As the internet became a part of our world, some of the first pioneering websites were Bible search sites. In the industry, this could be described as having a first-mover advantage. Very simply, to become a popular web destination requires appealing to a large audience and keeping up with current best practices.
Launching websites is not a one-and-done kind of a thing. It’s an on-going effort, and these top Bible websites have endured for a long time.
Have you noticed how many movies are retelling the origin stories of comic superheros? Yes, that’s what we’re going to do in this article, because if we were to mention what the current features and contents of these Bible sites have, like how many Bible versions and languages, it’d be dated information pretty quick. Kudos to these Bible search website teams for keeping up the good work to help more people engage with the Bible more.
“The original multilingual searchable Bible website, Bible Gateway was started in 1993 by Nick Hengeveld, a student at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI, who had a visionary passion to make the Bible digitally accessible to everyone through the very new technology at the time called the Internet.
“God impressed upon the hearts of a group of Christians in Southern California to invest time and effort into a new venture utilizing the World Wide Web: to put the Bible up on the Internet, along with a special set of digital tools, to accelerate the in-depth study of God’s Word.
In 1996, Blue Letter Bible went live on the Internet. In Psalm 138:2, God says that He is exalted according to the truth of His Word. This truth has fueled their desire to make an in-depth study of God’s Word digitally available to everyone free of charge, so that people might grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
“Since 2001, StudyLight.org has been providing quality Bible resources to the Christian Internet community. Starting with a handful of Bibles and reference tools, we have grown to be the online resource leader.
A 1987 graduate of Johnson University (Knoxville, TN) Jeff earned a degree in Bible with a specialty in computer skills. Since that time, Jeff would hone his skills for site development. His expertise and experiences became StudyLight.org, a well-respected site for studying God’s word.”
“Bible hub was a production of the Online Parallel Bible Project that began in 2004. This project is privately owned and supported for the express purpose of sharing Bible study tools online. Most of our work is done by volunteers with an interest in using their technological skills to this end.
When the Online Parallel Bible Project started, it provided a parallel, verse by verse view of 8 translations. Over the years, many new tools were developed into a single integrated platform, with over 40 languages and 120 translations. The site is popular among pastors, small group leaders and seminary students for its ease of use, reference materials and original language tools.”
“YouVersion launched in 2007 as a free online Bible that connects the interactivity of Web 2.0 with the timeless truths of scripture. The Bible App launched in 2008 on the iPhone first, then many other mobile devices afterwards.
In 2012, Bible.com launched to provide the same rich Bible experience as YouVersion.com and the Bible App: to read and study the Bible, subscribe to reading plans, and access the Bible in many languages.
Created by Life.Church, YouVersion designs biblically centered experiences like the YouVersion Bible App and Bible App for Kids, which encourage and challenge people to seek God throughout each day. Since it launched in 2008, the YouVersion Bible App has been installed on more than 460 million unique devices worldwide. It offers a free Bible experience in 1,500 languages, using features like Verse of the Day, Bible Plans, Verse of the Day Stories, and Prayer to help people deepen their relationship with God.”
Here’s some observations about these most popular Bible websites and what ingredients go into making something so valuable to so many:
How are all of these popular Bible websites able to offer so much for free? With regards to their financial sustainability, 1 site is entirely donor-supported, 1 is solely ad-supported, 1 is supported by donors and ads, and 2 are both paid membership and ad-supported.