The YouVersion Bible App hit half a billion downloads on Wednesday (November 10), making it the first faith-based app to reach 500 million installs. Launched by Life.Church in 2008, YouVersion was one of the first 200 free apps in the Apple App Store.
“While some people claim the Bible is irrelevant and Scripture engagement is declining, these 500 million installs indicate otherwise. The Bible continues to be relevant and has the power to transform lives,” said YouVersion Founder Bobby Gruenewald in a press release. “That’s why we’re excited to celebrate this milestone. Not just because it’s a big number, but because each install represents a chance for someone to go deeper in their faith and grow closer to God.”
Gruenwald was on staff at Craig Groeschel‘s Life.Church when he came up with the idea of the Bible App.
In a 2018 interview, Gruenwald recounted the moment the idea came to him while he was waiting in line at the airport, saying, “I had struggled to consistently read the Bible, even though I desired to — I wanted to. I just couldn’t quite find the interface with it that fit with kind of the busyness and the travel, and the way my life was at the time. So, there at the airport that day, this idea came for YouVersion.”
Launched with the purpose of helping people connect with the Bible wherever they are, YouVersion’s app functionality has expanded vastly over the years. The app now offers 2,600 versions of the Bible in over 1,760 languages, more than any other app in the world. Additionally, the app provides guided reading plans, devotionals, podcast recommendations, video teaching resources, and features that encourage consistency and community engagement when reading the Bible.
“It started as a question,” said YouVersion’s website. “What if people could have access to the Bible wherever they go?”
“Every time someone installs YouVersion, they’re getting instant access to a Community centered around the Bible. A Community that’s inviting God to shape their lives through Scripture, Bible Plans, and Prayer,” the website continued.
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By partnering with publishers and Bible societies, YouVersion has been able to digitally distribute new Bible translations as soon as they become available. This has allowed users around the world to easily access the Bible in their native languages.
“Throughout the last several years, we have continually seen God do more than we could imagine through YouVersion. As the app has grown exponentially to reach people in every country of the world and change millions of lives, our faith has also grown to see new possibilities,” Gruenewald said. “We believe this is just the beginning for YouVersion. We have a fresh vision for where the Bible App is headed, and we’re excited to roll out new features in 2022 to better serve pastors and church leaders.”
Today we’re celebrating 500 million installs…but we’re not just reflecting on what God has done, we’re looking forward to what He’ll do next,” said the app’s website. “Imagine a day in the near future when 1 billion people have installed YouVersion.”
You can download the YouVersion Bible app here.