While watching the video, 50 Things to Do On Your iPad, it occurred to me that in all my virtual meandering with iPads, I had not seen any listing of apps to enhance one’s spirituality. Perhaps, it’s too much to hope that anything, especially a piece of technology, could accomplish such a lofty goal. Since it’s Sunday, I hope I can be forgiven for spending a moment on 5 iPad Apps to Enhance Your Spirituality.

Still, that–few resources I’d seen about iPads and spirituality–was a pretty shocking realization, and made me recall the feeling of a leather-bound portable King James Bible I liked to carry in my youth (it was given to me by a Catholic girlfriend who questionned why I, a Catholic youth involved in a Catholic Student Association was interested in a King James Bible oft-quoted by fundamentalists).

There was no mystery. I was in love with books, and a leather-bound Bible gave me quick access to the King’s English. Undoubtedly, there was some deep devotion that motivated me, but I still love the feel of the King James in my hand and the words in my mind…I recall a similar affection for Shakespeare and Plutarch, romantic notions inspired by Western writer, Louis L’Amour.

That aside, could new, slick tablets compete with the memory of the KJV Bible I carried so faithfully or the Douay Rheims that others found themselves attracted to? I know that I promptly exchanged my books of choice for a Nook and iPad, but what about the Bible? Will we ever see churches using the iPad in lieu of the Bible? Or are we too steeped in tradition? Are books cheaper than tablets for the church?

These are questions I hadn’t considered before. How will ebooks change church and worship, or should we just visit web sites like BibleGateway (which, BTW, has it’s own iPad app!)? In truth, many apps versions of the Bible…like these below… are just search engines for scripture verses.

Holy Bible (Free) – This a free version of the Bible, allowing for many features. Some alternatives include ESV BiblePocketSword, , ESV Bible

I suppose that I’m looking for something more amidst all the choices. Here are some that jumped out at me:

  1. Glo for iPad – A great interactive, multimedia Bible that features Facebook integration. You can easily share what you’re reading.
  2. The Illustrated Bible – This really reminds me of those Illustrated bibles books for kids. I found this one particularly easy to read and think it makes the Bible so much more approachable for younger audiences, as well as those of us who would like to see familiar content presented in a different way. Although this version only comes with ONE book (1 gig), you can get more for $1.99 each…but be prepared since each book can take up quite a bit of room. With 66 books in the Bible, I suppose my 64gig iPad would be easily overwhelmed!
  3. Pursue Journal – This social media friendly (e.g. Twitter, Facebook) offers daily readings, as well as audio. And, it comes with a journal if you’re so inclined to engage in reflection…you can also share online. I have to admit I really liked the audio accompaniment to Scripture verses. Once you start the audio, you can jump into the text and listen to the audio simultaneously…and the audio keeps playing even when you jump to other apps.
  4. YouVersion Bible – As nice as PursueJournal is, I was appreciative of this app that provides daily readings, as well as audio reading of the text, but also allows for a reading plan for Scripture verses. You can also easily share the reading of the day via Twitter, Facebook, and/or SMS. Nifty! Another neat feature was that you could start with Christmas and Advent readings–featuring audio and video–to “prepare you for Christmas.”
  5. For Catholics, Laudate and New Missal provide something pretty nifty. Both provide access to Catholic missals–the books you read in Church, which always presented a bit of a pain to keep track of as I recall–as well as other Catholic specific stuff. 😉
Below are a few screenshots from my two top favorites, Glo and Illustrated Bible:

Glo for iPad:

Glo is an interactive Bible that brings the text of Scripture to life through HD videos, high-resolution images, articles, 360-degree virtual tours, and much more. Glo for iPad includes 2 lenses: Bible and Media, and is the perfect companion to Glo for your computer.

I was really impressed with Glo because it included video about various parts of the Bible, which made for great viewing. When reading Scripture, I always found myself digging around in the footnotes trying to see how one scripture passage was connected to another. Over the years, my interest in the footnotes has waned and it’s a re-discovery to watch videos walkthroughs, as well as review maps.

Video included in Glo

Content available in Glo

Sample Map

Video example

As you might imagine, having access to all this content on an iPad makes me wonder if churches will take advantage of these resources (perhaps, they already are!) instead of using those old VCRs, ancient television sets, and bootleg video tapes (you know who you are!).

Another neat app that caught my eye was The Illustrated Bible. It caught my eye–even though it only comes with one book of the Bible, The Gospel of John–because the content is introduced in a very approachable way…I don’t know about you, but reading the Bible this way makes it a bit easier to grasp (smile):

What are your favorites?

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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