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What’s in the Pipeline?

Posted on: November 27th, 2015 by Craig Rairdin 61 Comments

We often get asked about what we are working on. While you can be sure we are always working, and that our work probably involves some version of PocketBible, we understand you may be interested in a more detailed explanation of what is going on behind the scenes. It is in that spirit that we are going to try something new with an occasional post on what’s in the pipeline for apps and books.

You’ll notice we don’t talk about release dates. We’ve been in this business for a long time and have learned that our best-laid plans often go awry. In fact, in the software business, that’s the rule rather than the exception. So we don’t spit into that wind nor tilt at those windmills. We’re pursuing the goals you see below at our best pace and will release new books and updates to our apps as soon as they’re ready.


  • PocketBible for Android – Version 1.4.4 is current. Includes support for upcoming BookBuilder improvements with respect to user-created Bibles. Currently working on minor bug fixes and improvements.
  • PocketBible for iOS – Version 3.4.0 is current. Currently working on a major re-write to support scrolling of the text (in addition to the current paging mode) and simplifying highlighting, bookmarking, and text selection. This will be version 4.0.
  • PocketBible for Mac OS X – Version 1.1.5 is current.
  • PocketBible for Windows Phone and Windows Store – Currently working on a universal version of the app for Windows 10.
  • BookBuilder for Mac OS X – Version 1.1.0 is current.
  • BookBuilder for Windows Desktop – Version 2 was released in September 2015 to bring it up to par with improvements introduced in the Mac version.


Here’s what our editorial team has in the queue for you (not in any particular order):

  • New devotionals for 2016
  • Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels
  • Additional volumes of the Ancient Christian Commentary Series (IVP)
  • The Applied Old Testament Commentary (Cook)
  • Wesley Study Bible (Abingdon)
  • NASB Bible text Updates
  • Tree of Life Version (TLV)
  • More non-English Bibles (?)

Disclaimers: All this is subject to change in priority, feasibility, copyright licensing, etc. That means we reserve the right to never release these features or books. We are sharing with you the current plan which is written in sand, not stone. Also, just because something is not on this list doesn’t mean we are not considering it. Finally, we are open to your requests, suggestions and comments!

PocketBible 3.4.0 for iOS Available at the App Store

Posted on: November 3rd, 2015 by Craig Rairdin 2 Comments

PocketBible iOS IconApple approved PocketBible 3.4.0 on Monday. The motivation for this update was support for iOS 9 multitasking (“Split View”) on the newer iPads. Of course we took advantage of the update to roll out some new features and enhancements at the same time.

Version 3.4.0 adds Passage Actions to the main menu. This gives you a way to copy, share, or print a verse or passage without actually going there first. I use this to grab verses to insert into sermon notes without losing my place in the Bible.

A number of features were added for new users to ease them into the admittedly complex PocketBible navigation methods (such as swiping from right to left to turn a page, just like a book and just like every ebook app). A new Welcome to PocketBible slideshow is triggered when the program is launched without having previously been registered. It introduces the basic functionality of the program. And the navigation overlay has been enhanced to remind you that you can also swipe instead of tap to navigate.

Version 3.3.7 eliminated the need to purchase voices to take advantage of audio features of the program, but introduced a bug that made it impossible to choose between two voices in the same language. Version 3.4.0 fixes this issue. We also discovered that iOS 9 voices speak more slowly than the same voices in iOS 8, so we changed the default rates and gave you more rate choices if you’re running iOS 9.

You can read the full list of new features, enhancements, and bug fixes when you download the update from the App Store. Or, you can read it below.

What’s Next?

Next up will be a fairly significant update to PocketBible that I’m tentatively planning to call PocketBible 4. We think the new version will be easier to use and will introduce some new features in the Advanced Feature Set that will make the AFS more valuable for those of you who choose to purchase it.

You should note that we plan to raise the price on the AFS at some point in this process, so now is the time to upgrade if you haven’t already. You can do so from within the app, but it’s cheaper to do it on our website. After purchasing the AFS on our site, just choose Buy/Apply Upgrade from the menu in PocketBible to enable the advanced features.


  • Support for iOS 9 multitasking (Split View)
  • Added Passage Actions to the main menu for easily copying or sharing any verse or range of verses without first finding the passage and selecting it in the text.


  • New Welcome to PocketBible slide show for new users.
  • Touch zone overlay now shows swipe direction in addition to the functions of each touch zone.
  • Add Share to the press-and-hold menubar to give quicker access to sharing selected text.
  • Leave the Note Viewer open on the iPhone when following an external (Web) link. Makes it easier to get back to where you were.


  • Show iOS 9 voice names so that you can choose between two voices in the same language and locale.
  • iOS 9 voices are slower than iOS 8 voices were. Changed the rate options for iOS 9 so that voices sound more natural at the “normal” rate.
  • Make sure status bar background and text colors gets set correctly.>
  • When copying/sharing text, do not include the “Note” marker at the beginning of a verse that has a user-created note. Also, do not include translator’s footnotes.
  • Don’t use the Context menu Share submenu for non-Bibles, as it will have only one item in it. Just do Share Selected Text directly.

Greek New Testament Available for PocketBible for Android

Posted on: November 2nd, 2015 by Craig Rairdin No Comments

As you may know, Laridian offers the SBL Greek New Testament for PocketBible on all platforms except Android. This was due to lack of decent Unicode support in Android before 4.4.

Now that we’re at the point where most of you are running Android OS 4.4 or later, we decided to go ahead and make the SBL Greek New Testament available for this platform. You’ll find it in your list of available downloads when you go to Download Books in the app.

If you’re running an earlier version of Android, you can still try installing and using this book, but you will find little rendering problems depending on your version of the operating system. We can’t do anything to fix these. And users of 4.4 and later may also discover little rendering issues but we’re not aware of anything major.

Thank you for your patience as we waited for the OS to mature. :-)

PocketBible and Android OS 6 (“Marshmallow”)

Posted on: October 12th, 2015 by Craig Rairdin 6 Comments

We are in the process of fixing some problems that keep PocketBible from running correctly under the latest release of Android OS.

The core of this problem is our valiant attempt to continue support for older devices for as long as we can. Both iOS and Android OS tend to be advanced without due diligence paid to compatibility with older versions of the operating system. Here at Laridian we’ve been long-time believers in not abandoning versions of operating systems that our users are still running. However, the practice of our industry is to drop support for devices older than about two years (the length of the typical cell phone contract) and since the companies that create the operating systems also create the tools we use to develop PocketBible, it is often impossible to do anything but go along.

Android OS 6 is incompatible with certain features of PocketBible that are there to support pre-4.x devices. We’re in the process of removing support for those operating systems and will release an update as soon as possible. In the meantime, there is no work-around short of not installing OS 6.

PocketBible for iOS 3.3.7 Approved by Apple

Posted on: October 1st, 2015 by Craig Rairdin 3 Comments

PocketBible iOS IconPocketBible for iOS, version 3.3.7 was approved for distribution in the App Store this afternoon. You should be notified when it is available to you.

New Features

The new iPhone scrolling toolbar makes more features instantly accessible without accessing the menu. Flick the toolbar left or right to slide the toolbar and reveal more functionality. We’ve added direct access to your list of notes and highlights, the Settings menu, and other features that were previously only on the iPad toolbar (which is larger and therefore had more room for more buttons).

There’s no longer any need to purchase voices to use the audio features. The Advanced Feature Set now uses built-in iOS voices and allows you to set pitch and rate of speech. The program will automatically remove any of the old voices it finds to free up space.

We’ve made it easier to share Bible verses to Twitter, Facebook, and other social media. Select your text then choose Share from the Context menu. Now, one problem that most people don’t realize is that Facebook recently changed its policies so that apps cannot pre-populate your status text. This policy is enforced through the Facebook app. So if the Facebook app is installed, your verse text will not show up in the status field when you choose to share on Facebook. Instead, either remove the Facebook app (!) or simply use “copy” in PocketBible to copy to the clipboard, then paste into the Facebook app. We agree this is, well, dumb. But, hey, it’s Facebook, right?

You can now include links to websites in your notes. These links may not be honored on other platforms if you sync your notes, but they will work on the iOS version on all your devices.


The free version of PocketBible now supports text selection for copy and other operations. Previously, only entire verses could be selected.

Searching for selected words, or doing a dictionary look-up of a selected word is easier. After selecting text, you’ll find “Find” and “Look Up” on the menu bar (along with “Copy”, of course). It’s the same number of taps as before, but it is easier and quicker to find.

Advanced Feature Set users will notice the confusing Selection Actions menu is gone. The functionality of that menu has been integrated into the Context menu. Instead of listing every operation separately (“Copy Selected Text”, “Copy Selected Verses”, and “Passage Action”, for example), we only list the “actions” (“Copy”, “Highlight”, “Share”, etc.). Under those we give you a choice of what you want to act on (“Selected Text”, “Selected Verses”, “Passage”, etc.). This makes the context menu shorter and easier to navigate. In some cases it adds a tap, but the overall improvement in usability is significant.

Bug Fixes

A number of bugs and misbehaviors were addressed. None of these were show-stoppers but some were annoying. For example, the go-to-verse buttons on the iPad in landscape orientation were too small, and the download progress bar would sit at zero until 100% of the book was downloaded.

What’s Next?

Next up we’ll be looking at two major tasks: First is evaluating the best way to support the multitasking features of the new iOS 9 devices. Best case, it will require a little additional programming. Worst case, it will require a redesign of major portions of the program. It’s not clear yet where we’ll fall on that spectrum. Second, we’ll be bringing a couple features of the Mac version into the Advanced Feature Set of the iOS version. We’ll have more to say about that soon.

Laridian Website – Server Migration Post-Mortem

Posted on: August 5th, 2015 by Craig Rairdin 10 Comments

Update – Aug 5, 2015 – We discovered that the sync server wasn’t running, so you weren’t able to sync your user data even after the DNS changes propagated. This has been fixed. If you had trouble synchronizing your notes, highlights, and bookmarks, try again.


This article will mean very little to most of you but some of you might find it slightly interesting.

I don’t like to get off a perfectly good horse midstream. Windows Server 2003 and SQL Server 2000 have been serving us well for a very long time. But Microsoft discontinued support for  Windows Server 2003 last month and that means no more security updates. As a result, our next PCI security scan was doomed to fail, which doesn’t mean your personal data would be at risk (any more than passing the PCI scan protects the data), but it doesn’t make for good PR.

(PCI is the Payment Card Industry and the scan is required to meet their card security standards. Laridian doesn’t store your card data so the requirements for us are pretty light. You’re at significantly more risk when you hand your card to the clerk at Target, and we all know from experience that even though they passed all the security scans it didn’t do them much good.)

Upgrading to Windows Server 2012 and SQL Server 2012 meant physically moving the contents of our servers to new hardware, and as long as we were doing that, we decided to shop around for better pricing. We found it at, which offers the type of dedicated server solutions that we need. And they do it for half the price of the company we had previously been with.

Laridian maintains several large databases. These contain your customer account, your transaction history, all the user-created data you’ve sync’ed to the Laridian Cloud, and the downloadable files that make up our books and Bibles. In addition to those we have a couple others for in-house purposes. Because SQL Server 2000 is past end-of-life, those databases could not be imported directly into SQL Server 2012. We had to first import them into a SQL Server 2008 instance, then import that to SQL Server 2012. The good news was that having done that, the databases functioned exactly the same. In fact, we were able to simply point the old website to the new database, and it would work just fine.

Let me pause for a minute to say this: We cannot build PocketBible 1.0.0 for iOS anymore. Not only would the resulting program not even come close to working on iOS 8, it would fail in the compilation and linking process. PocketBible 1.0.0 was released in September 2009, just six years ago.

Contrast that with the code that runs on our website. In 1998, we contracted with Jomax Technologies — Bob Parsons first Internet company, before he founded GoDaddy — to create our e-commerce site. There is a significant amount of code dating from 1998 still running on our site, especially on our back office site, which is where we generate sales reports, create new product pages, and define priority codes. This code is running unaltered seventeen years later, accessing a database that has been in continuous use for all those years.

When you hear me complaining about the unnecessarily rapid pace of development from Apple (and other companies who drive our industry) and how they create problems due to their lack of regression testing and backwards compatibility, this is what I’m talking about. Because Microsoft knows it would be a huge problem to break millions of websites, they go out of their way to continue to support the technologies on which the internet is built.

But I digress…

This move took place over about a four-week period. (I actually thought it would take twice that long.) The first step was to move the system we use for source code archival (SourceGear Vault). This was necessary because we use Vault to maintain the website. We check code out of Vault, make our changes, and check it back in. Vault populates the website folders from the files we check in. It would be most convenient if we could continue to do this the same way on the new website.

Because we were running Windows Server 2003, we couldn’t upgrade to the latest version of Vault, which requires Windows Server 2008. And because we were running such an old version of Vault (version 5) we couldn’t upgrade to the latest (version 8) directly. We had to first upgrade to version 6, which upgraded our database, then upgrade to version 8, which upgraded it again. With Vault working on the new server, we were able to move software development and book production to the new server within about two weeks.

Prior to moving Vault we had captured a snapshot of the websites and databases and were running those on the new server for testing. This allowed us to do a quick test to verify that the Web pages themselves would run under Windows Server 2012 and IIS 8. They worked just fine.

Next, we knew that during the transition to the new site there would be a period of time while DNS changes were propagating during which we would have to access the new database from the old website. We ran some tests that verified this would work.

Last, we had to build the Laridian Sync Server Service code with Visual Studio 2015 and verify it worked. It did.

At this point we spent a couple days locking down the firewall settings. We had a period of just a few hours when we had an open SMTP (email) server that was exposed to the outside world. I was shocked by how quickly the spammers discovered it (by literally rifling through IP addresses and sniffing for servers). We worked with SingleHop to quickly lock that down.

Now we just needed a procedure to follow for getting a final copy of the database moved to the new host. The problem was that we couldn’t be writing to it while it was being moved, which meant shutting down all commerce, account updates, product registration, and user-data synchronization for some unknown period of time. SingleHop estimated two hours to move the database, but suggested we allow three. I allowed four. (It took five.)

Once we knew what needed to be done, we picked a convenient date and time to do it. We were able to configure much of the code to just shut itself down at 8AM CDT the day of the migration. So, for example, the code to do synchronization of user data from PocketBible for Windows would still be there waiting for connections, but starting at 8AM (7:30, actually) it would return an error code to the client saying that the site was down for maintenance. By automating that process, it meant there were fewer manual actions that needed to be taken in the moments before the migration began. In fact, by the night before the move we were down to where it would take only ten check boxes and about 3-4 button clicks to completely bring Laridian to a stop for the two, three, or four (or five) hours it would take to move the database.

The morning of the move, I discovered SingleHop had left themselves logged into a server, which blocked me from getting in to click on two of my ten check boxes. I asked them to do that for me, which was not a problem. Then I discovered that the person who I was told would be doing the migration hadn’t been told about that fact until 30 minutes after the migration was to have begun. He was rousted out of bed or wherever he was, and started moving the databases.

With that small hurdle overcome, and with the website having automatically stopped processing new transactions to the database, I was able to get in and make three lines of code changes that it took to point the old website to the new database server. That was really all I needed to do during the time while the database was being exported from SQL 2000, imported to SQL 2008, exported from SQL 2008, and imported into SQL 2012.

The last step of the move was to make the DNS changes required to point everyone to the new server. It was at this moment that our registrar (GoDaddy) decided to make buggy changes to their website that kept us from changing our zone file. After two or three hours of attempts, we were finally able to get those changes made.

In the end the move turned out to be easier than I thought and was significantly less time-consuming than I had anticipated. I’m sure we’ll discover small things that are broken, but the major functionality of the new servers appears to be working.

Thank you for your patience during the move.



Laridian Website – Planned Outage

Posted on: August 4th, 2015 by Craig Rairdin 3 Comments

The server migration we did this morning (Tuesday, August 4) is complete as far as we can tell. The last phase of it is changing the various DNS records for our various sites so that they point to the new server. That has been done, but it takes time for the changes to DNS to propagate throughout the Internet.

Until that time, you’ll see a yellow marquee banner across the top of pages at and you won’t be able to sync your user data. If you see the yellow banner, the site will be slow because it’s talking across the wire to the database server instead of having it located “right next door” on its own subnet in the same building. Once the DNS change finds its way to your machine, you’ll be back up to full speed at the new site.

I’ll write up a little post-mortem article for the techies among you just for fun.

If you have problems with our site that don’t fix themselves by Wednesday, August 5, drop us an email at

Reason for the Outage

Laridian operates services on a variety of servers located at more than one hosting company. From time to time we move these services to new locations either to enhance their capability or to save money or both. We are generally able to do this in a way that minimizes or eliminates downtime. In this case, we are moving our database server, which stores almost everything of importance at Laridian including your customer account, transaction history, user-created data (notes, highlights, and bookmarks), and all our books.

It wasn’t possible in this case to make this transition without actually stopping all updates to the database, copying the data to the new server, and restarting it at its new location. During this brief time, we couldn’t do any operations that cause the database to change, or we risked losing those changes (i.e. they would get written to the “old” location after the database has been moved to the “new” location).


Once this whole process is complete, we expect enhanced performance of the website, sync service, downloads, and other related services. Security of all of these services will be increased. And despite the more powerful hardware on which this will all be running, our costs will be lower. This will allow us to continue to produce Bibles and reference materials at prices at or below what you’ll find elsewhere.


2:45PM Remaining DNS changes complete.

1:35PM Laridian Cloud sync services are back up. The IP address for synchronization has changed, so you may continue to get the “maintenance” message (or not be able to connect at all) until DNS changes propagate to your server. This could take up to 48 hours but in our experience most of you will see the change within a couple hours of it happening (which was actually a couple hours ago).

12:00PM Domain registrar is up and down. We have been able to make some DNS changes, but not all.

11:15AM Our domain registrar chose this time to go down. Of course. This isn’t a big deal, it just means that the sites will be slower. Once we can make DNS changes, the websites and the database server will be on the same subnet. Until then, the websites have to talk across the wire to the database, which means they’ll be slower. The worst part of this is that user data synchronization (Laridian Cloud) can’t be brought back up without changing DNS. We don’t anticipate this will take long.

10:45AM Commerce, product registration, account updates, and Apple App Store in-app purchase downloads are back online. The only thing currently offline is the Laridian Cloud (user data synchronization).

PocketBible 1.x.x for iOS users: If you got a message while trying to sync that said “You’re running a very old version of PocketBible“, it’s because you’re still using version 1.x and we’re currently on version 3. To upgrade, first sync (not just backup, but sync) your user data with the server after this maintenance is over. Then search the App Store for PocketBible. The program is free. Download and run it. Register using the same customer ID and password as you have been using, then turn on automatic synchronization under Manage My Data in the menu. The program will pick up your notes, highlights, and bookmarks and you’ll just have to download your Bibles and reference books.

8:30AM Migration officially started.

8:00AM Commerce, account update, PocketBible 2.x/3.x sync service, and other related services disabled.

7:30AM PocketBible for Windows and PocketBible 1.x sync services disabled.

King James Version: Red Letters and Paragraphs

Posted on: July 23rd, 2015 by Craig Rairdin 6 Comments

Title_PageBack in October, 2014 we updated our King James Version text. We had taken some criticism for publishing a low-quality edition of the text which couldn’t seem to be traced back to any known edition of the KJV.

Red Letters

When we published that version, we intentionally left out the “words of Christ in red” feature, because the whole goal was to get to a pedigreed version of the text and red letters were not a part of the KJV text until relatively recently.

This didn’t go over well with folks who rely on red ink to know when Jesus is speaking. So we did more research to see if we could come up with an “authoritative” red-letter edition of the KJV on which to base our editorial decisions. To our surprise, we found one.

In 1899, Louis Klopsch (1852-1910), editor of The Christian Herald, was writing an editorial for his magazine when he read Luke 22:20: “This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.” It struck him that a New Testament with Christ’s words written in “blood” would be both useful and highly symbolic. He approached his mentor, Rev. T DeWitt Talmage with the idea, and the men agreed, “It could do no harm and it most certainly could do much good.”

Klopsch Red Letter BibleRight away they discovered that the KJV contains no quotation marks to delineate those words spoken by Jesus and separate them from those of the narrator or other characters in the story. It also occurred to them that there are instances in the Old Testament where it is believed that Jesus appeared to the Old Testament saints and spoke to them. Should those words be in red? What about the words of Jesus when spoken by others in the book of Acts or the epistles?

Klopsch had to make a few choices (such as in John 3:16ff) about where Jesus’ words end and the narrator’s begin. He opted to omit Old Testament christophanies, but to include New Testament quotes in red. The first red-letter New Testament was published in 1899, and an entire Bible, containing the red-letter New Testament, was published in 1901.

Laridian was able to obtain a 1903 New Testament and a 1913 whole Bible, each with Klopsch’s original red-letter text. The New Testament claims an 1899 copyright and the whole Bible, 1901. From these well-used pages we manually marked up our electronic text to indicate the words of Christ.


Soon after publishing our updated KJV last year we realized that the text we had worked from did not contain paragraph indicators of any kind. With a little effort we were able to find a source of that information that is consistent with the age and quality of the text itself, and have integrated that information into our text.

The King James Version has historically been printed with each verse starting on a new line, and a pilcrow (¶) marking the start of a new paragraph. We have followed that tradition, which means that in versions of PocketBible that allow you to display the text in paragraph form or one verse per line, you will always see the KJV text presented with each verse starting on a new line.

While some might argue that this format is jarring to the modern reader, we would point out that that KJV itself is “jarring” to the modern reader. We think there is great value in upholding the publishing traditions that add to the unique character of the King James Version of the Bible, and are very happy with the results of this effort to update our version of the text.

Most PocketBible users will see a note on the “Add/Remove Books”, “Cloud Library”, or “Download Books” screen in PocketBible to the effect that the KJV and KJV with Strong’s Numbers texts have been updated. Select the updated product to download it to PocketBible. Windows Desktop users will have to download the setup program for the KJV or KJVEC from the Downloads area of our website.

Don’t Panic! Gay Satanists Are Not Corrupting Your Bible

Posted on: July 15th, 2015 by Craig Rairdin 14 Comments

Recently we’ve heard from a few customers who have seen a post on Facebook suggesting that someone is out to corrupt the New International Version (NIV) and English Standard Version (ESV) Bibles, and that they need to act quickly to make sure they archive a copy of the “real” Bible before gays and satanists ruin it. The post usually looks something like this:


I’m sure you know that NIV was published by Zondervan but is now OWNED by Harper Collins, who also publishes the Satanic Bible and The Joy of Gay Sex.

The NIV has now removed 64,575 words from the Bible including Jehovah, Calvary, Holy Ghost and omnipotent to name but a few… The NIV and ESV and other versions have also now removed 45 complete verses. Most of us have the Bible on our devices and phones.

Try and find these scriptures in NIV or ESV on your computer, phone or device right now if you are in doubt:

Matthew 17:21, 18:11, 23:14; Mark 7:16, 9:44, 9:46; Luke 17:36, 23:17; John 5:4; Acts 8:37

…you will not believe your eyes.

Let’s not forget what the Lord Jesus said in John 10:10 (King James Version)


If you must use the NIV or ESV BUY and KEEP AN EARLIER VERSION OF the BIBLE. A Hard Copy cannot be updated. All these changes occur when they ask you to update the app. On your phone or laptop etc. Buy and KEEP EARLIER VERSIONS AND STORE THEM.

There is a crusade geared towards altering the Bible as we know it; NIV and many more versions are affected.

This is a variation on the claims that newer Bibles remove verses from the “original” (by which they usually mean the King James Version). But in this version of the panic-inducing message, the argument is that the newer versions themselves are being updated, purportedly by the gays and satanists at Harper Collins, to remove verses and change words.

The fact of the matter is that updates have been made to these two Bibles. Ongoing updates are often made by the translators of all modern Bibles to address errors in previous editions, changes in language and usage, and to incorporate a better understanding of the original Hebrew and Greek texts. This is not unusual; even the King James Version was updated for these purposes during the early years of its existence.

With respect to the NIV, Zondervan, and Harper Collins, it’s important to note that the text of the NIV is actually maintained by Biblica, formerly the International Bible Society, a ministry that translates the Bible into dozens of languages and distributes it freely throughout the world. Zondervan is their commercial publishing partner, but Biblica maintains the text, just as they do their other Bibles. So despite the claims of this Facebook post, Harper Collins is not changing the text.

The ESV is an update to the Revised Standard Version (RSV), which itself was a revision of the American Standard Version (ASV). The ASV was an “Americanized” edition of the Revised Version (RV), which was a late-19th-century update to the King James Version. Coincidentally, the ASV was originally published by Thomas Nelson, which today is owned by the same parent company (Harper Collins) that owns Zondervan.

With respect to the complaints about the ESV, given its history one is compelled to question which earlier version the author would have us revert to. This is not made clear. In fact, there is very little clarity in the Facebook post.

We’re frankly disappointed that so many people are sucked in by claims like this. I suppose it could be true that there is a world-wide conspiracy by homosexuals who are in league with satanists to corrupt the Bible. I don’t think the author argues that point very well, if at all, but I suppose it could be possible. I think it’s more likely that an uneducated person who is ignorant of how Bible translation works and of the history of the Bible noticed that both his NIV Bible and his copy of the Joy of Gay Sex were published by Harper Collins and decided everyone on Facebook needed to know about it.

Interested in learning more about the history of the Bible, the original texts and manuscripts from which it is translated, why certain writings are included while others are not, how it is translated, and some information about the various English translations of the Bible over the years? Check out The Origin of the Bible by Dr. Philip Comfort for PocketBible.

This updated volume of the original classic provides a fascinating overview of how the Bible was first inspired, canonized, read as sacred literature, copied in ancient Hebrew and Greek manuscripts, and eventually translated into the languages of the world.
The Origin of the Bible is a comprehensive guide to the origin and development of the Bible text, manuscripts, and canon. This updated edition provides a chapter on recent developments in Bible translation.

An excellent resources for pastors, Bible teachers, seminarians and any student of the Bible (i.e all Christians), this book provides a wealth of information about the historical development of the Bible.


PocketBible 3.2.3 for iOS Now Available

Posted on: June 2nd, 2015 by Craig Rairdin 5 Comments

PocketBible iOS IconApple has approved PocketBible 3.2.3 for distribution on the App Store. This version is a minor update intended to fix a few problems mainly on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. (We’re just going to pretend that 3.2.0 never happened.)

The new iPhones have larger screens. PocketBible has absolutely no problem with larger screens. In fact, exactly the same code runs on the iPad and iPhone. PocketBible asks iOS how big the screen is, then proceeds to fill it. Apple, however, has to protect you against apps that assume that the only possible size the screen can be is one of the known sizes as of the date of release of the app. So when we ask iOS for the screen size, it lies to us and tells us the size of the iPhone 5 screen. Then it multiplies the pixels by 1 + a small fraction and blows our user interface up to fill the screen.

The result of this “lie and blow up” strategy is a blurry app, as you can see on the left, below (click for full resolution).

PocketBible on iPhone 6

On the left is version 3.1.0. On the right is 3.2.3 (misidentified as 3.1.1 in the picture above). Version 3.2.3 jumps through the magic hoop that tells iOS that we understand the larger screen size. The “hoop” consists of using a different method to display the “splash screen” that appears when you launch PocketBible. When iOS sees we are using this method, it knows that we must know about the iPhone 6, so it stops lying to us about the size of the screen and allows us to use all the pixels on those great new displays. As you can see, the screen shots were taken just two minutes apart. It’s literally the same PocketBible code displaying non-blurry text. (Can you tell that this frustrates me a bit? I’ll post a link in the comments with more ranting about this if you’re interested.)

One nice change in this version is that you can change the password on your account without being forced to delete your books and your user-created data. The previous version believed you were trying to log into a different account, so it forced you to delete your books and answer some hard questions about your notes, highlights, and bookmarks before it would continue. The new version realizes all you have done is change the password, so it doesn’t ask you to do any of that.

If you DO log into a different account, it will still ask you to do something about your user data so that it doesn’t get corrupted by being sync’ed to a different account, but it isn’t as insistent that you do it right away.

This all being said, you shouldn’t be switching user accounts. If you think you need to bounce between user accounts, talk to us so we can figure out what you need and solve it correctly.

Behind the scenes, PocketBible 3.2.3 is now using https: connections to talk to the server for all connections, not just the ones where personal data like passwords are being transmitted. This takes advantage of some security changes we’ve made at the site in the last few months and makes all your data more secure than it needs to be.

The App Store on your device will notify you about the update, or you can just go get it now.

Here’s the full list of new, enhanced, and repaired features in 3.2.3:

New Features

  • Recognize and take advantage of the increased screen size of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus instead of allowing iOS to scale the screen, which caused text to be blurry.
  • Support “custom Bibles” from BookBuilder which specify custom versification by referencing existing versification schemes. (Reader Engine version 1.073.)


  • Allow the Font / Size / Brightness setting window to rotate to landscape and to fill the full width of the screen.
  • Allow user to change password without forcing them to delete books and user-created data (notes, highlights, bookmarks, etc.).
  • Allow user more affirmative control over disposition of user-created data when logging into a different Laridian customer account.
  • Use https: connections throughout, even though no personal data is being transmitted.
  • Do a better job selecting italic and bold/italic fonts with families that support heavy, bold, demi, semi, medium, etc. variants.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a bug that caused text-to-speech reading to stop at an empty verse.
  • Table heading tags were getting filtered out of notes.
  • Opening a devotional with no existing start date would create a start date, overwriting the existing start date that might not have yet been sync’ed from the Laridian Cloud.
  • Fixed a memory leak when displaying lists of bookmark categories.

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