Beware using Bible Gateway

I have several go-to Bible sites on my laptop. One is BibleHub, which contains the entire Bible, a lexicon, commentaries, maps, Strong's, parallel views of verses, and much more.

I also have in my bookmarks BibleGateway, (BG) which has the Bible of course, devotionals, a helpful list of all the named and unnamed men and women in the Bible with short bios, and much more.

BibleGateway is a favorite of many, and it's a favorite of mine, as well, which is why it's hard to write this. I've noticed both on BibleGateway's Twitter stream and on their website that they are promoting some decidedly UN-Bible-like people.

I grabbed screen shots on BG's Twitter stream and on the BG website to show you what I mean. I did not have to search hard. I did not have to search long. These are not cherry picked screen grabs gathered over years. They are selected grabs gained over the last few weeks. I actually had to delete a few I'd grabbed because the blog essay was getting too long.

1. Bible Gateway promotes Catholic dogma, apps, and Bibles. Christianity is Christianity, Catholicism is Catholicism, and they are at odds with each other. Catholicism is not a Christian faith. If one includes Catholic material on a Christian site one may as well include Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam. FMI on why Catholicism is not Christianity, go here.

2. Bible Gateway promotes Charismatic author Sarah Young of Jesus Calling and other mystical devotionals in her ongoing cottage industry of falsity. Young's books undermine the sufficiency of scripture. Young is a huge problem especially for younger undiscerning women who are at risk, and BG is not helping by legitimizing her false works. The Jesus Calling and other Young devotionals were in heavy rotation throughout July/early August. FMI on Sarah Young's serious doctrinal errors, go here.

3. Bible Gateway promotes Bill Hybels. The shot below is of the BG's twitter stream. #GLS16 refers to a Hybel-led conference called Global Leadership Summit of a gathering of false teachers at Hybels' Willow Creek campus plus global leaders, to promote business practices in church leaders. The line-up includes false teachers Hybels and TD Jakes, and lifestyle guru John C. Maxwell, among other secular speakers. FMI on why Hybels' brand of business-driven church growth movement is false, go here.

4. Bible Gateway promotes material by false pastrix Christine Caine, who is also founder of the feminist Propel Women movement. FMI on why Caine is false, go here.

5. Bible Gateway encourages using material by Roman Catholic-dabbler and mystic Dallas Willard, teacher of contemplative prayer, spiritual formation, universalism, and other false disciplines. FMI on why Willard is false, go here.

This one below is only one of many dozens of tweets sent out by BG and retweeted by followers, touting the new Bible search function BG has developed. It seems you can now search the Bible at BibleGateway using...emojis. Just because the culture has made the Emoji Bible a "success" does not mean we need to cave to the culture and create search functions with them. The Bible is the WORD of God, not the rebus pictures of God. Here is a screen shot of the introduction of the BG emoji search function:

Remember when you were in kindergarten, the easy books you were first learning to read? They inserted pictures for some of the words to make it easier to read and have the child feel successful.

The juvenilization of Christianity continues, helped by Bible Gateway.

Promoting Caine, Hybels, Willard, Young, and other false teachers such as CS Lewis, Beth Moore, Proverbs 31 ministries, and Rick Warren, as well as unbiblical conferences such as "Unwrap the Bible" with Roma Downey, displays a tremendous lack of discernment. Worse, it puts unhealthy and undoctrinal doctrines in front of millions of people.

As for myself, sure, I know who to look up and who to avoid, but when I search for a verse or an address, I don't want to be confronted every time by false teachers and deal with the site's excited urgencies to try this or that false teacher's material. It's depressing. It's discouraging. I want Bible, not rebus pictures and a lengthy and constant list of false teachers I have to avert my eyes from on the screen.

My essay today is to just make you aware, that once again, a previously solid ministry has allowed a flood of falsity through its gates, and to beware. As always, be wise and make your own decisions.


  1. We should view every source of theological and devotional material with discernment. This applies not just to Bible
    Hateway but many other online sources. There's Christian Classics Etherial Library,, Bible Hub, And others as well. Each of them also promotes extra-biblical material. Perhaps the biggest one to wade through is Logos Bible Software. The app's home page provides a huge mix of good and bad theology.

    Bible Gateway provides dozens of easily searchable bible translations and is usually fast enough that one can look up a scripture reference while listening to a sermon and compare it in two or three versions in just seconds. I find it and many other similar apps and web sites to be very useful tools.

    But ultimately we have to practice discernment with them all. Whether it be the words of a favorite preacher of the past like Spurgeon or of today like John MacArthur. we must still behave as the Bereans did and compare everything to scripture to see if it's so. Your warning is appreciated,

    1. I agree Perri. I do like that BG loads faster than Biblehub. Logos 6 which I own also as you mentioned has a few (not many) wonky promotions. There is always a need for discernment. And with my warning today, I add another beware to the list.

  2. I, too, have been noticing this disturbing trend. I have been annoyed to have a screen pop up asking me if I want Purpose-Driven devotions. NO, I do NOT...

    I was not aware of just how far it had gone as I am not a big Twitter user. Thank you once again for enlightening me :) I will post this on my Growing4Life FB page so that others can watch for this, as well!

    1. Thanks for being such a good discerner. Glad you noticed it too. And thanks for warning others.

  3. I haven't noticed that about Bible Gateway, but I mostly just go there if I need to look up a verse in all translations. I've never really ventured out from there (since buying my own set of Matthew Henry Commentary).

    YouVersion - however, now that is truly horrible. This church we left, that I pretty much grew up in, was heavily promoting it. They even had "commercials" for it while the countdown to the sermon was going (commercials in the church, along with many a secular movie clip to help prepare your heart for worship...another reason we switched...). My mother and cousin happily obeyed the preachers constant plugs for everyone to download it to their phones. I checked it out and saw Jesus Calling devotionals among other unsound things. I warned my cousin, who was especially new to the faith, that not everything on YouVersion is Christian - and to especially stay away from anything by Sarah Young. I'm pretty sure I emailed the pastor about it...I can't remember though. (There are some sound devotionals on there, I saw one from RC Sproul, but I think the majority of them are probably all fluff and/or terrible.)


  4. I use Blue Letter Bible, finding it a bit more user friendly than Bible Gateway.

  5. Funny, I just emailed them this morning when I saw them pushing the "Jesus Calling" stuff. I've been getting there daily bible verses for a while now. You're teaching must be sinking in! :-)


  6. So what is everyone's final authority? Looking at Bible Gateway and BibleHub, it's easy to notice how often different translations often say different things at the same time. How does one decide which version to go with?

    1. Hi Anonymous,

      That's a good question. There are so many translations and versions now.

      Here is a good essay on how the translation process impacts the inspiration, inerrancy, and infallibility of the Bible-

      and here
      "Why are there so many Bible translations, and which is the best?"

      Which Bible translation is best?

      good translations are considered to be ESV (English Standard Version), NAS (New American Standard), NKJV (New King James Version), and for my personal opinion as second tier but good & usable in limited doses, NIV (New International Version)) and King James Version (KJV). The essays at GotQuestions should help explain things

    2. I have recently checked out the versions you mentioned and was unpleasantly surprised to find out that all except KJV either translated certain verses in such a way as to change the whole meaning of the verse, and not for the better. And, again very surprising, left many verses out completely. Plus, not all of the editors of the new versions were truly Christians, such as Hort and Wescott. Others may view these things differently but as for me, I'll stick with the KJV.

  7. I disagree. Paul says so long as "Christ is Preached" that's what's important. Who are we to judge other fellow Christian denominations? By the way, the word catholic means " Universal". It's a universal Christian Church. Please someone teach this person theology?

    1. Hello Joseph,

      You chose not to include the actual verse or address, but I *think* you mean this one?

      Philippians 1:18 (ESV) What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.

      It is not a cover-all, blanket for allowing error into the church. This verse is usually misapplied. Paul NEVER forgave false teaching.

      Yes, the word catholic means universal. However, the Roman Catholic Church uses that word in a false way.The dogma of that church claims that it is the only true church and all other people, such as Protestants, are going to hell. If you are not a Roman Catholic, the Catholics believe YOU are not in the church.

      We are to judge the doctrine of other Christians, as John 7:24 says. Whoa re we to hate Jesus so much, who died for this truth, and hate our brethren so much, that we will not help them if they are straying off the path?

  8. How come rick warren and c s lewis be false teachers?

    1. Hi Philip,

      Thank you for your question. It's a good one. He does not appear to have an understanding of the Gospel is the main issue. ALlo, his improper hermeneutics (Bible interpretation) and ecumenical compromise with Catholics and also Muslims, as well as applying an entrepreneurial model for church growth are main concerns,

      Here is an essay written by Tim Challies outlining doctrinal concerns with Rick Warren:

      CS Lewis: he held many beliefs that were outside the orthodoxy of evangelical Christendom, such as rejecting penal substitutionary atonement and a belief in purgatory. Hereis an essay outlining Lewis' beliefs,

      thank you again for the question

  9. Totally agree with this especially in regards to Catholicism and false teachers being promoted.

    I do wish to respectfully mention however that the Apocrypha should be further looked into. I am not Catholic. However after careful study of the Books of Enoch and Jasher as well as the Apocrypha, I have come to the conclusion that there are two big reasons why the Apocrypha wasn't included:

    One is because the Apocrypha itself says so.

    Secondly and more importantly, the Apocrypha could not be refuted

    However the Dead Sea Scrolls has revealed that the Book of Enoch is actually supposed to further expound upon what happened in Genesis 6 of the Bible.

    For example, the Book of Enoch states that 450 ft giants existed due to sexual relations between the sons of God (fallen angels) and human women (who were promiscuous). Naturally according to our modern way of thinking, 450 ft giants are not possible. However I say that this type of thinking underestimated the power of these fallen angels to create such beings thru earthly women. Furthermore, because these giants were evil, they needed "pets" to play with. These "pets" are what we today know of as dinosaurs.

    Also the Book of Enoch expounds on the origins of demons. Spirits of hybrid beings can not leave Earth according to Jesus Himself. Demons seek dry places. Why? Because of the Flood that occurred in Genesis 6. The Book of Enoch further explains this in great detail.

    Also the Book of Jasher states that dinosaurs we're basically the mixture of one animal species with another.

    These two books actually strengthen the Bible and enhance further understanding as to what happened in Genesis 6 of the Bible.

    Other than that, I wholeheartedly agree with this blog in regards to Bible Gate Way.

  10. Your Dallas Willard link ( is dead; have you got another one?

    1. Thanks for letting me know. I changed it above. Here you go-


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