Our Bible Review
Updated: Oct 24, 2019
Our Bible App
Seller: Crystal Cheatham Professional Writing llc
Compatibility: iOS and Android
Languages: English, Catalan, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Spanish
Price: 9 Bible translations, chatrooms, podcasts, and devotionals available for free. Additional translations and books available upon purchase.
Launched in June 2017 after a successful indiegogo (crowdfunding) campaign, the Our Bible App is marketed toward progressive “believers of all stripes,” particularly LGBTQ+ Christians, women, and people of color. The app offers free devotionals by guest writers with such titles as, “You’re Not Alone: Prayer Tools for the Non-Neurotypical,” “#TheFall: Christian Faith and Gender Identity,” and “Disability Theology is for Everyone.” App users are offered the opportunity to discuss these devotionals, as well as any Bible passages (there are 9 translations available for free), via chatrooms. The five chatrooms available are for Bible Study, LGBT Christians, Mystics, those seeking support in deconstruction, and those simply looking for new friends. Chatroom moderators must approve of each user before they’re allowed access to the group.
In addition to the devotionals, Bible translations, and even podcasts available for free, there are relevant books and additional Bible translations available for purchase through the app’s “library” tab.
While the Our Bible is transparently targeted toward progressive Christians and is - perhaps paradoxically - not for everyone in that regard, it does an impressive job filling a large void in the realm of Bible apps and websites. It offers representation and support by and for those who have been actively or passively excluded by other institutions and digital spaces. That’s what sets the Our Bible app apart: it is upfront about its hermeneutic. Its mission is not to simply make God’s Word more digitally accessible or even further the work of the church in the world; its mission is to be explicitly anti-racist, open and affirming of LGBTQ+ people, and justice-seeking for the most systemically marginalized among us.
Being completely community-supported and crowdfunded (penny-pinching), Our Bible lacks some of the user-friendly elements that other Bible apps have. There is no option to share verses and devotionals straight to social media sites like facebook or Twitter (though links can be copied and pasted), and it takes chatroom moderators a full 24-48 hours to approve users’ admittance into the group. There isn't any ability to take personal notes on the Biblical text or an option to listen to the text being read. These are small inconveniences, however, for the “outcast” Christian who finally has digital faith space - with transparent developers and crowdsourced feedback - in which they are fully welcome. All in all, I give this app a 4.5/5.