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New ESV Bible website: digital Bible engagement on the rise

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Using a study Bible no longer requires balancing a heavy volume on your lap, with Bible publisher Crossway developing their online Bible and study tool, ESVbible.org.

Crossway is clear about their commitment to providing ESV resources through the web, encouraging online Bible engagement. The ESVbible.org is a key part of Crossway’s ESV Digital initiative, and aims to provide greater access to the ESV Bible and other resources for understanding and applying God’s Word.

The website has been redesigned, with the new version of the site now in public beta testing. The new design features improved navigation and mobile web compatibility, and a new platform that sets the stage for future integration with mobile apps.

Bible reading plans and devotions become available once the user creates a free account. Users can customise their own interface, highlight and mark verse numbers, add bookmark ribbons, search the ESV text, and manage personal notes.

Notes from The ESV Study Bible, the MacArthur Study Bible, the new Global Study Bible and the Student Study Bible are all available to read in parallel with the Bible text. In purchasing an ESV Study Bible, users are given a coupon code providing free access to the study notes contained in their hard copy version, online. Full-colour maps, illustrations, charts, timelines, and articles created by a team of 93 evangelical Christian scholars and teachers also featured.

For those wanting to study the New Testament in original language, there is a Greek study tool app, containing the full text of the Nestle-Aland 27th edition, as well as interlinear translation of the Greek text.

The emphasis of Crossway in developing the ESVbible.org site reflects the rise in the use of digital technology for Bible engagement. This year, the YouVersion Bible app has been installed by more than fifty million people around the world, enabling them to read Bible, share it with their social networks and do daily devotions.

According to a USA Today article from August, Zondervan publishers report that in the US, during the last 12 months, sales of digital Bible products increased four times over the previous 12 months. Last month, Scripture Union Australia announced the release of iPad and Android apps for their Bible-engagement program, the E100 Bible Reading Challenge. The iPhone app had already seen almost 2000 downloads.

Greg Clarke, CEO of Bible Society Australia says, “The Bible belongs to all of God’s children, so it should be freely available. I’m happy that well-off Christians pay for their Bibles, but I’m delighted that anyone can access God’s Word online and look forward to the time when the languages of the world have equal opportunity to do it.”

Crossway’s ESV digital initiatives, and the development of innovative tools, are all aimed at making the ESV Bible accessible to everyone, everywhere, in every way. James Kinnard, on the Crossway blog, speaking about the development of Crossway’s digital and mobile initiatives, said, “The potential for these technologies to extend God’s Word to the nations is incredible.”

The ESV Study Bible Online is available free with any hardcopy ESV purchase, or for separate online sale.

The new ESVBible.org is now available to all users. When you sign in to your ESVBible.org account, navigate to the bottom of the screen and click on the “Try the new site” link.

Header Image: Brett Jordan_flickr

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