The other day, we received a question asking about the location of Bible databases which would be suitable for using for mobile apps. This is something of an undocumented search I’m afraid, as much of what ends up happening either doesn’t get talked about, or falls under the conversations about copyright, licensing, and digital use we hear about from time to time.
While I was able to give the respondant an answer, I thought it a good idea to also share that answer here and ask you where you might obtain your sources for the religious texts that you use within your mobile apps and services.
- Logos has the Biblia API which is a set of APi libraries into their content database (20,000 items and growing). I do not remember there being any restrictions on using it for other applications, but you will want to check on that.
- Crossway has the ESV available in both a packaged download (not necessarily a database) and API calls to their server. There is some restriction on usage
- Bible.org/NET has the New English Translation (and notes) available as a packaged download. They are working on an API into their texts. Refer to their website for specifics, and you would probably end up crossing paths with many others attempting the same
- CCEL has several Bibles (many past copyright) and Biblical content. Much of it is in semantic HTML4 documents, packaged as zipped archives. All of those are free to use as long as you keep the attribution in your source documents.
- The WEB (World English Bible) is mostly an open licensed text, I am not sure of the state of their content [in respect to being usable for inclusion into web/mobile applications or services].
- You might also want to look into Open Doors and Door 43, as they have been working on an open licensed text/audio biblical library. Their project is in process.
- If you are looking for audio, your main/best resources are Faith Comes By Hearing and GRN. They do make content deals with [organizations and] developers to offer the content based on you providing to them metrics about use/downloads/etc.
Perhaps, in helping to answer the question of licensing and access, hearing about the challenges around discovery and implementation might lend towards some obvious solutions in this space.
If you have a listing of Biblical sources, definitely respond in the comments. If the list grows sufficiently, then perhaps this information becomes something else added to our page of resources for developers/organizations.