayers found in the Bible 


Laudate  (Free) Apple and AndroidKindle Fire NAB-RE Bible when connected to internet only. It also offers Douay-Rheims Bible which is local so you don’t need to be connected to the internet. This makes for a large file, so they recommend moving the app to your phone’s SD card if you’re not using an iOS device. Laudete is a highly popular Catholic app which is loaded with many Catholic resources like a Roman Missal, dozens of prayers, Roman Breviary, rosary, Church documents, and much more in this valuable all-in-one app.

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iPieta.($2.99) Full version in Apple and Android is split up into several lite apps. Contains the  Douay-Rheims, Clementine Vulgate (Catholic and public domain) Developer note: Psalms are COMPLETE but numbered as in the Vulgate. iPieta bundles many other Catholic resources like hundreds of prayers (some in audio format), Church documents, classic Catholic books, liturgical calendar and much more in this valuable all-in-one app.

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Catholic Audio Bibles (some contain full text of Bibles too)

Lighthouse Catholic Media Bible. (Free RSV-CE text Bible) Apple |Android  and for Kindle Fire. This includes a RSV-CE Bible AND audio of the New Testament. You get the audio of the Gospel of St. John in the free version with the ability to purchase more New Testament audio books. From Developers: “…electronic version of the entire RSV-CE Bible, packed with incredible content from various Catholic apostolates intended to bring Sacred Scripture to life! With over 50 purchasable [$1.99-$2.99 ea.] Lighthouse talks on various biblical topics, and FREE audio presentations from Dr. Scott Hahn and the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology…you’ll go deeper into the Scripture than ever before. And now you can also purchase Truth and Life – the award winning “radio drama” of the entire RSV-CE New Testament…This amazing audio New Testament is endorsed with an Imprimatur from the Vatican and includes a foreword by Pope Benedict XVI”

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Truth-Life-audio-bibleThe Truth & Life Dramatized audio Bible New Testament (FREE download of app to purchase $19.99 complete Bible text, RSV-CE translation).  AppleAndroidKindle  This is the best audio version of the New Testament in the market in this format. Imagine a celebrity-filled “radio drama” of the entire RSV-CE New Testament complete with movie-quality sound effects and an original music score! This is world-class audio production at its finest. And it’s for the best book in the world, the Word of God.

From Developers: “More than 70 actors help bring the scriptures to life in this 22-hour audio production, complete with This award-winning audio New Testament is endorsed with an Imprimatur from the Vatican and including a foreword by Pope Benedict XVI.” Actors include: Neal McDonough, Sean Astin, Kristen Bell, Stacy Keach, Julia Ormond, Malcolm McDowell, Blair Underwood, Michael York and many more!

The complete new Testament is $19.99 and the entire package audio and study bible is 29.99. Stuck in traffic? On a long road trip? Fire up this app and enjoy having the Gospels read to you while you listen to the oars of Peter’s boat slapping the water on the Sea of Galilee or the crowds gasp in amazement on witnessing a miracle from Jesus. The background music does not interfere with the dialogue but actually enhances it. The Bible has now been transformed into an audio experience engaging your imagination. In addition to exhilarating audio, the app features:

  • Complete text of RSV-CE synchronized with audio [text highlights move with the audio reading- very cool]
  • Go directly to any verse and hear and see the Bible instantly [very cool!]
  • Use the built in playlist [built-in reading plan] to hear/read the New Testament in 40 days or in Chronological order
  • Search verses
  • Create your own playlist of verses [who else provides that?]
  • Remembers where you left off with bookmark.
  • Easily fit entire 22 hours of audio on your device.

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Hallow Free download with access to a bunch of exquisite content. Subscription necessary to open access to full content–monthly $8.99; annually $59.99 Apple | GooglePlay

The free side of Hallow app generously includes the Bible in a Year with Fr. Mike Schmitz.  It’s his popular podcast which follows a reading plan inspired by The Great Adventure Bible Timeline, “a ground-breaking approach to understanding salvation history developed by renowned Catholic Bible scholar Jeff Cavins,” according to developers. “For each period in the timeline, Jeff will join Fr. Mike for a special episode that will help you understand the context of each reading. With this podcast, you won’t just read the Bible in a year … you’ll finally understand how all the pieces of the Bible fit together to tell an amazing story that continues in your life today!”

But the Hallow app, dubbed by developers as “the #1 Catholic prayer and meditation app,” is so much more than that statement implies and worthy of your consideration as a spiritual resource you’ll want to access daily. Here’s why:

It offers you the opportunity to pray in a more contemplative way with intention. This serene, guided meditation app is all about you and your soul entering a blissful, meditative audio environment to help you pray. The goal? To slide you into a meaningful dialogue with God so you can nurture your relationship with him. The enormous catalog of content (prayer, meditations, scripture, reflections, bedtime Bible stories, etc.), utilizes peaceful, calming audio to stir your soul–from the velvety voices reading to you, to the soothing music/sounds in a variety of genres. Step by step, you will be led into prayerful, tranquil meditation like you may never have experienced in your life.

On the free side of this app you get

  • meditations on the Daily Gospel (updated every day)
  • Bible in a Year with Fr. Mike Schmitz
  • audio Rosary
  • the pandemic “Stuck at home” praylist
  • Spiritual Communion
  • Chaplet of Divine Mercy
  • Examen (examination of conscience/preparation for confession)
  • Spiritual Writing
  • Christian Meditation sessions
  • 14-day free trial of full version of the app

Each of these offerings comes with a choice of two voices as your guide, three length options, nine background music selections, a journal, prayer reminder options, goal setting and tracking. You also have access to all of the Guest Sessions, and Minute Meditation sessions.

To unlock the full version of this app to access all its content, you must subscribe (monthly $8.99; annually $69.99). Before you squawk at the price (which I sure did at first!), please consider what you pay for streaming media subscriptions. Content in THIS app can help save your soul (Can you say that about Hulu or Netflix?) because it’s focused on one thing: to help get you in a mindset to talk to God. That relationship is the most important relationship in your life.

English/Spanish (limited).

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Catholic Audio Bible in MP3 format (Trial version is free.) Apple and Android. Requires internet connection. Douay-Reims translation of Latin Vulgate in which you can listen to the entire Catholic Bible, both Old and New Testament. The trial version is the lite version which you can download for free and sample a few Scripture chapters. Upgrade to the Pro version to have unlimited access to the complete Old and New Testament. These MP3’s are streamed, not downloaded, so they take up no storage space on your device. Keep in mind, this is not a high-tech modern recording. Developers note this is a vintage recording digitally transferred from tape recordings. You may enjoy that particular audio ambience coupled with the male reader’s British accent.

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Catholic Study Bibles

Study Bibles come with tremendous extra resources to help you dig deeper into the text for your study or devotional life. Want to discover treasures hidden within Sacred Scripture? A Catholic study Bible is a great place to start. These resources typically include commentaries, extended footnotes, maps, lexicons, photos, Church documents, search capability, Hebrew and Greek translations, concordances and much more.


Screen shot of one of the many pages filled with resources in Verbum.

Screen shot of one of the many pages filled with resources in Verbum.

Verbum (Free for basic components) Apple and Android and Kindle Fire and Mac and PC. This is the best Catholic Bible study app in the market. It is produced under the Logos Bible Software product line, a powerful Bible study platform all on its own. While Logos is primarily Protestant in orientation, its developers have created a Catholic version of their popular Logos App under the brand, Verbum. Not all Bible study apps are created equally. This one caters uniquely to Catholic study in that it incorporates sacred scripture and tradition. That means that documents of the Church, writings of Church Fathers, Catholic commentaries and the teachings of the faith (various Catechisms) are  among many Catholic resources included in the bundle. But it goes beyond that. Verbum integrates Church documents and writings and commentaries into your experience of studying sacred Scripture. That’s because the search function includes your entire library, not just Scripture. So, you can enter Scripture or a topic in the Passage Guide and within seconds it finds material from all the books loaded into the app including the Scriptures, Church Fathers, Medieval theological works, and contemporary theology— all linked to the page you need.

If that is not enough, the Exegetical Guide introduces you to original ancient languages, even if you don’t read Greek or Hebrew. You can split screen to read Bible verse with another book simultaneously. The complete Roman Catholic lectionary is included in the free version, so even if you only got this app for the Mass readings, it’s worth it. There is a lot more to this exceptional Catholic Bible study app including highlighting, bookmarking and note taking capabilities which it saves on line so you can access your information and open to the last page read among your mobile devices or your computer. A video tutorial is bundled with the app to help you learn how to use many of its features. Here is an in-depth review that will sell you on this power-app if you are not convinced of its value already. Some of the valuable resources bundled into the full version of Verbum ($49.95-which you can pay for and download after you load the free Verbum app) include:

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Olive Tree Bible Study (Free to $24.95) Apple | Android | Kindle Fire | Windows Tablet | Apple Watch  | Mac and PC. A reviewer characterized this app as the “gold standard of Bible study apps.” I would caution that Verbum app likely takes that honor, but this is certainly an excellent competitor. Check out these videos to see how the various functions work. You will be amazed! The interface to delve into all the various tools is elegant and smooth. All the popular Catholic editions are included in their offering. So much is packed into this gem of an app: extensive footnotes; option to include maps and charts; search capability; load optional commentary; verse chooser; text highlight; book ribbons; pop-up lexicon; ability to make notes in the text.

It has a split-screen capability to view two passages simultaneously, so you can keep Greek or Hebrew open while you read English, for example. Free Bibles are available in dozens of editions including Catholic. But it does not include or incorporate documents and writings from the Church’s sacred tradition, so that part of your experience of studying Sacred Scripture is not available in this app. If you want that included, choose the free Verbum app instead and skip this one. If you choose an Olive Tree Bible, the FIRST thing you do is download their Bible Reader software (Free). The Bible Reader is the program used to read the text–much like Kindle software is used to read digital books. Once the software is loaded, set up an account and then choose Bibles you want to download from the developer’s web site (includes all the popular versions, study versions, non-English, Greek and Hebrew Bibles!) Prices range from free to $24.95 and the site explains how to retrieve your book for your Bible reader. Bibles and books can be purchased directly from within the app on your mobile device, or they can be purchased through the Olive Tree web site and downloaded to your device later. There are hundreds of free books and study tools in Olive Tree’s catalog. Video tutorials are loaded on the app to help you use its many features.

Mobile Bible Software for advanced Greek and Hebrew Olive Tree Bible Software offers the standard scholarly Greek and Hebrew texts, parsing and morphological information at the touch of a finger, and fast and powerful searches on words or morphologies – developed for all mobile devices. Watch the video to see how it works. This. Will. Blow. Your. Mind.

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11 Comments on “Bible Apps”

  1. Kelly Johns
    October 28, 2015 at 2:55 pm #

    I would like to add an app from my personal experience
    called dBible proven to be the best bible app for me.

  2. Rick Zabala
    January 24, 2016 at 2:10 am #

    There are more than one “Bible Gateway” apps. The one listed on this site does not have Catholic Bible. The Bible Gateway app that looks like a curved cain handle with what looks like a key whole has many Bible translations including Catholic.

    • January 25, 2016 at 3:57 pm #

      Hi. A Douay-Rheims version is listed. That is Catholic. Unfortunately, that is the only Catholic Bible listed. Also, if you look closely at the logo on the bible ribbon, you will see that cane handle with keyhole. So I think we are talking about the same app. Thanks for sharing this concern!

      • Rick Zabala
        January 26, 2016 at 2:34 am #

        Hello Jen, thanks for your response. For clairification and curiosity you could go and note that the site has several Catholic translations as well as many more than the other site with the book with ribbon logo.

  3. Jhon
    February 5, 2016 at 2:08 pm #

    This Bible app is really awesome. Its a Bible word puzzle. I like it very much. I play it very often and best part its free.

    Giant Bible Word Search Puzzle:

  4. Ralph
    June 4, 2016 at 10:47 am #

    The Bible Gateway app does not have NAB. they only have NASB which is not a Catholic version.

  5. Mathew
    December 20, 2016 at 11:05 am #

    Wise words, congratulations. I´d like to share a Bible that is my favorite Have a nice day!

  6. September 4, 2017 at 10:21 pm #

    Verbum is the best Bible app, hands down. Highlighting, notes, and search are all great. The D-R Bible, Catholic Lectionary and Lives of the Saints are all free, there’s a load of other free books available for download, and each month a different paid book is offered for free.


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