YouVersion Bible app reaches milestone 500 million downloads

(Photo: YouVersion)

The free Bible-reading app YouVersion has surpassed 500 million downloads since its launch on the Apple app store 13 years ago. 

YouVersion was created by Life.Church and was at the time of its launch in July 2008 the only Bible app available on the app store.

Life.Church's founding pastor Craig Groeschel shared the milestone achievement this week and called it "a testimony to the goodness of God and the power of His word."

"As of today, the YouVersion Bible app is now on one-half of a billion devices around the world," he said.

"To celebrate this moment, our verse of the day is Hebrews 4:12, which says, 'For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.'"

App creator Bobby Gruenewald told The Christian Post that the app had been inspired by his own desire to read the Bible more because at the time he felt he was "below average".

"The entire ministry was about me getting to read the Bible more because I always wanted to read the Bible more, and I thought there were probably more people in my situation," he said.

"And, of course, we had no idea of what it would become. It started simple and as a small effort." 

Within just the first weekend, the app had already surpassed download projections for the entire year, being installed 83,000 times. 

Originally launched in only English and Spanish, YouVersion now offers translations in over 1,750 languages. 

After hitting 500 million downloads, Gruenewald is giving all the glory to God.

"It's extremely humbling to have reached 500 million downloads. Just the fact that God could do something so big through us," he said.

"It's important that people understand that this is something God did, not us. We can't take credit for this. God did this through me, and it's so crazy that God would use me. And there's a lot more that God will do and can do in future."