Free Study Bible

Posted on January 29, 2013

“Can you recommend a good study Bible?”

I get that question a lot.  And the answer is yes.  Yes I can.  In fact, I can now recommend a free study bible (at least it is free for now…later on it is going to be $90).

Faithlife Study Bible is a new study bible designed specifically for mobile devices.  I have been playing with it for the past couple months and I really like it.  There are a few clunky issues (that I’ll detail below) but for the most part it is really awesome as long as you figure out the quirks.  I gave a few people at Riv access to Faithlife and one of them emailed me last week and said:

I have spent more time studying the Word this month than any year previous. This is the most amazing tool and I appreciate that you shared it with me. I have to admit that I can’t wait to see what happens when there are hundreds of Riv members on Faithlife.

Things I really like about the Faithlife Study Bible

The study notes are as simple or as complex as you need them to be – starting with short little commentaries on each passage of Scripture.  For instance, on Galatians 3:1 (the passage we studied at Riv this past weekend), the commentary says simply,

“One of most emotionally charged addresses in all of Paul’s letters. Paul’s use of the term ‘foolish’ does not refer to mental incompetence on the part of the Galatians, but to a lack of wisdom.”

Simple.  But if you want more, there is more.  You can expand the notes and a little Greek study guide pops up.  There are also cross references, maps, and other resources like that.  It’s helpful to start with the overview and have the option of studying more when you want to.  There’s even cool infographics like this one on the life of Abraham.

I can keep all my sermon notes in one place. – I used Faithlife in December when Steve was preaching at Riv and I took all of my notes in Faithlife and it synced them across my devices.  Now, when I am studying a passage, I can access not only the Faithlife study notes, but the notes I took when I heard someone preach through that passage and any other notes I decided to add.  Very slick.

You can share your notes with your Life Group, church, or any other group you set up. – Faithlife Study Bible connects with Faithlife which is a Social Media Platform that allows you to study along with other people, share resources, and even follow along with the Riv Text Project.

One thing about the Faithlife Study Bible that annoys me

Faithlife is still in Beta and doesn’t allow for easy movement between the Study Bible and the Discussion  Groups.  For instance, when you are in the Bible and you click on “Faithlife,” you are brought to your groups so you can discuss stuff.  Then, when you click on “Bible,” instead of bringing you back to the Faithlife Study Bible, you are kicked to another site (Biblia).  This makes it a little confusing, but I’m sure they will eventually get around to fixing these sorts of bugs.

With all this said, the Faithlife Study Bible is a terrific resource, especially if you are a mobile device junkie like I am.  If you want a free copy, just follow these steps:

1. Click on

2. Enter the coupon code: “Riv”. (You’ll have to create a Faithlife account)

3. Download the app to your iPad, iPhone, Kindle, or Android device (or use the web version at

4. Once you get all set up, make sure you join the RivChurch group ( so we can interact with each other and so you can follow along with the Text Project!