YouVersion's Bible App, Biblica and Zondervan are teaming up to offer 1 million free downloads of the New International Version (NIV) Bible starting Saturday at 8 p.m. ET.
The project is in honor of the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the King James Version, on May 2. They plan on having access to the download available for 400 hours through the Bible App until March 1.
Bobby Gruenewald, pastor and innovation leader at LifeChurch.tv stated, "Hundreds of years later, our generation has benefitted greatly from the efforts of those who made the King James Version available. We are thrilled to join in the celebration by offering free downloads of the NIV, currently available for $9.99, through our partnership with Biblica and Zondervan."
LifeChurch.tv, based in Edmond, Okla., draws tens of thousands of people each weekend to its 80 services at 14 locations, including Church Online. The fast-growing church launched the YouVersion Bible app in 2007. The app has been installed more than 15 million times, with users logging in a total of 5 billion minutes reading the Bible with YouVersion.
The developers of the free Bible app committed to the latest project after getting feedback from their users who were asking for a free digital version of the NIV available offline. Useres that download the NIV starting this weekend will be able to access Scripture anytime, not just when connected to the Internet.
The NIV is the number one eBook in the Religion & Spirituality category of Apple's iBoostore and at number seven for all books on Apple. It's also in the Top 100 in Amazon's Kindle store and Top 25 in Barnes & Noble Nook Store.
"We have a lot of Bibles that you can access for free and download for free but the NIV has not been available to download into the phone," Gruenewald explained to The Christian Post. "But thanks to Biblica and Zondervan who partnered with us for this 400 hours to make available to all of our iPhone, iPad, Android users so that they can have access to the download."
The project aims to have one million downloads during those 400 hours. If the downloads go beyond one million, users can still have access to it until the 400 hours are up.
"We'd love to see that goal happening in that 400-hour run," said Gruenewald.
Chip Brown, senior vice president and publisher of Zondervan, excitedly stated, "It is an outstanding resource available on nearly every mobile device on the market, and that makes accessing God's Word as easy as making a phone call."
As part of the yearlong celebration of the KJV anniversary, Gruenewald said he hopes to offer more opportunities for people to engage in reading the Bible more often.
"Our passion is very simple: we want to see people engage in God's work on daily basis. That's why we developed the e-version. I encourage any of your readers if they don't have the app to be sure to download it and take advantage of this opportunity," he said.
The King James Bible project began in 1604 and was published on May 5, 1611, by instruction from the King of England, James I.