For Christians, reading the Bible is a wonderful way to draw close to God. Scripture provides strength, instruction, and comfort to believers. Some Christians memorize favorite Bible verses and meditate on them regularly. YouVersion, a Bible app, recently unveiled that Isaiah 41:10 was the most popular Scripture verse in 2018.
The verse says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Data from YouVersion, which has been downloaded approximately 350 million times, showed the Old Testament verse was the most shared, highlighted, and bookmarked Bible passage of this year.
In a statement, Bobby Gruenewald, founder of the Bible app, proclaimed, “This year’s data shows people worldwide are continuing to turn to the Bible in search of comfort, encouragement, and hope. We’re humbled that 10 years after its release, people continue to use the YouVersion Bible App in record numbers to connect with God’s Word.”
YouVersion has more than 1,800 versions of the Bible in more than 1,250 languages. Scripture reading in the Bible app is increasing across multiple continents. YouVersion released a new Japanese version in its Bible app. Interestingly, this resulted in a 104 percent year-over-year increase in Bible engagement in the country.
Argentina and Chile realized the greatest gains in Bible engagement in South America, growing at 60 and 79 percent respectively. YouVersion revealed Eastern Europe is also seeing more people connect with God’s Word. In this region, Romania saw the highest increase in Bible engagement at 100 percent.
YouVersion’s founder stated, “Many of us grew up with the ability to read the Bible in our heart language, but countless people around the world don’t have that privilege. That’s why we’re passionate about making the Bible available in more languages through the app. We’re eternally grateful to the generous publishers and Bible societies who have joined us in the mission of increasing worldwide access and engagement with the Bible.”
Compared to 2017, the Bible app realized a 27 percent gain in daily active users. Collectively, YouVersion’s users read greater than 27.2 billion chapters of the Bible and listened to an additional 4.2 billion chapters of Scripture in 2018. And, YouVersion’s consumers weren’t keeping the Scripture passages they listened to or read to themselves. Including Verse Images and text, the Bible app’s users shared 409 million Bible verses.
YouVersion released a Bible app for children in 2013. The program’s interactive games and animated Scripture stories are available in an impressive 42 different languages. Nine additional languages were added just this year.
Gruenewald said, “This generation is on pace to become the most Bible-engaged generation ever, and we believe the Church should keep investing in new technologies to help adults and children connect with the Bible. We’re honored to be a part of how God is reaching people around the globe through His Word, and we’re eager to see how Bible-engaged people make a difference in this world for decades to come.”
YouVersion launched in 2008. At the time, the Bible app boasted only 15 versions.
In July of 2018, Barna released its annual State of the Bible survey conducted alongside the American Bible Society. The results showed the utilization of technology to read Scripture has increased steadily. While the use of digital formats remained on par with last year, it has progressively grown since 2011. Fifty-seven percent of the participants surveyed search for Bible content on the internet. Forty-two percent of participants utilize a Bible app on the cellphones. Thirty-five percent of users listen to a teaching via a podcast while 36 percent of participants listen to an audio version of Scripture.
The 2018 State of the Bible survey revealed another fascinating bit of information. Six out of 10 Americans surveyed feel Scripture has transformed their lives. To experience this transformative power, strive to read God’s Word daily. Having a devotion every morning is the absolute best way to start a day.
~ 1776 Christian