Siri has transformed the way iPhone users get answers to everyday questions, using voice commands to hear driving directions or listen to weather reports. Now, an enterprising Seattle startup is bringing that same type of functionality to bible verses.

eBible, led by former Google engineer Colin Wong and backed by Seattle angel investors Andy Liu, John Cunningham and others, just introduced a free Android application that it describes as the “world’s first voice-enabled bible.” Like Siri, users simply speak into the app, saying verses such as “John 3:16” or “Matthew 6:33.” Then, a male voice — at least in the examples I’ve heard — says the verse out loud.

“We believe this will totally change the way people access the Bible on their mobile devices, especially for folks on the road,” Wong tells GeekWire.

How does it work technically? Wong said it is similar to Siri.

“We encoded intelligence into the voice recognition and tied it back to scripture location and then pulling the appropriate audio from the English Standard Version Bible translation,” says Wong, noting that an iPhone version of the app is in the works.

You can see the app in action below or listen to a clip here:

Previously on GeekWire: A match made in heaven: ooBible buys


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  • Guesty

    Sweet. I new convenient way to spread hate …

    • Winelfred Pasamba

      so have you found any other way to come back to life after you die?

    • Apocolyptica

      Oh so because it condemns your sinful lifestyle it must be hate…

  • Guesty

    That’s great! Now you can get even more gay kids to hate themselves (and if you’re lucky, destroy themselves) while you’re on the go!

  • Guesty

    Love it. Now you can cherry-pick all the verses that serve you (and drag the ones that don’t to the trash), even while you’re out and about! All that power to tailor the Bible to meet your own needs, right in the palm of your hand!

  • Guest AI

    It really bugs me when some voice-recognition or voice-search component is compared to SIRI.  SIRI uses Nuance for voice recognition.  I imagine that this Biblical-app uses some other speech recognition engine and then does a very basic spider search based on Verses/Tags.  There is no AI component at all.  No algorithms.  No real natural language processing.  Basically, it has nothing to do with SIRI.  Yet, “SIRI” has become the defacto term, kind of like asking for a Kleenex (which has a higher success rate than SIRI).

    And, while on a minor rant, let’s remember that the core SIRI technology was paid for with your tax payer dollars (DARPA/CALO),  and now is applied ONLY to iOS users (the minority).

    • Johan

      Check out ‘Speak The Word Bible Search’ on either Android or iPhone. Both use Nuance.

  • Guesty

    #BiblicalSiri: How may I help you today? Would you like some Biblical passages that:

    1. Condemn homosexuals. 
    2. Condemn non-Christians to hell. 
    3. Endorse slavery. 
    4. Make your wife understand that a woman’s place is in the home.  
    5. Simply make you feel morally superior to others.

    Please check which version of the Bible you’d like the passages to come from:

    [ ] Wycliffe Bible
    [ ] The Jerusalem Bible
    [ ] New Revised Standard Version
    [ ] The Message
    [ ] New Century Version
    [ ] New King James Version
    [ ] New Living Translation

    • Winelfred Pasamba

      the bible is the Instruction Set architecture of humans dude. these rules are nothing if you just realize that there was no other way to come back to life after dying.

  • John Nelson

    Guesty, studying the bible and hate are not synonymous…off the top of my head the civil rights movement was led by Christian bible studying ministers, 

    • Guesty

      Dear John:  I respectfully disagree. Inherent in the structure of the Bible is subjugation, control, intolerance, discrimination and sometimes bloodshed. It makes a lot more sense to apply technology to stop the aforementioned subjugation, control, etc, rather than to perpetuate it.  

  • Kokujin Chronicles

    I’m an atheist, so I won’t be needing this …

    On second thought, if y’all can get Samuel L. Jackson to do the voice over?  Take my money!

    • Winelfred Pasamba

      atheism, is like a microsoft windows computer with microsoft powerpoint showing “microsoft doesn’t exist!”.

      check your calendar and see what 2013 means?
      go to a bible land tour?
      and then try to find any other way to come back to life after dying.
      then go to to learn more

  • Guesty

    #BiblicalSiri: How may I help you today? Would you like some Biblical passages that:

    Judge others:
    A: Harshly (E.g. : condemn them to hell)
    B: Medium (E.g.: condemn others to hell)
    C: Gently (E.g.: don’t mention hell at all)


  • Jason Gerard Clauss

    I’m surprised some Apple fanboi hasn’t separated Steve Jobs’s autobiography into Bible-like verses…

  • Sandwithwaves

    I have to disagree with how some here have reduced the complexity of the Bible (and therefore Christians) to a simplistic picture.  In fact, countries that have the most Christians are the most open and democratic – for gays and women especially. Compare to other religions/nations where there is no diversity of discussion, thought or behavior.  Thank you.

    • Morley Darryl Kyte

      In fact I believe that to be a fallacy due to the fact that most Christians aim to be less communist like, due to the fact that Jesus disregards culture for the truth in the law and also points away from socialism’s such as the government run by Hitler and Stalin. Find for yourself the video online called “Agenda: Grinding America Down” It’s about the government and where it’s headed and what it means for Christians as well as non-believers.

      • Morley Darryl Kyte

        P.S. I’m against Abortion and homosexual marriages as well as co-habitation before marriage.

        • Morley Darryl Kyte

          P.S.S. I’m not against homosexuals or those who have done abortion nor those who practice co-habitation before marriage as all are hurting people in different ways.

  • Michael Jones

    This already exists. “Speak The Word”. 

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