Today—Monday, Oct. 27—is an historic milestone for the Modern English Version of the Bible. It went live today on the YouVersion Bible App.
That means any of the 156 million people who have downloaded the app can read the MEV on their tablet, smart phone or desktop computer. It is one of 1,037 Bible translations in 731 languages on the popular Bible app.
When we decided to release this word-for-word update of the King James Version, we knew the MEV must be available digitally. That's a process that was completed today. If you have YouVersion, I encourage you to check out the MEV. It's listed alphabetically in the list of English translations.
If you haven't downloaded it, I urge you to do so. According to the Washington Times, 66,000 people are using the Bible app every second.
This amazing app was the brainchild of Bobby Gruenewald of LifeChurch.tv in Edmond, Oklahoma. He had the idea while standing in a TSA line while he was traveling in 2006. He thought, "Why not have the Bible available to everyone everywhere digitally?"
At first it was available only as a website. A couple of years later when Apple introduced apps it became an app.
LifeChurch.tv is a multi-campus church that is one of America's biggest churches. For Easter this year, its combined attendance was slightly less than 100,000. As one of its many outreaches, LifeChurch.tv has underwritten the development of the Bible app. It has never charged for it. The goal is to get the word of God into the hands of as many people as possible.
I had lunch with Bobby and visited his offices earlier this month when I was in Oklahoma City. We met previously, but I wanted to see this amazing organization and wanted to learn more about this hugely successful app. The atmosphere in the office was fun and creative. The staff seemed committed to the mission. Bobby and founding pastor Craig Groeschel come across as down to earth and humble. They simply want to serve and advance the kingdom of God.
Bobby shared with me some pretty incredible statistics that I'm sure you'll find mind-blowing. Within any average second, this is happening in YouVersion:
- 1 person installs the app
- 110 additional people open the app
- 200 people have changed the chapter they were on
- 49 people start listening to audio
- 11 people create a highlight
- 3 people create a bookmark
- 3 people share a passage on social media
- An additional 100,000 already had it open, but opened it seconds
As of early October, YouVersion had been downloaded over 156 million times.
To get more information, visit the YouVersion press page for the latest up-to-the-minute stats.
We recently reported in Charisma that Bible engagement is down in America, especially among the Millennial generation. While 88 percent of the population has a Bible in the home, only about 19 percent are fully engaged with the Bible as a part of their lives. About the same number are actively "unengaged," apparently believing the Bible is just another book that has no importance in their lives—a percentage that continues to grow.
The publishing of God's Word in modern English is our small part to try to reverse this trend. We know many others are also trying to do the same. But we hope that the MEV will speak to a new generation in a language they can relate to, with the preciseness of a word-for-word translation from the original languages and the majesty of the King James Version which so many Bible readers love.
Let us know in the comments if you have downloaded the YouVersion app or have tried out the MEV.
Steve Strang is the founding editor and publisher of Charisma. Follow him on Twitter @sstrang or Facebook (stephenestrang).