When I first got an iPad about 18 months ago (I wasn’t an early adopter), it felt like an oversized iPhone. I wasn’t entirely sure what I would do with it, but I love techy things so I was excited to try it out. One thing I was certain I wouldn’t do with it was use it as an e-reader. I spend a lot of time each day staring at a computer screen in my day job, and I couldn’t imagine reading books that way. Give me an old fashioned book with a highlighter, and I was happy.
As it turned out, I couldn’t have been more naïve. Reading is in fact one the primary uses for my iPad these days. I review pdfs on it. I read my blog feeds on it. I love the Kindle app and have several books store there that I use in preparation for children’s ministry lesson. And, perhaps more than anything else, I love the ability to read my Bible on the iPad. I use Olive Tree’s app. To this day it, along with the ESV Study Bible, is still the most expensive app I’ve purchased, and it was worth every penny and more. The ability to search the Bible, highlight as you read, tag things, keep bookmarks and so much more has made the iPad an invaluable tool both for Bible reading and study. Commentaries are available for the text you are reading at the touch of a button. Charts and graphs come alive as you see them side by side with the text. I am able to keep my personal notes as I read right alongside any sermon notes I might take as I sit in church. I haven’t counted, but I have upwards of 15-20 different highlighting colors (all customizable) to highlight relevant passages. So, for example, all the different names of God are highlighted in purple. Passages about children and families are in blue. References to the Holy Spirit are in Orange, and so on and so on. Each time I read through the Bible, I add more an more highlights as God leads me to knew topics to study whether than be the love of God, fear of God, holiness or whatever else. And, all of your highlights transfer between translations of the Bible. My “go to” translation is the ESV, but I also have an NASB and HCSB in my Olive Tree library.