Good Heavens! 10M Impacted in Data Exposure

I’ve been asked before why I have a visceral reaction against YouVersion’s Bible app. This is one of the reasons why I want my Bible app to just be a Bible app, not a social, streak, prayer, plan, community, church service, event, video, badge, tracking service.


Do you use a different Bible app?

I currently use Literal Word, which somebody recommended on here IIRC. It’s NASB only, but that works for me. It’s super fast, immediately gets you to the Bible, isn’t focused on a lot of gimmicks, doesn’t distract you with notifications or in-app alerts, and has nice search as well as simple original language info when you need it.


Does it have audio?

No audio. Definitely a dealbreaker for some.

I do believe I read that they are in the process of working on audio. If so, it would be the perfect app…for the reasons mentioned already. YouVersion and Bible Gateway (to my knowledge) remain the only apps that offer NASB audio for free.

As an aside, Bible Gateway now has (again, to my knowledge) the only free NKJV audio available. This is a new(er) development. It’s offered in two voices, male and female. The unwillingness in the past to allow such free access was yet another of my gripes against Thomas Nelson.


Part of the problem seems to be people being unwilling to pay for something supposedly important.

NASB on sale for $7.49 right now. Many other versions available.


Perhaps…but I’d argue in most cases it is people who are sickened by the profiteering of Bible publishers who, by their “updates” and “fresh translations”, seem to have lucre as their motivation. We can certainly turn your argument around and ask “If you were truly in it for the sake of the Kingdom, and acknowledge how important it is for people to have God’s Word in their hands (and in their ears in this case) ought you to charge nothing beyond minimal production/operating costs?”.

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I wasn’t supporting any arguments by publishers. I was arguing against expectations for good, free stuff. I was reacting to a post where “the” was the only word used more frequently than “free.”

When you limit certain searches to free resources, you get what you pay for. Actually, you get what others pay for.

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In your spare time, I’d urge you to dig a bit deeper into the profit behind Bible translation. It’s astounding. And if you’d prefer to view it strictly in the business realm, free audio release is industry-standard through popular apps such as YouVersion and Bible Gateway. Every major translation, save the NKJV, has been readily available for some time. Interesting how that free (I’ll watch the number of times I use that) access isn’t at all hurting the massive bottom lines of those publishers.

I’m aware. I hate the profiteering, but I’m also willing, and happy, to pay for value. In fact, I want something worth paying for. I’m glad to hear of helpful, free resources out there. And I’m suspicious of them. Be wary of cheap stuff found online. That’s one of the points of this thread.

I’m sorry for the attitude here, but I still don’t understand if free audio is industry standard or hard to find. I thought it was hard to find. If it’s only through two particularly apps, I don’t count that as actually free.


I think part of the issue is that we are talking about audio, which includes two different copyrights—the reader and the Bible version.

We often complain about the profiteering on the Bible, but even if you’re using the KJV (which is public domain), it takes real additional work to design and program a Bible app, or read the whole Bible out loud into a mic, etc. The expectation that resulting output should be free is what Paul is arguing against, I think.

On the other hand, even if you made an app and wanted to give it away for free, you couldn’t do so without paying the Bible publisher for some of the versions. This puts a real hurdle up preventing online and app-based Bible projects from even being started and getting other wonderful ones shut down in the end. It’s a real shame.

I think the only solution to this is for the translation work to be paid for up front and the text placed in the public domain.


Forgive me if I seem overly cynical.

But why, then, would NASB, NIV, NLT, (H)CSB, etc., allow free access to the audio that came at a cost to them?

It would seem that the options are two: either to bless people or to drive them to the translation. Most people I know listen to the translation that they use in hard copy (not always, I understand). If it’s the former, why should we turn away from God’s rich hand of blessing through them? If it’s the latter, well…

In all transparency, a couple of years ago I paid $40 for the Word of Promise Dramatized NKJV app, which I fall asleep to nightly. So I’m not opposed to paying. Just mortified by profiteering.