Just 1 Word offers a variety of online Bibles

and offline too, if you want to pay

Spoiler alert! Just 1 Word


How bad will it get if you get left behind after Saturday’s Rapture? Really bad. The Republicans will be in heaven with Jesus so President Antichrist will get to push through the health care bill he really wanted. You will have to go to hospitals and have your medical bills paid for. At taxpayer expense.

Think about it. You will have to pay another hundred a year in taxes and be forced to take your health care for free.

And if that isn’t torture enough, the Democrats will make employers bring jobs back to America. You will have to work again. No more excuses for unemployment. I can’t imagine anything more terrible.

Liberals will control Hollywood’s agenda with no watchdogs to stop them. Your kids will now see naked breasts and people making love in PG-13 movies instead of family values movies with forty or fifty dead bodies, mindless explosions and lots of “F___ you” and “F___ your mother.”

Endless reruns of All in the Family and Maud.

French restaurants will replace Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Walmart employees will be forced to accept raises and health care benefits.

Women will get free abortions and granny will be euthanized at the snap of a finger. Black people and Mexicans will be able to push you around and steal your car.

Marijuana will be legalized and as easy to get as beer. In fact, they may even legalize all drugs, give them away for free to poor people as welfare benefits along with food stamps, and suddenly it will be safe to walk through your neighborhoods at night. Even the bad ones.

Oh, yes, and the skies will fall, the rivers boil, and the sewers empty into the street. We will all be forced to worship Satan aka President Antichrist. But the good news is, according to May 21 theology, it will only last until October and then we’re going to end up in hell.

Well, not me. I’m a Christian, so I get to go because the good thing about being a Baptist Christian is that once you’re saved Baptist you’re always saved. My ticket gets stamped even if I turned Episcopalian and support Gay and Women bishops. And voted for President Antichrist.

This will upset a lot of Christians who remained faithfully evangelical, voted straight Republican tickets in every election, and don’t think Bill Maher is as funny as I do. But they’ve probably already quit reading this post. Boy won’t they be surprised to find Carol and me holding our tickets on Saturday afternoon.1

I’m not saying this gleefully, merely ironically. As readers may know from the pre-launch posts in my blog Righteous Indigestion (which, ironically, officially launches on Rapture Saturday), I don’t think the Rapture is an element of faith, or any more scriptural than the hundreds of other end-time theologies proposed over the last few centuries.2 In fact, over the years I have come to find the glee shared by those looking forward to the Rapture to be slightly creepy and I have volunteered to stay behind and help those who will suffer.

You, on the other hand, obviously want to miss all that. So if you ignored my advice on Tuesday and didn’t download the Crossway ESV Bible (CESV) for free, you now have two days to get back in God’s good graces. You might need to download several translations and cram even harder for your faith finals. I would recommend Just 1 Word for that.

And now for something completely different, like the real review

Just 1 Word is initially free, just like Crossway’s free ESV. The catch is, the Bibles and study guides are online which means that if you don’t have a 3G iPad or access to wireless, you don’t have any content. If you want to read offline, you need to pay for each translation, and the cost seems to average around five dollars.

Some versions, such as the RSV and New RSV, can only be viewed with offline purchase. That being said, many of these versions run for ten or twelve dollars on the Kindle or iBooks and you won’t find as many search and note taking features. Plus, you can see your notes with every version you explore.

The interface is more colorful than the CESV and the features are slightly more robust. Some of the features seem strange, but we’ll get to that later. Like the ESV you can perform searches, but you can also filter your searches to narrow the results.

Just 1 Word also provides a mini-concordance, allowing readers to look up verses by topic, and devotional reading suggestions suggesting daily verses based around a theme. You can highlight, bookmark, and even add your own notes. Or, if you just want to read, you can even launch an autoscrolling feature and control the scrolling speed.

In addition to a customizable search engine, Just 1 Word also organizes verses around topics and even provides readers with suggestions for devotional reading.

If you want to highlight, or even find more information about a verse, Just 1 Word also provides footnotes with alternate readings. Tapping on a footnote reveals all the notes related to the visible text.

Just 1 Word allows you to filter your searches to narrow down the results, and also includes footnotes with literal translations of key words.

Your notes, highlights and bookmarks are stored in a separate folder, keeping them available even when you switch translations. And if you want to share a verse, you can post on Facebook or Twitter, or simply email it to friends.

The custom settings panel allows you to turn off footnotes, set the text for low-light reading and even connects you to Apple’s Game Center. That’s right, Just 1 Word keeps track of your Bible reading benchmarks on Game Center. I keep thinking this is a bizarre feature for Bible study, but perhaps it’s a tool for parents to encourage their kids to use the iPad to improve their minds instead of playing stupid Zombie games.

You can even track your Bible study progress in Game Center, and show off to your friends.

Of course, if your kids get left behind, they may need the Zombie killing practice too.

I noticed a couple of problems when using the search menu. The app doesn’t allow you to click on passages that scroll beneath the bottom of the search window while connected to a bluetooth keyboard. You can scroll to them, but you can’t click on them. You have to go to those verses manually. The filters should prevent this, but sometimes the filters overlook relevant verses. But these are only minor blemishes to an otherwise solid app.

There’s really only one real downside to Just 1 Word, but it’s a big one. You can’t copy, paste or email passages, only single verses. I think isolating verses can cause readers to miss the message entirely (but more about that tomorrow).

This and the price of downloading Bibles are the only reasons I would pick the CESV over Just 1 Word. Other than that it’s a great app, and if you don’t intend to reference the texts for research, the single verse copying isn’t that much of a problem. Personally, I think you’ll be happy with either one.


I also considered the Logos+ app for review, and I would review it Tuesday if only the Rapture wasn’t supposed to intervene. Logos+ has some decent features the others don’t have, especially additional references, summaries and commentary (for those who don’t trust their own ability to understand what they read).

I chose to review the others because Logos is really only useful if you have a wireless connection available. And if you want to download the actual Bibles and commentaries (and the other apps don’t offer commentaries) you have to pony up the big bucks. I mean really big bucks.


Jenny Manytoes rates Just 1 Word

Jenny Manytoes would purr next to Just 1 Word. If you want to read offline it will be pricier than its Crossway competitor, but you can compare texts and it’s a little more flexible.

The Jenny Manytoes Rating System

Jenny Manytoes, our polydactyl cat

  • When Jenny makes biscuits on a product she thinks she’s in heaven.
  • When Jenny purrs over a product she’s very happy.
  • When Jenny naps next to a product it’s okay with her.
  • When Jenny bunches her tail she can live with a product, but she has higher expectations.
  • When Jenny leaves it in the litter box….I don’t think I need to explain this one.


1Yes, it is “Carol and me” not “Carol and I.” This is an old trick I used to remember (even though good grammar won’t be important after Saturday). Drop the words “Carol and” from the sentence. Would it be correct to say “see I holding my ticket?” No, it would not. back

2Augustine, for instance, believed Christians were living in the middle of God’s millennium of peace and prosperity and the world would end, without a rapture, around 1000 ad.back

3For instance, my family always cited Proverbs 31.4 (“It is not for Kings to drink wine or rulers to take strong drink) as their case for not drinking. But the entire passage says drunken rulers mistreat their subjects. Wine and strong drink is for their suffering subjects.back


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About Phillip T Stephens

Phillip T. Stephens disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle twenty years before he was born, creating a time travel paradox so confusing it remains unspoken between physicists and sci-fi writers to this day. Follow @stephens_pt
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One Response to Just 1 Word offers a variety of online Bibles

  1. David says:

    Phillip,

    Thanks for writing a review about the Just1word App. We are constantly looking to improve the reading experience. In particularly, you mentioned an issue with clicking on search results which I am unable to reproduce and was wondering if you would care to contact me and give me some more detail so that we can resolve that issue.

    Also, I do not know if you have discovered this but you can sync your notes and highlights with other devices and just1word.com by logging into your account in the “My Stuff” section.

    Thanks again,
    David

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