Does anyone know if there is a site that let's you search the (Christian) Bible and also provides an API to their search? Preferably free but not mandatory. Support of the NIV would also be ideal.

  • This is not a technical API question, but one heavily affected by copyrights and licensing. In this case, the main issues one might have with a "particular web or website" would be "Why don't they have more translations, such as the NIV?" Still, it would be a better topic for Quora, where it was answered well.
    – Michael
    Commented Sep 15, 2017 at 16:11
  • @Michael Not really, I was looking for an API. If they happened to support NIV that would have been great. I was writing an app in which I wanted to search Bible text and I didn't want to reinvent the wheel. I completely understand why certain versions aren't supported and the licensing concerns (a big reason I don't want to reinvent the wheel).
    – squillman
    Commented Sep 15, 2017 at 16:14
  • 1
    @squillan Right, I was commenting on why their suggestion when closing the question didn't apply in your case, so I was on your side. (P.S. I think the best Bible API is bibles.org/pages/api ).
    – Michael
    Commented Sep 15, 2017 at 16:31
  • Ah, ok. My bad! I misunderstood your comment.
    – squillman
    Commented Sep 15, 2017 at 17:08

7 Answers 7


Faithlife (publisher of the Logos Bible software) has the Biblia.com API, with "services that get information about the available Bibles (Find, Image), download the text of those Bibles (Content), and search those Bibles (Search). Additional services support validating Bible references (Parse), comparing Bible references (Compare), and finding Bible references in text and HTML (Scan, Tag)."

They also offer a Reftagger API that provides an instant popup of a verse's text when you have the verse reference listed. It looks to be a nice alternative to just having the text listed straight away.

  • Ask for one thing, get something better! Drupal module for the win! NIV support and everything. Works great! This is perfect.
    – squillman
    Commented Jul 27, 2010 at 17:40
  • 1
    scripture.api.bible/livedocs is available as well, very similar to Biblia but appears to support a wider range of response types. Commented Mar 12, 2021 at 15:35

I'm not sure if this is exactly what you are after but I found ESV's web service to look pretty good:


Hope that helps

  • 1
    +1 That is near perfect! ESV is not a bad alternative, but I'm going to hold out for NIV for a day or so. If nothing pops up than I'll accept your answer.
    – squillman
    Commented Jul 27, 2010 at 15:11
  • After a little more research and finding a couple other API without NIV I see that the NIV is under copyright and so unless someone with a license develops this API (And I'm assuming developing such an API would break the copyright license) unfortunately it might be tough. Hopefully someone else can find something though. If I did anything like this I'd love to use the NKJV but I believe that is also copyrighted. Commented Jul 27, 2010 at 15:22
  • Yeah, I know of the NIV copyright which does make it hard. Was hoping to find someone that has worked with Zondervan in this area to get the licensing for it... I've see it done for other open source projects, but not sure what the authors had to go through to get the license.
    – squillman
    Commented Jul 27, 2010 at 15:39
  • The new URL for this is esvapi.org. (The above URL does redirect properly).
    – bentsai
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 20:19

Bible.org has a nice API that will allow you to pull text to embed directly on your site. It is using standard web requests, so it shouldn't be anything difficult to implement. I'm not quite sure what version they are using.

  • 2
    +1 Nice. Digging around I found that it uses the NET Bible which is a new translation. bible.org/article/preface-net-bible-first-edition
    – squillman
    Commented Jul 27, 2010 at 16:50
  • Intriguing, I'll have to check out the aspects of that translation. Thanks for digging that up squillman!
    – Dillie-O
    Commented Jul 27, 2010 at 17:27
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    NET bible rocks. Very precise and tons of translator notes for difficult passages.
    – Epaga
    Commented Jul 28, 2010 at 9:10

eBible.com exposes an API.

  • +1 here also. This looks good and supports NIV. I'll keep this one in mind for the future as Reftagger did what I was planning on doing anyway. This might come in handy for future, more advanced projects!
    – squillman
    Commented Jul 27, 2010 at 19:43

I love Bible Gateway. The URLs are easily replicable, and they have a variety of translations, including the NIV.

I don't know if this qualifies as an API, per se, but it's how I do automated searches.

Example searches:


  • 1
    Thanks, warren. I also love this site for general usage but was hoping to get something where I don't have to craft URL's manually.
    – squillman
    Commented Jul 27, 2010 at 17:51
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    Bible Gateway does have an API now: biblegateway.com/api/documentation
    – mbomb007
    Commented Feb 1 at 18:04

BibleSearch has a pretty solid API with lots of popular versions. It's also free and has loads of ongoing developer support. http://biblesearch.americanbible.org/pages/api


For clean Bible reading and sharing comments with fellow Bible students: http://www.cloudstudybible.com/

  • This site has no API that I can see.
    – mwfearnley
    Commented Jan 11, 2020 at 9:50

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